Steve, aged 62 from Bundaberg, received a huge shock three years ago when he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. The team at Open Minds have been with him ever since to provide quality support.
Lewy Body Dementia is a very rare and aggressive disease that leads to a decline in independent function.
It is very progressive and attacks the brain and immune system, and steadily causes individuals to lose memory and body function.
Steve was living with his wife when he was diagnosed, and regularly spent time with his adult children and grandchildren.
Within just a matter of months, Steve and his wife had to sell their business and move Steve into an Open Minds Supported Independent Living (SIL) home as he required around-the-clock support.
Steve’s wife of 37 years, Callie, said it’s been a challenging few years, but it’s pleasing that Steve is surrounded by a team of professionals who genuinely care about him.
“It’s a great team from Open Minds who do an excellent job caring for Steve in many different areas of support every day.
“They go above and beyond preparing and cooking delicious meals and desserts for Steve and taking the time to interact with him and make him happy. I could not ask for more from these fantastic people,” Callie said.
The team at Open Minds recently supported Steve to move into his new and improved SIL home, where he no longer has to share with a co-tenant.
The improved liveability Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) home has wider doorways to cater for his wheelchair, and reinforced ceilings to allow for ceiling hoists when required.
The new home is also closer to Callie and his children, so he can enjoy extra visits from his family.
Josh is Steve’s main Open Minds Support Worker, who works with him full time Monday to Friday, and the pair have a great connection.
Josh said, “Steve was really excited moving into his new home, he couldn’t stop smiling when he first walked in!
“Steve and I have a good laugh together – I love telling him a joke and watching him laugh his head off. It’s been difficult watching the changes in him over the last few years we’ve been working together. But at the same time, it’s enjoyable seeing all the little accomplishments he experiences day to day. The little things that most people take for granted, like doing things independently around the house.
“I think it’s great working at Open Minds because I have the freedom to help my clients in the best way I can and make a difference to their lives,” said Josh.
Steve’s goals under the NDIS are to build independence wherever possible, community access, and to keep in close contact with his family.
Steve is still passionate about motorbikes as he used to ride one right up until his diagnosis.
Some of the Open Minds Support Workers therefore bring their bikes in so that they can sit with Steve in the garage together and tinker with the bikes.
Steve also enjoys watching car racing as he used to race in his younger years.
Find out more about Open Minds Supported Independent Living services here.