In 2016 Peter’s life fell apart when he was injured in a workplace accident. The 38 year old father of two was moving goods on the back of a truck when he was knocked off by a forklift.
The injury was devastating, resulting in quadriplegia which required a long stint in hospital.
The stresses of the injury also took a toll on Peter’s marriage which broke down shortly after. With no other option but to live in a care facility with elderly people, the formerly friendly and bubbly Peter became depressed and reclused.
“I was facing a lot of hurdles since the accident – the injury, loss of work, marriage breakdown – and I needed to be around positive people, not negative. For a person my age, psychologically it wasn’t good for me.”
To make matters worse, Peter’s kids found the care facility too confronting and rarely visited.
A chance conversation made Peter aware that new opportunities were available to accommodate people with High Physical Support needs. “It was the first time I’d ever heard of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). I did a bit of research and thought I might as well apply.”
With the help of a Support Co-ordinator, Peter applied for SDA funding through the NDIS and eventually was approved.
In July 2019 Peter moved in to his very own, brand new, sunny, three bedroom apartment, fitted out with state-of-the-art assistive technology and features such as wide doorways, a bed hoist and adjustable benchtops. The best thing about Peter’s new home is reconnecting with his kids.
“The reason I wanted this place was so my kids could stay over. They have their own bedroom and love it here, and I have my family back.”
The lead up to Christmas is also vastly different to last year, with Peter being able to have a tree and host his family on Christmas day. “I’ve got the option now to have my mum and kids over for Christmas, there are a lot of possibilities.” Maybe the best gift you can give yourself or a loved one this Christmas is the gift of independent living.