- People's stories Interviews with people getting attendant care, family members, workers . . .
- Alana Alana had a serious car accident aged 14. She has a brain injury.
- Rob Rob had a stroke. He was in a nursing home and now lives at home.
- David David had a car accident when 20. He has a brain injury. He has returned to work and to driving.
- Karel Karel had a bicycle accident. He has a fractured spine. He lives with his wife. They are in their 80s.
- Emma Emma was hit by a car. She has a brain injury and needs 24 hour care.
- Christakis Christakis' head went back in a car accident and he broke his neck. He lives with his wife.
- Attendant Care Provider Brain Injury Service Coordination Managers and Community Support Workers.
- Attendant Care Provider Spinal Injury Service Supervisors and Attendant Care Workers.
- Case Managers Case managers.
- Life Time Care Coordinators Lifetime Care and Support Coordinators speak.
Rob and workers
Rob’s friend found him on the floor of his house and rang an ambulance. He was taken to Westmead Hospital ICU. He had had a stroke. He has a brain injury. He was discharged to a nursing home and lived there for 2 years. His house was modified. He now lives at his home by himself, where he has been for just over 12 months.
- Rhys, Rob’s community support worker
- Vatsal, Rob’s community support worker
I love being home. It’s great. Just to be myself again. And it’s great being home. I can do what I want when I want.
My case worker found out I owned a house. She said “OK, well, what we can do is we can modify your house and you’d be able to live there”. Which is what they did.
They made the kitchen accessible for me and the bathroom. And they put a deck out the back as well plus a ramp at the front door so I can get in and out on the wheelchair.
The carers make living at home possible: approximately 35 hours a week, usually 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. Mornings are the carers come in, get me up out of bed for showering, dressing and then breakfast. And then whatever happens during the day from there. And in the evening the carers come at 7.30 approximately.
Rob's Story (9 mins)
Full text of the video Rob's Story
ON SCREEN: Rob’s story
ROBERT: Approximately 3 years ago I suffered a stroke. My friend she found me on the floor in the sunroom, apparently rang ambulance and I was taken to Westmead Hospital into the ICU for awhile and then transferred from there to the Brain Injury Unit. And I was there for I’m not exactly sure how long. Then after that I was discharged to a nursing home just around the corner from here. I lived there for 2 years. And then home, yes. I’ve been home for just over 12 months.
ON SCREEN: Rhys is one of seven support workers who assist Rob. He works here one morning a week. He’s been with Rob for three months.
RHYS: I have a few clients. I work and travel around a bit and you know with acquired brain injuries and with care, you can go from anyone. Like, I’ve got some clients that are young 19 year olds and others are older. The range is quite incredible.
ON SCREEN: RHYS Community Support Worker
RHYS: I was first trained here. So this is like one of my fist shifts with ABI services. I came in not really knowing what to expect completely but I had someone showing me the ropes and how to do them. Rob was fantastic and you know as working together you quickly learned up. You learn what to do, learn how to use the equipment such as a lifter. But you know from there it was a good experience just to grow and learn into the job.
ON SCREEN: Returning to his own home really improved Rob’s quality of life
ROBERT: I love being home. It’s great. Just to be myself again. And it’s great being home. I can do what I want when I want.
ON SCREEN: Rob’s return home came at the suggestion of his case manager
ROBERT: My case worker found out I owned a house. She said “OK, well, what we can do is we can modify your house and you’d be able to live there”. Which is what they did.
What changes did they make?
ROBERT: Well, they made the kitchen accessible for me and the bathroom. And they put a deck out the back as well plus a ramp at the front door so I can get in and out on the wheelchair.
ON SCREEN: The other factor that allowed Rob to return home is the support workers
RHYS: You be alright.
ROBERT: Alright. Yeah.
And the care you get? How much care do you get?
ROBERT: Approximately 35 hours a week, usually 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. Mornings are the carers come in, get me up out of bed for showering, dressing and then breakfast. And then whatever happens during the day from there. And in the evening the carers come at 7.30 approximately.
How many carers would you have coming?
ROBERT: Different ones in a week, probably 6 or 7.
Now, how do you find that, 6 or 7 different people coming into your house every week?
ROBERT: It’s good variety actually. It’s good. All different personalities.
ON SCREEN: Rhys’s three months with Rob have been a learning curve
RHYS: It’s a good day to go outside again. It’s beautiful day.
