Like most eighteen-year-olds stepping into adulthood, Advik* is ready to take on the world.
Each day, he is growing in confidence, and becoming more independent and articulate. He is following his passion for art by embarking on a graphic design course at university. And he’s achieving all this while living with muscular dystrophy, thanks to the support network around him.
It has been a long journey for Advik and his family. A year ago, he was a shy teenager who lacked confidence and didn’t engage easily with other people. Although he had been on an NDIS plan since he was twelve years old, it only covered different types of therapy – not personal support. The task of caring for his daily needs fell to his parents, which became difficult once his mother Rima* had a baby.
“I used to look after him myself, I’d give him all his care, but this wasn’t ideal as he was growing and turning eighteen,” said Rima.
“That’s why I contacted HomeCaring and told them I needed help. I needed someone to provide personal care for my son.”
In June last year, Sharmila Bastakoti from HomeCaring Liverpool visited Advik and his family. After spending time with them and learning what type of care Advik wanted, she matched him with Sesh: a friendly and gentle male carer.
Sesh worked on building a good relationship with Advik. Along with looking after his personal needs and doing OT exercises with him, Sesh takes Advik where he’d like to go, such as to the shops before Mother’s Day so he could surprise Rima with a present.
“HomeCaring has been really great for me. I used to be a pretty shy person before, but with the help of Sesh, I was able to gain a greater sense of confidence,” says Advik.
“It has also given me more of a sense of independence. Before HomeCaring I would spend most of my time at home, not going out. But thanks to HomeCaring I am able to go out on outings more often. This has been really good for my independence, as it has made me feel more confident in my ability to embark into the greater world.”
Rima agrees, adding that she has noticed a positive change in her son over the last year.
“He is happy and feels very safe with his carer. I can see a lot of improvement in him,” she says. “Conversation-wise, he is better now. He can explain himself better; he is talking well. Before doing his exercises he wasn’t able to explain himself, so I had to talk for him if we went out, but now he can do this by himself.”
Rima also appreciates the way Sharmila aims to provide flexible care, and is always available for a chat if any issues arise. “If Advik wants to go somewhere or needs anything, Sharmila will get back to me. I’m feeling much more relieved and relaxed now,” says Rima.
According to Sharmila, being available to solve problems and listen is pivotal to HomeCaring’s philosophy of care. “We don’t count clients as numbers, we consider them as an individuals. Every care plan is individually tailored to meet their needs,” she says.
“With Advik, we make an effort understand what he needs, then follow up with him and ask him for feedback. Recently he had surgery for his leg; we were there to support them and lend a hand.”
While there are sure to be challenges along the way, the future is looking bright for Advik. With a talent for drawing (see pictures), he scored well in the HSC and is starting a graphic design degree at the University of Technology this year. He’s looking forward to experiencing more of the world around him and working towards his goals.
“I have a lot to thank HomeCaring for; they have made such a large impact on my day to day life, that I don’t really have any words to tell you just how much they have helped me.”
*not their real names