Supporting Hayley into the Future
Often, when we have been supporting a client in their own home over a long period of time, we essentially become part of their family. This is certainly true in the case of eighteen-year-old Hayley, who lives with her family in the Newcastle district, north of Sydney.
Unisson has been supporting Hayley with personal care for around eight years. According to Diana Allen, our Client Services Manager in the Hunter, when Hayley and her family first approached Unisson for support, she was receiving minimal financial assistance through available funding sources, which amounted to two hours of support. “We helped the family build a plan which would enable them to cope better with Hayley’s 24/7 care requirements and assisted them to apply for significant additional funding.”
Unisson’s support for Hayley has grown significantly over the years as her funding has increased. Support worker Lisa will typically visit the family early on weekdays, help Hayley to prepare for the day and drive her to school. Hayley doesn’t sleep for long periods of time, so the family is grateful for the assistance early in the day. In the afternoons, Lisa will collect Hayley from school, supporting her to enjoy some other activities before driving her home.
There have been a number of times when Unisson’s support has been critical to the family. Hayley’s mother Nicole fell down some stairs at home last year, requiring hospitalisation and further rehabilitation. Despite this happening on a weekend, Unisson was able to organise emergency short-term accommodation for Hayley through another local NDIS provider. However, Unisson’s staff didn’t forget about Nicole. They brought her coffees and other supplies while she was unable to leave the house, and stayed in close contact by phone. At other times, for example when Hayley has been in hospital for a procedure, our support workers have stayed at the hospital with the family around the clock, providing much needed practical and emotional support. Our Hunter staff will frequently call Nicole to have a chat or join her for a coffee.
Not long ago, Hayley and her family went on a much-needed holiday, the first for many years, thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation. Lisa went along with the family to continue to support Hayley and together they all shared an incredible dolphin experience.
According to Diana Allen, this is very much the story of a shared journey.
“It’s about growing with our clients. Now as Hayley prepares to leave school, we are helping the family to plan for the next chapter, which may include community access activities and supported independent living for Hayley. Nicole is also looking forward to the future where she can visit Hayley as a mother and enjoy special time with her, rather than being focused on her daily care requirements.”
Hayley and her family hold a special place in the hearts of all of our Hunter team and everyone is excited to see what the future holds for them.