May and Marion met while shopping in the supermarket. Their roles as parents of adults living with disability quickly created a common bond and they would chat each time they saw each other.
“We kept running into each other in Aldi months apart and at one stage I thought we should get together, but I lost May’s address. Then one day I went to a carers’ group and May turned up out of the blue – it was lovely,’ Marion says.
The two are now great friends, finding that they have a lot of things in common. ‘’It feels like we’ve known each other for a long time, even though we haven’t really!’’
May’s son Charles had been in supported employment at another organisation until he started showing signs of dementia. This change meant he was now spending more time at home with May.
Marion mentioned to May that her daughter Lauren had been going to Mambourin’s Melton Community Hub and how happy they both were after transferring over from another provider.
‘’I wasn’t actually looking; I wasn’t considering Charles going to any place. But then I got such a good report from Marion about Mambourin,’’ May says.
‘’So then I met Michelle [from Mambourin], and I was able to come and see the facility and see the people here – I was quite surprised because Charles is 50, so say from 40 years ago to now things have changed dramatically.’’
Impressed with what she’d seen, May felt that Charles would benefit from the opportunities available at Melton Community Hub. ‘’You want to have a little bit of protection and support, and also independence and freedom. And now with the dementia, I feel that everything Charles can do – while he can – I want to encourage.’’
May also appreciated the support provided by Michelle and Vicki from Mambourin’s NDIS Transition Team in helping her get an NDIS plan for Charles.
‘’I’d gone out of the loop with having Charles at home and I had no idea at all, none whatsoever, and I actually felt rather bombarded with all the information. To me it was information overload.’’
Charles now has an NDIS plan that everyone is happy with – especially Charles. When asked what his favourite thing about coming to Mambourin is, Charles says, ‘’I enjoy this place, and I love both the staff and the guys – they always make me laugh!’’
Lauren had been attending Mambourin for a couple of years before the transition to the NDIS, and so Marion was more ‘’in the loop’’ than May, but she found that having the help of Mambourin’s NDIS team proved just as valuable.
‘’I was very happy to have Mambourin’s support for the [NDIS planning] meeting … luckily for me Vicki from Mambourin was very prepared. I consider myself a pretty good advocate for Lauren, but I was out of my depth. And I think we got a pretty good package for Lauren,’’ Marion says.
Lauren and Charles currently access a range of choices at the Melton Community Hub, and they have formed a good friendship too. They are both keen members of Melton’s gardening group, and Lauren also enjoys swimming and music activities.
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