‘This is new for me; it makes me
feel proud of what I can do’.
Rhonda has been part of the Karakan community since 2008.
I live in my own house in a community unit. It’s a nice place to live, I have friends here, and its relaxed. Sometimes we meet in the shared garden to catch up. It is great having a place of your own, I can have people over and live the way that I like to, my neighbour comes over most days to catch up.
Karakan has been helping me with daily tasks for a while now, but since getting more funding with the NDIS I have been able to do more. I definitely get out and about more, which I really like doing, I walk my dog Paige to the local park with my Support Worker Ben and go to the local pool for swimming lessons.
I have also been able to plan trips to go and see my family, I have three children and grandkids too, so going to see them is important to me. Ben has helped me plan my days out with my family, thinking about how I will get there and how long it will take. I have also started taking regular trips to the market, I have social anxiety and originally the thought of doing this was just too much for me. But the staff at Karakan were so supportive and we worked on how we would approach it so that it worked for me. It is now something I really look forward to and I didn’t think I would ever say that. This is new for me; it makes me feel proud of what I can do.
I have also been working on getting better at reading and writing, this is something that I have always wanted to learn, but my support time has not been enough to be able to focus on it. It gives me confidence when things which were hard before are now just that little bit easier.
I have two things that I really enjoy and that’s being with my dog Paige and cooking. Cooking has always been difficult for me as I got a hand injury when I was younger, and I can’t hold anything in my right hand, but now with help from Karakan and through my funding I am getting a new tool which will allow me to use my hand to cut and prepare things. It means I can start to do things on my own, which is really important to me, just to be able to do something when I want to rather than wait for someone else. I am looking forward to making my first cake on my own.
Paige comes everywhere with me, she even sleeps with me, it just makes me feel safe. I have always loved animals, so being given Paige as a birthday present by my family was just so special. I am hoping to be able to take her to dog training classes. I have done really well already and taught her to sit and high five, but it would make me feel so much better if I knew she would come back when I called her.
I am really looking forward to the future, the NDIS funding I get now has helped me get support for more things that I enjoy doing. Karakan helped me understand what was happening at the beginning, which meant I wasn’t worrying so much about the changes. And now they are supporting me with what I want to do, whether I need someone to chat to that day or I want to go out, or try new things like swimming. I feel more in control.
What’s next for me
Well baking that cake on my own for a start and also I am planning either a short holiday or a day trip somewhere nice. But I can’t quite decide whether I want to go to the beach or the bush, either will be an adventure and so exciting.