8 March 2017
The great escape
When a two-week stay in respite turned into a permanent place in aged care, former nurse and CEO Brenda, took no time to working to win back her independence and freedom.
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Brenda, aged 49, was living with her friend and carer, Barbra and her two loved puppies, Archie and Angus on the sunny Gold Coast.
Circumstances rapidly changed when Barbra was admitted to hospital and sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer. With Barbra no longer able to provide care or a home for Brenda and with nowhere else to go, it was arranged for Brenda to stay in respite for two weeks while finding somewhere else to live.
As her options of finding a suitable place to live dwindled, two weeks turned into six months, and Brenda soon found herself as a permanent resident in aged care.
“It definitely wasn’t how I had planned to live the rest of my life,” said Brenda.
“I went from being the Chief Executive Officer of a major organisation, working for the state and federal government and as a Blue Helmet for the United Nations, spending time overseas and in indigenous communities in Australia, to living my young life in aged care.
I felt like I wasn’t living my own life anymore. I felt like I was imprisoned.”
Pictured: Brenda and her much-loved dogs. Archie and Angus.
Determined to leave aged care, Brenda wrote a letter to the Minister for Health who referred her onto Youngcare. In late 2016, Brenda was awarded a Youngcare Home Soon Grant, providing funding to support her transition out of aged care and into supported accommodation.
“When Youngcare came to help me move out of aged care and into my apartment, it was like The Great Escape. Now I living in my own place; I have my two dogs back. They keep me busy and we go for walks every day. I have carers come in three days a week to help me do my laundry, shopping and take me on outings.
“I can have a cup of tea when I want, I can go to bed when I want, I can watch TV when I want. I have so much more independence now, and I can live my life again.
Thank you to the people that support Youngcare, because without them I simply couldn’t have survived. The funding Youngcare has granted me is more than just money; it’s changed my whole life.”
Home Soon Grants, proudly supported by Suncorp Insurance support people aged 18 – 65 and currently living in aged care, hospital or a rehabilitation centre, and who wish to return home or to supported accommodation.
Applications for Youngcare’s Home Soon Grants will open for the 2017/18 Financial Year. Visit youngcare.com.au/our-work/home-soon-grants/ for more information and to make an application.