We had the pleasure of speaking with the warm, sociable Carmel, who has been a Holdsworth participant since 2019.

In 2021, she turned a difficult situation into one about building her independence and connection at home and in the community.

After experiencing the first year of COVID-19 as 2020 was ending, our challenges seemed mostly behind us–until my mum had a fall one early morning at home. Everything happened so quickly; mum needed to stay in hospital for at least a few weeks. I have Cerebral Palsy so I use a walker to aid my mobility. Mum normally supports me at home when I need it, so I was adjusting while she was away. Just two days after, I had a fall at home and ended up in the same hospital. I did not have any significant injuries, but I had to stay in the hospital for observation.

It was all sudden, but Holdsworth helped me feel as comfortable as possible when I was first admitted. The staff came to visit me, brought me some of my clothes from home with some of my favourite food and kept me company while I was there.

When I was discharged, the social worker asked if I had someone to help me at home while my mum was recovering. We only had my brother who lives overseas and I didn’t want to stay in a group home respite where I wouldn’t know anybody. I wanted Holdsworth to support me at home as they knew me, my mum and my community. They knew how to best support me.

I had never really been alone at home, especially overnight. It was important for me to feel safe. Holdsworth staff supported me during the day and then slept over at night while mum was in the hospital. I got to go to my favourite spots in the area for exercise and some fresh air. I enjoyed new and fun experiences, like learning how to wash my laundry, cook, clean the kitchen and shop for groceries. This was all possible with Holdsworth’s encouragement.

My NDIS funding helped me to get support from Holdsworth while mum was away. I had used most of my funding before my plan ended by the time she returned home. At the time, mum was feeling really stressed from managing my plan by herself.

This prompted an unscheduled funding review with the NDIA, where Holdsworth helped advocate for me and prepared all the information I needed. With mum’s fall, they suggested I have funding included for a support coordinator and a plan manager so I would always have the support I needed, no matter what happened. Everything went smoothly, with Holdsworth organising the meeting and connecting me with my Local Area Coordinator.

I have amazing staff from Holdsworth that support me when I need it most, they are local, they know me, and I know them. They have been fantastic, ask me and I’ll tell you myself.

I received the funding for the supports I needed, thanks to Holdsworth’s thorough work. When it was time to choose my support coordinator, Holdsworth suggested I also consider other trusted providers. Because a support coordinator connects people to their community, I had already made my mind up. Now I work with Glenn from Holdsworth. There are so many things I want to do, like hanging out with my friends more and going on holiday, relying on mum as little as I can. Glenn is supporting me to achieve my goals. Since I want to be more independent at home too, Glenn organises local allied health professionals to build my mobility and keep active. I always know I can rely on him when I call for support.

This story showcases the value of taking time to understand a person, their needs and supporting them to live their best life at home and the community.

Do you have what it takes to contribute to changing lives like Carmel?

If you’re curious about a career at Holdsworth, contact our team today.