The My Pathway group of services is the ‘front door’ to Achieve Australia. 

Members of the My Pathway team support people with disability, families and guardians from their first contact with our organisation, through the journey of exploring how we can work together – then assist in identifying and connecting to the services required.

Everyone My Pathway supports is important. However, some situations require the team to go above and beyond its usual scope of work and persistence. 

This is the story of two people in such situations.  

BOB

Bob has mild intellectual disability and schizophrenia. He spent six years in a locked hospital ward for patients with mental illness.

A behaviour support specialist from Achieve, Lauren McAuliffe (who has since transferred to My Pathway) had worked one-on-one with Bob for the past three years. She regularly visited him in hospital and was aware of his difficult situation. 

Achieve’s opportunity to provide better support for Bob came with the transfer of a new, purpose-built community home from the NSW Government to our organisation.  

Thanks to her history with Bob, Lauren was the ideal person to take the lead on planning his transfer from the hospital to the more welcoming environment of the new home.

Again, a cross-functional team of Achieve experts worked with Lauren, the hospital and the NDIS to secure funding, ensure continuity of medical care, and enable a safe and seamless move to Bob’s new home.

Bob continues to receive medication and other forms of support for his schizophrenia but is now in an environment that encourages him to grow and flourish.

He has a room of his own, personalised to reflect his own tastes and interests. Rather than being locked away, he has access to the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea whenever he wishes. He is also able to participate in Achieve’s Day Programs – providing opportunities to socialise, explore new interests, and participate more fully in the community. 

After six years in a locked ward, Bob now has more freedom to be himself – while enjoying the safety and support of a real home.  

JOHN

John was a designer in his 30’s when he sustained an acquired brain injury from medical complications following routine surgery. As a result, John had mobility issues, required feeding via a tube inserted into his stomach, lost the ability to communicate clearly and dramatically changed in personality – including refusing personal care due to a variety of phobias.

Following post-operative treatment and physical rehabilitation, John and his wife relocated to Sydney. John ended up in a Sydney hospital – a temporary solution that did not enable him to make progress in re-establishing some quality of life.

Due to a combination of challenging behaviours, medical requirements and accessibility issues, John and his wife found it difficult to obtain suitable services and supports.

At the end of 2017, John’s Service Coordinator brought his situation to the attention of Achieve Australia. At the time, we did not have a vacancy in a community home suitable for someone with such complex medical needs.

However, early in 2018 the NSW Government transferred to Achieve a newly-built house designed specifically for people with complex needs.

Knowing we now had the capacity to provide John with the support he needed, a cross-functional team of Achieve experts was formed to plan and manage his transfer out of hospital.

The team brought together the planning skills and NDIS know-how of My Pathway, the medical background of our Clinical Team, and many others behind the scenes including Operations, Finance, Property, Administration and Fundraising.

The Fundraising team became involved to identify a corporate sponsor who would provide electronic equipment required for John’s new room.

John is now living in his new home with 24/7 support. A spare room is kept available so his wife can visit and stay over any time.

Since moving, John’s quality of life has steadily improved. He has made great progress on overcoming his phobias and is enjoying a marked improvement in his overall wellbeing.

John’s mobility is also slowly improving. Although he continues to face many challenges, John now enjoys quality of life and has opportunities that were not possible in hospital.

Copyright © 2018 Achieve Australia

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