By: Shannon Robeck, Customer Service Support, NDIS PROPERTY AUSTRALIA
March is cerebral palsy awareness month, and I thought that there was no better way to share this news with you than to talk about my little brother, J, and how we’d spend a day together in his brand-new SDA home (just as an imagined scenario). But first…
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects movement, posture and coordination. It is caused by damage to the brain either during pregnancy, childbirth or in early childhood. Cerebral palsy can affect one or more parts of the body, and each case of cerebral palsy is completely different in how it presents itself in a person. Some people with cerebral palsy are able to walk either with or without the assistance of a walker, while others need a wheelchair to be able to get by.
In Australia, it is estimated that around 30,000 people have cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is not progressive, which means that it does not get worse over time. And through the assistance of specialists and medical procedures, for example, the symptoms may change as a person grows older.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy at this time, but there are treatments available that can help improve a person’s quality of life. These treatments include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and medication. All treatments can be accessed through their NDIS plan.
What Specialty Disability Accommodation Is Best Suited for a NDIS Participant with Cerebral Palsy?
SDA homes are specially designed to meet the needs and wants of people with cerebral palsy. They have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and kitchens, as well as ramps and hoists to make it easier for people to get around.
Last week, NDIS Property Australia welcomed a guest speaker from Inclusive Living to talk about their assistive technology products that would be a welcomed addition to any SDA home that you choose to invest in. For a person diagnosed with cerebral palsy, some of Inclusive Living’s products such as the adjustable bench tops or the adjustable wardrobe railings would definitely improve their lives at home. It will allow them to participate in activities such as cooking or getting dressed with much more ease and independence and less discomfort and struggle. For further information about Inclusive Living, please tune into our podcast episode.
The type of SDA category that we would recommend for a person with cerebral palsy is either Improved Livability (IL) or Fully Accessible (FA), and you can learn more about both by calling us on 1300 254 397.
Why Is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month So Important?
In Australia, March is recognised as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. This observance is important because it shines a light on a condition that affects millions of people around the world.
- It raises awareness about a little-known condition:
Despite affecting millions of people, cerebral palsy is a condition that many people are not aware of. Raising awareness during March can help to change that.
- It helps to connect people with resources and support:
There are many resources and support available for people living with cerebral palsy and their families. Raising awareness can help connect people with these valuable resources.
- It spreads information about the latest research and treatments:
Cerebral palsy is a complex condition, and researchers are constantly working to develop new treatments and improve on the existing ones. Spreading awareness can help ensure that people with the condition have access to the latest information about treatments and research.
- It helps to break down barriers and stigma:
Cerebral palsy can be an isolating condition, but raising awareness can help to break down the barriers that people with the condition face. It can also help to reduce the stigma surrounding cerebral palsy and other disabilities that we aim to help through providing you with the chance to invest into one of our NDIS investment properties.
- It shows support for people living with cerebral palsy:
Cerebral palsy awareness month is a time to show support for the millions of people around the world living with the condition. By raising awareness, we can let them know that they are not alone in their journey.
A Day With J
Disclaimer: The following situation is just a hypothetical scenario based on the information that I’ve learned here at NDIS Property Australia.
It’s a Saturday morning! Bright (and hopefully) bushy tailed, I’ll find myself at the front of the SDA home that’s been chosen with thought and care for my little brother. I’m greeted by the onsite, live-in carer who follows after my little brother, his hands quickly moving over the wheels of his wheelchair as he comes flying down the large hallway that is designed for him to move easily through.
The front door, like the hallway, has been designed by specific measurements to make sure that J’s wheelchair is able to move in and out with no problems. We make our way along the footpath and towards the bus stop where we’ll spend some time at the local shops. Like most SDAs (except for the robust designed SDAs), the location that we choose for our homes is in communities where NDIS participants are able to enjoy the same leisures that an abled person does, like going to the local shopping centre or enjoying a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe. As my little brother already has too much energy as it is, it’s probably best for us to avoid going to the cafe for a coffee.
Instead, as I know that he absolutely loves bowling, we’ll spend the day at the arcade and maybe go and watch a movie if there’s anything showing that interests him. After that, we’ll make our way to the food court where he’ll excitedly call out ‘chips!’ even though, as we reach the cue for McDonald’s, I know that he’d much rather the chicken nuggets than the chips.
Something that I constantly need to keep in the front of my mind whenever I take J anywhere is whether or not they’ll have the facilities that he needs for me to be able to assist him with going to the toilet. As a lot of the places that we visit don’t have the facilities, and a baby change table is constantly getting smaller and smaller for J to comfortably rest on, it’s definitely an added bonus that a lot of the SDA home packages that we offer to investors are in areas where the local shops can be in close walking distance. So, we’ll quickly make our way back to J’s home before there are any mishaps where we’ll both be greeted by his personal carer who’s able to take care of his needs.
And as we make our way back inside his home, a place that will look and feel like the home of the people that live there rather than a hospital building, I’ll be given the opportunity to stay for a bit longer, maybe even sleepover for the night if the guest room is not in use, but that will be what a day with J may look like for us when he’s found his own SDA.