Yes it was a big leap of faith, but over the past two years the NDIS has been nothing short of life changing for 19-year old Jacinta and her family. We spoke to Jacinta’s mum Kylie.
Jacinta lives with physical and intellectual disabilities after suffering from meningitis at nine months old. She joined the NDIS just as she was about to leave school and was afraid of what the future would hold.
Her mum, Kylie said the family was struggling and afraid that Jacinta would be isolated at home until they were contacted by the NDIA about participating in Tasmania’s NDIS trial site.
“I was pretty much at breaking point before the NDIS,” Kylie said.
“We’d never ever had any of the help we needed, other than the supports that were organised by the school.
“We were on waiting lists for forever and a day, and basically they told me that unless I said I was mentally unwell or abandoned Jacinta there was nothing I could do.
“I have no doubt we’d still be on that waiting list now if it wasn’t for the NDIS.”
Through the NDIS Jacinta has found new support workers who come to her home.
She attends day placement with friends. It’s also allowed her to attend swimming. The family is no longer out of pocket with basic necessities, they can access care that suits their work hours, and they’ve been able to repair Jacinta’s chair hoist system without fuss.
Under the NDIS she’s been able to hang out with people her own age, and have carers that can give her one on one support with things like eating.
Most importantly, Jacinta is happier than she’s ever been.
“She was so daunted by the idea of finishing school, meeting new people, and carers. Her life has changed but for a lot, lot better and she has her own life now too, she’s not so reliant on me and the family.”
Kylie says as Jacinta’s mother and carer she worked with the planner to create Jacinta’s NDIS plan because the process was beyond Jacinta’s current abilities.
However through the NDIS Jacinta has chosen her support workers and her day placement – and has been able to change centres at her own request.
Kylie said choosing support workers can be daunting. She relied on word of mouth and a list of providers on the NDIA website and ultimately interviews at the family’s home.
The NDIS has allowed Jacinta and her family to chose all the supports she needs – from Occupational therapy to in home care – and taken care of paying the bills.
“Like everyone we’re quite particular about who cares for Jacinta and having people in our home. You need to be confident they’re doing the right job when you’re not there,” Kylie says.
“It was terrifying at first because we’d never got any help at all before, but I can honestly say it’s the best decision the government has ever made. For Jacinta and for our family it’s been an absolute saviour.”