RHYS: At the start, you know, at first it is a bit different and something that I wasn’t used to dealing with. But I think just over time it just became something that was just you know a part of the everyday in working life. But you know, at the start definitely something new, definitely something I didn’t experience. So, I guess over time you just adjust to it, it just becomes and adapts part of who you are.
What have you had to learn along the way? Have you had to learn new things, new skills?
RHYS: Yes, I would definitely say so. I mean, there is different equipment, there are different ways that you interact, different safe ways of lifting. All these things you learn. But at the same time as you are learning them we are dealing with, you know, humans and of course as this goes on you’ve got to be the best behaved, you’ve got to be, you know, doing everything you can to make it comfortable for everyone. Especially Rob. You want to make sure that he’s happy all the time.
When you are here what do you see your role as?
RHYS: I would say a carer, a helper but more also a friend. You know, me and Rob we always have chats, we always talk about the footy. We are always having jokes and laughing. We get along. We like the same music so we listen to Triple M in the mornings.
RHYS: But I would definitely say, you know, a support role but in that also a friend. A need for friend and helper.
You obviously need to work together as a team. You’ve got to like Rhys and Rhys needs to like you. So, on one hand you need that friendship, but you’ve also got to be professional don’t you?
RHYS: Of course.
So, how do you balance that? How do you balance being a professional carer with being a friend?
RHYS: I don’t think the balance is too difficult. I know it could be complicated, if you want to be a friend and, you know, if you only want to be friendly. But I feel like you’ve got to be firm in the right places but also you do realise that you are working inside of their house and you accomplishing these tasks with their help. But I still feel like there are rules and procedures in place and you do work for a company. And they are there for a reason, they are there for safety. So, you’ve got to stick with those all the time. So, I feel like Rob… we work well. I mean, those procedures are always put in place. But I can see what you are saying that sometimes there could be conflicts. We haven’t had any arise but, you know, if there are you’ve got to stick with your procedures and policies as well.
ON SCREEN: Of all the jobs Rhys has had, this one is the most satisfying
RHYS: I think the best thing about the job, or the caring aspect is truly the service that you give that you help people. I mean, it’s satisfying and it’s joyful to see that you are actually making a change, you are making a difference in someone’s life in the world. I think that is the best aspect of the job, of the work. I mean, there are so many more I could mention but I think that one that you are helping, you are making a difference. I think it’s satisfying doing that. I think that’s the main key thing.
ON SCREEN: Since returning home, with a lot of help Rob has rebuilt his life
RHYS: Full arm stretch?
ROBERT: Each day I’m usually fairly busy. On Monday I go shopping with my carer, I have to stay in the Gardens and lunch after getting up in the morning. Then back home. A little bit of time for myself in the afternoon to sit in the sun or look around the Internet, things like that, and then physio after that for an hour. Today is Tuesday. Up in the morning with Rhys and then another carer comes and we go out for a drive. I can transfer into his car. We go out for a drive and get some lunch. Usually go to the park and eat there which is really nice. On a nice sunny day like today it’s really good.
ON SCREEN: Vatsal has worked with Rob for two years and has seen much progress
ROBERT: One, two, three. Here we go.
VATSAL: It’s a huge difference then and now. I’d say he wasn’t able to move properly before. Even he can walk in chair, I mean pedalled chair, around in the nursing home. He was in nursing home before. So, yeah.
ON SCREEN: VATSAL Community Support Worker
VATSAL: And now he can transfer to my car and we can go out. He can sit in the front sit as he wanted before and that’s the huge improvement. He can stand now with one assistant. So, that’s a huge improvement in him, I see that.
ON SCREEN: With a lot of help and support, Rob can also see progress
ROBERT: I’ve actually come a fair way in the last couple of years. When I first moved to the nursing home I couldn’t stand. But with help from the staff and that up there and their physiotherapist my standing improved. And plus with New Horizons getting me going to the gym and physiotherapy, all really helped.
Are there other changes you’ve noticed in the last year or two?
ROBERT: Being a bit more independent.
In what ways?
ROBERT: Well, cooking, washing, hang my washing on the line. Things like that.
Are there things that you are working on at the moment so that you are looking for progress in some areas?
ROBERT: Yes, there is. Yeah.
So, what are you working on?
ROBERT: I’m working on standing, walking, applying for work and some possible study as well.
ON SCREEN: Thanks to Rob & his support workers for taking part in this video. Interviewer Paul Bullen. Camera & Editing Peter Kirkwood. Produced by Paul Bullen & Peter Kirkwood. www.living-with-attendant-care.info