Oliver began his journey with Bespoke Lifestyles in April 2013 shortly after he received notification of his CLI funding.
While we as a family have always encouraged Oliver to be as independent as possible, we have been amazed at how much more independent he has become since undertaking self-direction of his funding and receiving continued support and mentoring from Bespoke Lifestyles.
His first trial of independence came when we left him in the family home with a carer for 11 weeks while we travelled overseas. Oliver adapted well to the change, building a strong rapport with Vera his support worker, following a timetable and learning how to ‘face time’ us.
When we returned Oliver began his second trial of independence by moving into his own unit for 3 months. He began to enjoy “going back to his place”, learning what happens if you leave your key inside, making friends with the neighbours, planning meals, going out independently, and washing and cleaning. He had three support workers who helped him through this transition period.
Oliver returned home to help us plan our new house and his attached unit. During this time Oliver participated in many activities in the community including working, volunteering with bush care, being water boy for a local football club and performing on stage with his drama group.
Our house took a while to sell and the new house took a while to build but finally we were able to move in. Oliver loves his unit and the freedom and independence it gives him. He has friends around to watch the footy or have lunch, which he cooks himself with support. He keeps a weekly timetable on hand and diligently crosses each item off as it is done.
We have been very fortunate to have support workers who have known both Oliver and us prior to self-direction. This has made the task so much easier for us. There is usually daily contact with his support worker and meetings every month for workers to keep us “on track” with developments.