“I’m not saying aged care is an awful place, but it’s an awful place for Luke”
Thousands of young Australians with high care physical disabilities, like Luke, live in aged care or other inappropriate situations. They Need A Place To Call Home. Donate today to enable young people with high care needs to live with choice, independence, and dignity.
Luke was born in the small rural town of Nanango (QLD) in 1981. He lived out a happy childhood in Toowoomba, fun yet cheeky teenage years and fulfilling young adulthood in Brisbane. But Luke was unknowingly living his life on borrowed time.
“It was around 2010 and we all knew there was something wrong, he knew there was something wrong.” Kaye (Luke’s Aunty).
At 29, Luke started to become unsteady on his feet, he was blinking abnormally and developed erratic hand movements. Just before his 30th birthday, Luke received the life-changing diagnosis – Huntington’s Disease.
Very quickly, Huntingtons Disease took everything from Luke. He could not walk, talk, work, drive, or look after himself in any way. At just 30 years young, Luke was left isolated and living in a remote care facility a six-hour round trip away from his family and friends. They fought to get him closer to home, but the only option was aged care . Luke has lived there ever since.
Appropriate and suitable housing is one of the largest areas of unmet need for people with disabilities in Australia. You can help change this crisis.
“At the time we had all the promises, we said ‘you won’t be here for too much longer’. But when he went into aged care that was it, there was nothing else. Nothing was ever offered to us.” – Kaye (Luke’s Aunty)
Even Kaye sometimes cannot bring herself to visit Luke where he is currently living. Not because he is not receiving adequate care, or the staff are not trying their best to help Luke, but because he is not living the young life he deserves.
But finally, after years and years of advocating and fighting for many years, Kaye is excited to finally see Luke in his own apartment. In the months to come, Luke is finally moving into his very own apartment at Youngcare North Lakes!
Living in the bustling hub of North Lakes, Luke will be able to mix with other people his own age and go out whenever he likes! Rather than sitting in his bed with the television on all day, Luke will be able to choose how he wants to spend his days; whether that’s going to art therapy, wheeling along the waterfront at Sandgate or seeing a movie at the local shopping centre.
Kaye hopes that this new way of living will inspire Luke, and help to keep his condition stable for years to come.
“He is depressed. He’s severely depressed right now,” Kaye explained “But, I really think he knows that’s he’s going to his new place because the first time he came to visit his apartment; I saw him on the balcony with his hands in the air. Yeah, that was amazing.”
Thanks to your support, Luke will soon move out of aged care and into his own apartment! Please, donate today to help thousands of other young people with high care needs in Luke’s shoes.