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Jul 17, 2023

A new way of life for Kelly

Housing Life Skills News

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

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.

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.

Sue, Kelly’s Grandmother

“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.

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.

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