For Cameron, staying at home has always been the most important thing. Keeping his independence at home means that his son can come and visit whenever he wants, and has his own room. It means Cameron can visit his Mum in the nursing home every single day. It means that he can stay connected to what means most to him, family.
When Cameron suffered a stroke which caused an acquired brain injury (ABI) at 34 his whole life changed track. Cooper, Cameron’s son was able to move in with Cameron’s parents, who took on the responsibility of raising Cooper while also supporting Cameron’s care needs full-time.
Unfortunately for some families, like Cameron’s, this was not all of the hardship they had to endure.
When Cameron’s Dad was diagnosed with cancer, his wife Micki took on the sole responsibility of looking after Cameron and Cooper by herself. With some support, Micki was able to provide the primary care and keep the boys in their own homes. She wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Sadly, Cameron’s Dads cancer was worsening, leaving him too weak from treatments to provide Cameron with the care he needed to stay at home. Micki was diagnosed with dementia and over time her condition has progressed so much so that she was admitted to a nursing home, where she could receive the care that she required.
“She is in a good place now, she gets three meals a day there. It’s a good place.” Cameron said
It was at this stage that Cameron applied for more funding in his NDIS plan, to be able to afford additional supports to provide him with in home care.
Unfortunately – instead, the NDIS cut his funding. Cooper was moved up to live with his Aunty in QLD and Cameron remained at home, desperately fighting alongside his support workers to have the NDIS funding increased. As it stands, Cameron’s funding will run out within the year – not even coming close to covering what he needs for two years until his plan review. In July, Cameron’s Dad sadly lost his fight with cancer.
“It’s been about a month or 6 weeks since Dad passed away. He fought until the end. I was lucky enough to be there when he passed. It was very sad but he just wanted to see Cooper too,” he explained
This is when his support network contacted Youngcare. Youngcare were able to provide an emergency Home Support Grant to keep Cameron in his own home. The funding will pay the gap between what the NDIS is currently providing and what Cameron needs to stay at home.
“I was a bit disappointed when I heard about the funding. But I’m lucky to have the money from Youngcare so I don’t have to lie in bed all day, I can get out in the community.”
It is not just about the basic things, such as choice over when he gets up, or whether he goes to see his favourite footy team play. It is the difference between Cameron being able to spend quality time with his only son and him living in an aged care facility, alongside his Mother, at only 44 years of age.
“I’m not at the nursing home stage. I’m only 44. Having independence is very important to me. I like the support workers, they give me a bit of independence,” Cameron explained
“Because of Youngcare I can go and see my son Cooper, and I can see my Mum every day.” He said