Tamesia is a 27-year-old young woman, who has an infectious smile and funny sense of humour. As she grew up, she did not meet regular childhood milestones and as time went on was diagnosed with multiple disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Scoliosis and Epilepsy. Without many answers, but with lots of different characteristics, Tamesia suffers from an unknown syndrome.
During her schooling years, Tamesia and her family received support from various organisations. However, when she graduated at 18 years old, the family noticed a difference in the frequency and level of support they were provided. Since finishing school, Tamesia enjoys spending her days at the park, by the water, at small shopping centres; anything that is quiet and relaxing so as not to bring on her Epilepsy.
However, for the last couple of years, Tamesia has been markedly unwell.
Because of her high care needs, Tamesia is non-verbal and has very specific communication queues. Unfortunately, this means that she can’t even signal to her head if she has a headache, or her stomach if she has a stomach ache.
With a team of carers that have become Tamesia’s friends over the last nine years, it is so important for the family to have her at home, in a secure and safe environment that will provide her with the care she needs. Tamesia’s health is too precious and requires such specialist knowledge by those providing her care. Knowing this, her parents decided to make some much needed changes to their home to make it more suitable for Tamesia as she gets older and to have a carer sleep over.
Tamesia has been awarded two At Home Care Grants from Youngcare; one for the modification of her bathroom, and one for the conversion of the family’s double lock-up garage into a self-contained flat for Tamesia and her equipment. Previously, the bathroom was not big enough to accommodate a wheelchair so Tamesia could not be wheeled into the bathroom or placed in her shower chair. The family had to buy an extra-long shower hose and shower her over the drain in the middle of the bathroom.
Now, she has her own wheel-in shower, bathroom and toilet which allows her to have her personal care attended to in a dignified and safe way. The garage-come-flat has a doorway directly into her bathroom, making the whole space totally self-contained. She has her own kitchenette, small fridge and lots of storage space for her equipment. It also has its own private entrance and lock box so that carers can come and go easily.
Not only have these grants provided Tamesia with greater dignity and independence and her carers with the ability to work safely in her home, they have also allowed Tamesia’s parents to be parents for the first time in many years.
“We were getting so exhausted. Without Youngcare this wouldn’t have happened, we really appreciate the help. We would have burnt out; I think my mental health would have deteriorated. I feel like now I can just walk around the house, and have a home. It is really hard to give up your home and have different people coming in.” – Bronwyn
“Tamesia wouldn’t survive in another place, in Supported Independent Living. And I know I couldn’t bare it either.” – Cliff
“I think it’s a good thing that young people don’t have to go into a nursing home, or live with older people, that they can stay in their own homes. I think they’ll live a longer, happier life that way too.”– Bronwyn
Tamesia’s parents are fierce advocates for her, who will always make sure that her life is as good as it can be. All they wish for her is to be happy and well. On behalf of Tamesia to the people and organisations who make the grants possible, Bronwyn and Cliff would like to say;
“Because of Youngcare, I now have my own flat, I now have my own independence. Because of Youngcare, I am me.”