Posted on: 30/11/2019

After being isolated for years, Louise is connecting with her world again

Louise is a young woman who enjoys going to cafes and regular walks.

But two years ago her world was confined to her bedroom. Leaving the family home was nearly impossible due to her severe anxiety. For years she had struggled to leave the house to meet even her basic needs such as seeing a medical professional.

Gradually, thanks to Louise’s determination and a range of supports made possible by the NDIS, she has been able to turn her life around.

Louise has an intellectual disability, uses limited vocabulary and needs predictable routines and environments.

The services to support Louise’s NDIS goals have required a high degree of cooperation and coordination. This has been overseen through Support Coordination services provided by Windermere.

“It’s been a true team effort between Louise, parent involvement and a range of services,” says Support Coordinator, Kate.

Two years ago Dad Brett was struggling to meet Louise’s complex needs. He had been Louise’s in home carer for approximately 18 months, since he and his wife separated.

Under Louise’s NDIS plan she was able to move into supported, shared accommodation run by Focus. This had the effect of decreasing her isolation, as she was sharing the house with four others.

To minimise her anxiety, Louise was paired up with people who are like minded and have predictable behaviours.

The one on one staff support in the house means that Louise is assisted to go out on a weekly basis and to socialise with her housemates.

She sees her parents weekly and stays with dad Brett on Sundays. “I miss her terribly, if things were different I would love to still have her, but she is really thriving and it is better for her than if she were stuck here with me,” says Brett.

As part of her NDIS plan Louise was also given a Sensory Assessment which identified that she struggles to cope with unpredictable noise and behaviours.

“She was always difficult to take out as she had problems handling noise and crowds, she is so confident going out now. She handles unexpected things a lot more easily. If someone came up to you she would get upset, and now she can handle it,” says Brett.

Louise’s regular outings include going on walks and attending a community centre. She has built up to these excursions over time with intensive one on one support.

“She attended a podiatrist recently, and this was a massive thing for her,” says Kate.

Louise gradually built up to the visit in small steps. This included driving past the clinic, looking at photos of what would happen during her appointment and even having a foot spa so she could become used to having her feet touched.

She also now receives Speech Therapy, to assist her to improve her communication skills and confidence.

“The support of her accommodation staff and other services have vastly improved her engagement in her community as well as her mental and physical health,” says Kate.

Over time there have been noticeable changes in Louise’s quality of life. “Her behaviours are better, she’s lost weight due to healthier diet and exercise and her verbal skills and interactions with others have increased,” says Kate.

“We have worked gradually towards Louise’s long term goals. But we have always made sure they are real and meaningful goals that will make a genuine difference to her life,” says Kate.

Brett can see that Louise is happier. “She has a new willingness to do things. She is happy to stay with me and then she is also happy to go back to what she now calls her home,” says Brett.

“These type of supports was only made possible by the NDIS and by working collaboratively with a range of service providers,” says Kate.

“I’ve had wonderful support from Windermere, especially Kate, they’ve done so much for us,” says Brett.

Louise still has her challenges, but the NDIS has broadened her horizons and changed the quality of her life.

“I’m proud of Louise, she’s doing a terrific job and coping really well,” says Brett.

Windermere is a registered service provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). To find out more talk to the team on 1300 946 337 email or go to Support Coordination Services.