Grants to help young South Australians with high care needs

Sarah and SA AHCG Cheralyn

Youngcare has launched the second round of its At Home Care Grants program in South Australia, making a further $100,000 available to young people aged 18-65 years with high care needs thanks to sponsorship from national insurer AAMI.

The grants help young people with high care needs stay at home and avoid unsuitable housing by funding equipment, home modifications and emergency respite care.

This follows the very successful first round of grants last year, in which more than $100,000 in grants was provided to 17 applicants.  These grants helped fund home modifications such as ramps, stair railings and electronic door openers; equipment such as hi-lo beds and a wheelchair; and therapies such as physiotherapy.

SA grant recipient, Cheralyn Smith, is in her 30s and has Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia.  She said having an automatic front door installed in her home earlier this year was the difference between regaining her independence and needing a full-time carer.

“I applied for the grant to get some independence in my own home. It gives me a lot more freedom and mum doesn’t have to be home anymore, and if my partner is not with me then I can get in and out,” Cheralyn said.

See next page for more on Cheralyn’s story.

Youngcare’s CEO Anthony Ryan said that in South Australia alone there are over 32,000 young people with high care needs eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and currently restricted in their ability to live the young lives they deserve.

“The issues faced by these young people, their families and carers are broad and complex, and with the NDIS still a number of months off, these grants are important for people in the community who are in desperate need of assistance,” Mr Ryan said.

“We already know of more than 1,900 people in South Australia who have reported a need for supported accommodation.  There is an urgent need for this essential funding.”

AAMI Executive Manager CTP, Allicia Smith, said it was this need in the community that prompted the insurer to get involved.

“Families often face enormous emotional and financial pressure when caring for a loved one. AAMI is pleased to be able to support Youngcare in South Australia because we know they make a real difference to the lives of young people with high-care needs and their families,” Ms Smith said.

The Youngcare At Home Grants program makes $2,000 through to $10,000 available for young people living at home at high risk of entering aged care or other inappropriate housing, with applications assessed based on need. Applications close on December 13, 2017.

For more information: www.youngcare.com.au/need-support/apply-for-a-grant/

Cheralyn’s story: At Home Care Grant opens new doors

Something so simple that we all take for granted – opening the front door into our homes – became near impossible for grant recipient, Cheralyn Smith.

Like any person in their 30s, Cheralyn values her independence greatly. Working three days a week, spending time with her partner and taking her dog Casper out for walks are just some of the things that occupy her time. But Cheralyn has Cerebral Palsy Spastic Quadriplegia and when opening her front door began to cause pain and long-lasting injuries, her independence began to diminish rapidly.

The door was so heavy I’ve had to have physio on my arm and my shoulder because of it. If my Mum was out, or away, I would have to get a carer or my partner to physically come over just to open the door for me,” Cheralyn explained.

This restricted her ability to leave the house whenever she pleased, and posed a huge risk to her safety. It was not realistic for Cheralyn to remain inside all day until her carer arrived, her mother or partner returned home from work. She deserves freedom and independence, like any person her age.

When Cheralyn’s friend told her about Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants, she wasted no time applying for an automatic door opener.

I applied for the grant to get some independence in my own home. It gives me a lot more freedom and Mum doesn’t have to be home anymore, and if my partner is not with me then I can get in and out.”

A new automatic door – just $2,200 – was all it took to give Cheralyn the freedom and independence that she was craving. She now has the choice to go out and about whenever she likes and has the security of feeling safe in her own home, thanks to the generous support of AAMI – South Australian At Home Care Grant funders.

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