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Youngcare At Home Care Grants open new doors

By  AAMI

Something so simple that we all take for granted – opening the front door into our homes – became near impossible for SA grant recipient, Cheralyn Smith.

Like any person in their 30s, Cheralyn values her independence greatly. Working three days a week, spending time with her partner and taking her dog Casper out for walks are just some of the things that occupy her time. But Cheralyn has Cerebral Palsy Spastic Quadriplegia and when opening her front door began to cause pain and long-lasting injuries, her independence began to diminish rapidly.

Opportunity knocks

“The door was so heavy – I’ve had to have physio on my arm and my shoulder because of it. If my Mum was out, or away, I would have to get a carer or my partner to physically come over just to open the door for me,” Cheralyn explained.

This restricted Cheralyn’s ability to leave the house whenever she pleased, and posed a huge risk to her safety. It was not realistic for Cheralyn to remain inside all day until her carer arrived, her mother or partner returned home from work.

When Cheralyn’s friend told her about Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants, she wasted no time applying for an automatic door opener.

“I applied for the grant to get some independence in my own home. It gives me a lot more freedom and Mum doesn’t have to be home anymore, and if my partner is not with me then I can get in and out.”

A new automatic door – just $2,200 – was all it took to give Cheralyn the freedom and independence that she needed. She now has the choice to go out and about whenever she likes and has the security of feeling safe in her own home.

Moving forward together

To celebrate the partnership and raise awareness of Youngcare’s AT Home Care Grants program, AAMI held a sponsorship event on 21 October 2017 at Morphettville’s Caulfield Cup Day.

The program aims to keep young people at home with their families, avoiding the need for them to enter aged care facilities. Youngcare is an organisation committed to helping young people with high-care needs live life with choice, independence and dignity.

AAMI donated $100,000 towards the grants program, which opened up for applications on 1 November.

Youngcare’s CEO Anthony Ryan said that in South Australia alone there are over 32,000 young people with high care needs eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and currently restricted in their ability to live the lives they deserve.

“The issues faced by these young people, their families and carers are broad and complex, and with the NDIS still a number of months off, these grants are important for people in the community who are in desperate need of assistance,” Mr Ryan said.

“We already know of more than 1,900 people in South Australia who have reported a need for supported accommodation. There is an urgent need for this essential funding.”

Foundation partners

Suncorp are foundation partners of Youngcare, and also supported Sydney's Youngcare Long Lunch, hosted by Channel 9’s Sylvia Jeffreys, Youngcare's Ambassador. The generous lunch guests raised $40,000.

Allicia Smith, Executive Manager SA CTP commented on the importance of the continued support for Youngcare.

“Our ongoing partnership with Youngcare continues to cement our commitment to the community as Youngcare seek to establish appropriate care facilities for young people with major disabilities requiring high care needs and assistance for their careers and families”.

South Australian Minister of Disabilities, the Honourable Katrine Hildyard showed her support by attending the race day and acknowledged the positive outcomes from AAMI and Youngcare working together for the South Australian community.

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