Overcoming Challenges and Celebrating Success

Mater at Home

When it comes to choosing care providers in your community, it’s important to understand all of the different services available to you. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, nor are two people with similar conditions going to require the same kind of support to achieve their goals. The team at Mater at Home understands this and is invested in providing care that’s right for you.

Recently our team was contacted by Sally*, a young woman who had received an NDIS package of $2000. A loving wife to James*, Sally enjoyed good food and relished her time socialising with family and friends. She had also been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS Australia (2019) describes MS as a condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. There is currently no known cure for MS; however, there are several treatment options available to help manage symptoms and slow the progression. 

When we met Sally, she was unable to move from her bed without assistance. This meant that she would often get pressure sores. She was experiencing difficulty eating and subsequently lost a significant amount of weight. Sally was also noticing that sometimes she had trouble speaking clearly. Her once social and healthy lifestyle was gradually becoming unachievable as her condition worsened. 

Sally and her family quickly realised that her original NDIS package hadn’t come close to meeting her support needs. As a result, they decided to make contact with a new support coordinator and were then referred to the Mater at Home team.

Sally and James were eager to find better support to improve Sally’s quality of life and, together, her new support coordinator and our occupational therapist were able to organise a plan change to include additional funding to support her at home. 

Sally’s new plan included an assessment of her home environment and the prescription of a variety of home modification equipment, including; wheelchairs, beds, hoists and shower chairs. The Mater at Home team’s clinical expertise and knowledge of local suppliers and services meant that this change could be implemented quite quickly.

Sally and James were seeing great progress in her care and valued her time at home. For someone who had previously been in and out of hospital with her MS, it was fantastic to see Sally flourishing in her home environment and experiencing a much better quality of life.

After some time, when Sally and James met with their support coordinator to reassess how she was going, her home care plan was reviewed and, together, they determined that Sally needed more therapy hours. So once again James looked to Mater at Home to access these additional services.

We were able to support Sally and her family with dietetics and speech pathology services, to improve her ability to safely swallow food and maintain nutrition. A specialised occupational therapist was able to assist with home care set-up to cater to changes in functional ability, and our social worker was also able to link Sally in with other community support services and assist the family in adjusting to changing life circumstances.

Today, Sally can sit up and get out of bed and has regained weight due to her improved ability to manage a variety of foods. She can achieve more tasks independently under the guidance of our therapy team, who visits her every week.

Sally is especially delighted with achieving her goal of being able to go outside in her power wheelchair (which has been modified for her regained movement) and access her local park. This means that Sally is back to being social with her friends again when previously she was restricted to her bed. Today, Sally’s package is valued at more than $200 000, to support her to start living a healthier, more engaged life.

Stories like Sally’s are what we value most about being involved with the care of our community.

Mater at Home provides personalised, community-based allied health and nursing services for adults and children in and around Brisbane, and has been doing so for 25 years. If you are interested in our services or are looking for therapies to suit your needs, please come and visit our team at the Brisbane Disability Expo, stand G2.

*Names have been changed.