Comfort and dignity while facing one of life’s greatest challenges

Recently Gunter and Lisa enjoyed a “perfect day” out, travelling to the Dandenongs to have a meal out and enjoy the sites together.

Just a few months previously the trip would have been impossible for them given Gunter’s health, but the right NDIS supports have turned their situation around.

After becoming extremely ill last year Gunter was admitted to the hospital. After nearly passing away several times he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and liver failure. As he was no longer mobile and had intensive health care needs Gunter’s health provider assisted him to access the NDIS and discharged him to an aged care home.

Unfortunately, Gunter was desperately unhappy in the aged care setting and wanted to return home. However, as Lisa has a debilitating back injury she was unable to physically assist Gunter with the high levels of personal care and bed transitions that he now needed. 

“I can’t even bend over to empty a dishwasher so we just could not have had Gunter at home without any help,” she says. With only 20 minutes of weekly palliative care available at home, and no in-home supports available in Gunter’s NDIS plan, it seemed impossible for Gunter to return home safely.

However, this did not stop Gunter from trying. He crashed his motorised scooter several times when trying to return home and was lucky to avoid serious injury.

It was at this stage, that Gunter and Lisa contacted Windermere about NDIS support coordination services.

After getting to know Gunter and his situation, Windermere Support Coordinator Amie requested the NDIA to urgently review Gunter’s NDIS plan to include supports to enable Gunter to return home. This soon became even more critical due to Gunter’s compromised immunity when a case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in his aged care home.

While waiting for Gunter’s NDIS plan to be reviewed Amie organised for a mental health support worker to visit him once a week.

She also arranged for an Occupational Therapist to visit Gunter so he could be measured for in-home assistive equipment which would make bed transitions and personal care at home more manageable. “We were told that we would have to wait six weeks for the Occupational Therapist, but Amie was able to push things through urgently, so in the end we only needed to wait two weeks,” says Lisa.

After a two month wait, Gunter’s NDIS plan was reviewed to include supports for Gunter to return home safely and comfortably. As Gunter’s health was expected to deteriorate, the new plan also included some contingency funds to meet Gunter’s needs as they increased over time.

“Without Windermere, I would have absolutely lost it, it’s like a full-time job working with the NDIS.  Amie knows the NDIS lingo and wording and what to do to get something done with the NDIS when we need it;” says Lisa.

Gunter finally returned home in September 2020 and he and Lisa were able to enjoy spending time together.

As Melbourne was in COVID lockdown, Amie organised for a gardener to clean up Gunter and Lisa’s back yard so that they could enjoy some precious outside time. Gunter is a keen gardener and over the years has grown an orchard and built a wishing well and fishpond, so this was very important to them.

Unfortunately, shortly after Gunter’s return home, his health began to deteriorate again. His health providers recommended that he return to aged care. Eventually, Gunter was admitted to the hospital and ended up staying eight days. Amie made some urgent phone calls to organise a roster of in-home nurses and carers to ensure that Gunter could safely return home rather than to aged care, which he hated.

Gunter now receives six hours of daily nursing assistance as well as a support person to assist with going to bed. It’s this type of NDIS support that has also enabled Gunter and Lisa to still be able to enjoy their time together and have some outings when he is feeling well, like the recent day trip to the Dandenongs. “That was a perfect day. We went for a drive and it was perfect weather. We felt like we’d had a weekend away, we were so refreshed,” says Lisa.

 “Gunter’s supports are also about his quality of life, especially during the pandemic. We want things to be fulfilling and for him to enjoy community supports and time with his family. This includes things like enjoying takeaway food and attending medical appointments with a support worker or having the gardener tidy things up and make them nice;” says Amie.

Gunter and Lisa are delighted to be able to spend quality time at home with each other and say Windermere’s support coordination services have made a huge difference.

 “I was going nowhere fast until I was put in touch with Amie at Windermere. I call Amie my little pocket rocket because she is amazing. She will not stop until she gets an answer and she has always gone above and beyond for us;” says Lisa.

For more information about Windermere’s Support Coordination services visit here or call the team on team on 1300 946 337.



Posted on: 25/03/2021