News • 05 May 2022

Enjoying the perks of a library membership

Enjoying the perks of a library membership

Shane is broadening his horizons by accessing digital media and online resources at the library thanks to shared insight from his Open Minds Senior Support Worker that libraries are more than just homes for books.

Shane’s active and adventurous lifestyle changed overnight 12 years ago when a car accident left him with an Acquired Brain Injury and chronic pain. He now shares an Open Minds 24/7 Supported Independent Living (SIL) home at Sunnybank with two other tenants.

Whilst making plans to visit Australia Zoo earlier this year, a discussion about monkeys took place amongst the SIL tenants and Support Workers which offered a good reason to visit the local library to research if Australia Zoo had monkeys to visit.

Shane’s particularly cheeky persona acknowledges that his newfound skills at the library are attributed to his Open Minds Senior Support Worker, Samantha for encouraging him to ‘jump on the computer!’.

“These days Shane enjoys attending the library most weeks to use the computers to research interesting topics, borrow DVDs to watch with co-tenants on rainy days and watch various YouTube videos,” she said.

Recalling that a friend used to drag race, Shane’s research turned to watching drag races and some of the many race accidents.

“When I first started researching drag racing online, the library security guard joked that it was ‘about time I had something good to look at’ and I’ve really enjoyed watching the races online so much that I looked up when the upcoming race championships are at Willowbank, Ipswich. I’m excited to be attending an event next month,” Shane said.

Samantha said after two years of COVID restrictions, it’s particularly important for our clients to get back into the community.

“Shane thought of the library as just books but now he has been introduced to so much more and realised there is so much to tap into,” Samantha said. “It’s very easy for anyone to learn skills at the library and they also have touch screens. It helps many of our clients to see an experience via visual representation on a computer rather than just talk about what something might be like.

“A great example are the local Eat Street events; it’s difficult to describe the appeal of Eat Street but when our clients can look it up online and see what it’s all about, it’s more appealing when they see a good diversity of people that attend. These types of events are a perfect way for many of our clients to re-engage in our community," said Samantha.

Open Minds team provide community access support three hours across five days to support Shane in the community when he needs it.

Spending time with Support Workers doing activities led by Shane’s interests are just one of the many highlights of engaging the services of Open Minds.

“I really enjoyed building things from wood with one of my Support Workers, Duane”, Shane said. “We made a bird feeder for my parents and a side table for the lounge area which has been extremely useful for remotes.”

Shane is very independent and uses his mobility scooter to visit the shops to watch the latest scary movie at the cinema and regularly catches the train to his family’s property at Bahrs Scrub.

“I like to gather cans and bottles and take them to Containers for Change. I use the money I collect to buy my dad pizza which I take to him by train to his house,” he said.

Shane says he will probably switch his research at the library to planning his next holiday which he is hoping will be to check out the dinosaurs at Winton, Queensland.

Find out more about our Supported Independent Living service, or get in touch with the team at Open Minds today.