A new way of life for Kelly

By Luisa Bustos, 26 February 2019 , Comments

“She just loves everything about it. I couldn’t tell you one thing. She’s just so happy.”

This is the reply Sue gives when asked what she thinks her granddaughter Kelly likes best about living in her own home.  And it’s exactly the sort of reply our Housing and Supported Independent Living staff in Tamworth like to hear.

Kelly has been a Northcott customer for more than five years, participating in our Everyday Life Skills program to learn skills to build her independence, spend time with friends and get out and about in the local community.

Until about a year and a half ago, Kelly, who has cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disability and vision impairment, had lived with Sue since she was a child.

A few years ago, Sue started to think about what might happen to Kelly when she wasn’t able to care for her anymore. She wasn’t sure whether Kelly would have the skills or ability to live independently.

“I knew once I got to 70 years old I’d have to stop [caring for Kelly full time],” she explains.

Sue and Kelly approached Northcott to discuss how we could assist in finding suitable accommodation that would meet Kelly’s support and personal needs. Around the same time, two other female Northcott customers – friends of Kelly’s from the Life Skills program – were also considering moving out of home. Northcott set about finding a rental property suitable for the three women and the overnight support they required. At the same time, Northcott supported the women to prepare for their next chapter of life by assisting them to develop the skills they needed to live independently.

When Sue fell seriously ill and was hospitalised, Northcott managed to secure a suitable property quickly and in November 2017, Kelly and her housemates moved in.

Kelly says she likes living in her new home and doing things for herself. She keeps her bedroom tidy and enjoys having visitors over to watch movies or enjoy a barbecue.

Although Sue feels “lost” without Kelly at home, she couldn’t have imagined a better outcome for her granddaughter, who has proved she is more than capable of doing things for herself.

“Gwenda [Kelly’s support worker] says she is doing her washing, stacking and unstacking the dishwasher and helping with cooking. These are things I taught her to do, because I wanted her to be as independent as I could possibly get her, but she didn’t do them [at home]. Now she loves doing these things,” Sue says.

“And she’s happy, which has made my life so much easier. She just loves it there and she loves every one of those [Northcott support workers] over there. They have been nothing but supportive.”

While Sue admits her home is “quite quiet” without Kelly around, she couldn’t be happier with Northcott and the home they have created for her granddaughter.

Related content

Like Kelly, our customer Susu hopes to one day live independently. Read how our Everyday Life Skills and Vocational Skills programs are supporting her to get the skills she needs to achieve this goal.

Looking to move out but need assistance with some daily tasks? Our In-home and Community Supports service can assist you around your home or in the community.


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