9 October 2015
A new lease on life for Nick – and his mum!
A glimpse into the new Youngcare Share House at Wooloowin reveals a hive of activity – from cake baking; movies being watched in the lounge; a visit from the neighbours four legged friends to family and friends gathering for a BBQ on the front deck.
It’s now just over two months since the Share House first opened its doors, providing the four housemates with age-appropriate care and a home specifically designed for young people with high care needs.
For housemate Nick Thorley, the fun of Share House living with other young people is a far cry from his previous living arrangements which did not meet his needs or aspirations for how he wanted to live life.
“I don’t think I have seen Nick this happy in a long time,” said Gill Bickerstaff, Nick’s mother.
“Whenever I pop round, he is in the beautiful light and spacious living area, interacting and having fun with the carers and other housemates. In fact – he is so happy he no longer wants to come to our house to visit us!”
For all the housemates, the move has offered the opportunity to live with other young people of similar ages, and enjoy life with greater choice and independence.
There’s always plenty going on, with twice-weekly visits to a local theatre group for Nick, manicures for the girls, a spot of gardening and there’s a constant stream of visitors including local neighbours with their children, all adding to the chatter and laughter that’s heard.
“Nick is a very social person, so it is great for him to have the company of young people his own age who he can have fun with,” said Gill.
“The Wesley Mission Brisbane team [care partners at the Youngcare Share House] are also fantastic at being inclusive in decision-making about the running of the house. Nick loves to feel he is being useful and contributing, so this has been wonderful for his self-esteem and his state of mind.”
For Gill, knowing Nick is happy and having his care needs met has also had an enormous impact on her life.
“The feeling of relief, knowing he is living somewhere he is happy and well cared for
is indescribable – I feel like I have got my life back too, and can live without
the constant worry of Nick being somewhere he isn’t safe and happy,” added Gill.
“None of us know when life might change and when a family member or friend will need this kind of support, and every young person should be able to lead a dignified, inclusive life, in appropriate accommodation.
“Youngcare and its incredible supporters have made this possible for our family.”