When it comes to disability support, it’s not just the person with a disability who is affected. Family members often become carers and have to navigate an NDIS plan on their own, which can be stressful. As the primary carer for his brother Paul, Chris had spent years navigating NDIS funding options and had run into trouble numerous times. It wasn’t until they joined OnSide that life truly began to change for the better.
Managing complex disability
With a small family and close circle of friends, making sure Paul has everything he needs has been a challenge, even at the best of times. “Paul is intellectually handicapped and has the highest level of autism,” Chris explains. “As well as being wheelchair bound with curvature of the spine, he also doesn’t speak, but he’s just started using a communication board, which is great.”
When the brothers started working with their OnSide Support Coordinator Sarah, life started to change dramatically.
“Sarah made a clear understanding of a lot of things from day one,” Chris offers. “She’s been supportive of us the whole way and has a genuine passion for her work. She’s always checking in with phone calls and emails, which eases my stress levels!”
More options for better services
What Sarah does for Chris and Paul that’s really made a difference is encourage them to review and reflect on the care they’re getting.
“After many years of challenges, it’s refreshing to be able to rely on someone and that’s hard to get these days, especially with disability. Other NDIS providers say you have the support, but you really don’t – but with OnSide you do.”
“Sarah suggests things I didn’t know I had access to,” Chris laughs. “If we didn’t like an OT, Sarah would give me a list of people to try and we would get someone better in. I can’t put it into words how this felt – I’m not doing all the chasing anymore, compared to what I was doing before. OnSide has really stepped it up.”
More time to spend together
Now that Chris has a support team to work with Paul, his life has changed in so many beneficial ways.
“It’s given me space to have some time to myself – including doing my own crafting with clay – and gives me precious time to spend time with Paul instead of just the routine stuff. Now, I can stop and be intentional about how we spend our time, instead of having to multitask with care.”
Let OnSide be part of your support team
“I really wish I would’ve found OnSide earlier,” Chris reflects. “I’m grateful for what’s happening now and I wish other people could understand how hard it is. People don’t see what you go through, so it’s good to now have someone who has knowledge of disability and is there for you, every step of the way.”
If you or someone you care for has complex disability needs, contact us here or give our team a call on 1800 322 522 to learn how OnSide Support Coordinators can become a vital part of your support team.