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Feb 13, 2024

Gary's journey to becoming independent

Dietetics Housing Individual Supports News Support Coordination

Gary in the beginning 

When Gary moved in, he was depressed, didn’t want to participate in activities, and spent a lot of his time in his room. Seeing this, his service coordinator at the time was extremely worried, and organised COS support for Gary in 2016.

Gabriela (Gaby), Gary’s support coordinator says, “When I first met with Gary, he lacked the motivation to go out in the community and spent most of the day in his room in the dark. He would often agree to go out with his support staff but would invariably cancel on the day.”

Gaby’s initial strategy was to get Gary to be more active was by improving his physical and mentally wellbeing, as well as his independence. Gary was connected with therapy supports such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and counselling. Slowly Gary started engaging in the services, feeling better and building up his motivation.

New goals

By 2018, Gary wanted to develop new skills, make friends, seek paid work and become more independent. To help him achieve his new goals, Gaby connected Gary with AFFORD for a supported employment opportunity.

Next, Gaby focused on improving his living and independence at home. A therapy assessment was organised to support his assistive technology application. From 2020 to 2023, Gary was approved for a powered wheelchair, new bed and mattress and a shower commode.

There has been such a massive improvement in Gary. He is so much more independent, and his community participation has increased two folds. Last year, Gary went to Newcastle to attend a boxing event and a few football games in Wollongong.

Jess, Gary’s Service Coordinator

“Gary goes out with his support staff twice a week and is more confident in make decisions. Seeing his progress over the years make me so proud,’ adds Gaby.

Recently, Gary completed 5 years of employment at AFFORD.

“I love my work. I have a lot of his friends and I hope to work with AFFORD until retirement age,” says Gary.

Housing Dietetics Individual Supports Support Coordination Northcott Wollongong

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