Rachel; a vibrant resident of our Supported Independent Living (SIL) units at Violet Place has sadly passed away. In honor of Rachel, this is just a part of her story.
Rachel lived independently in the community until she experienced multiple strokes in her late 20s which resulted in a lengthy hospital stay and rehabilitation. Unable to return to her former unit, a nursing home was the only care option available at the time of her discharge from hospital.
“It was hard living there. I would get to know residents then they would pass away. It was so sad, so I tried not to get too close to them.” Rachel said about living in that environment.
In 2017 Rachel had further health problems resulting in further loss of physical function. Unable to support herself, Rachel was now in a wheelchair with a paralysed right arm.
When Rachel’s Support Coordinator spoke to her about the possibility of moving out of the nursing home and into her own place, she responded “When can I pack my bags?”. Rachel was thrilled to learn that she would be moving into her very own unit which was purpose built to meet the needs of people with degenerative diseases – Violet Place.
The development of the $1.45m Violet Place is a collaborative between Disability and Community Services, Housing Tasmania and the NDIA to provide an option for younger people needing high levels of physical support who may have otherwise relied on aged care facilities. Individuals just like Rachel.
We (Multicap Tasmania) were thrilled to be selected as the preferred operator by both DHHS and the residents of this new facility, from a field of 17 tendering organisations. Rachel was the guest of honour at the official opening conducted by Roger Jaensch MP, Minister for Housing in October last year (2018).
“At the nursing home, when it came to meals, I didn’t feel I had much choice there but now, living at Violet Place, I can plan my weekly meals around what I fancy and take a support worker with me to get my groceries.”
Michelle Zagorianos, one of Rachel’s support workers said “Now, with the NDIS, it has brought about so much opportunity for younger people living in aged care. With NDIS funding they can access supported independent living, and with the right supports, they can reconnect with their community if they like.”
Working with a physiotherapist and doing exercises regularly, Rachel was determined to achieve more goals.
“I want to be able to stand and transfer to my shower chair, or transfer to one of the chairs in my room, or the couch in my lounge. Then I’d like to walk to my front door and gradually get further each time. That’s the plan,” she said.
Rachel, you will be missed.
The official opening of Violet Place
From left to right; Paul Smith, Multicap Tasmania President; Nigel Hill, Multicap Tasmania CEO; Rachel Willmot, Violet Place resident (front); The Hon. Minister Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Women, Minister for Disability Services and Community Development and The Hon. Minister Roger Jaensch, Minister for Human Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Planning