News • 03 Jul 2021

SIL roommates making holiday memories to improve health

Jeffery, aged 67 years and Ryan, aged 57 years from the Redlands Bay area recently enjoyed a short holiday at the Gold Coast thanks to detailed planning and facilitation from the Open Minds team.

Jeffery and Ryan have been Supported Independent Living (SIL) roommates for almost a year and were happy to share a holiday experience as they have common interests such as fishing and being active. 

Both Jeffery and Ryan have intellectual disabilities and Jeffery requires all his nutritional requirements and medications via a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. 

Open Minds staff provide 24/7 support at their SIL house with capacity building and prompting personal care and general household tasks, while allowing Jeffery and Ryan the privacy of living in their own home. 

Late last year, a Psychologist recommended a holiday to improve physical and mental health as well as general life satisfaction. 

Following decisions of family members and thorough holiday planning with Jeffery and Ryan, including risk assessments, Open Minds delivered a fun-filled itinerary. 

Accommodation at a central location at the Gold Coast with suitable facilities was chosen to allow the Open Minds support team to manage a regular 24/7 roster. 

Four members of the Open Minds support team joined Jeffery and Ryan’s fun holiday which included a Sea World visit, beach walks, bowling and dodgems at Timezone and mini golf. 

Khai, one of Jeffery and Ryan’s Open Minds Senior Support Workers who accompanied them on their trip, said: “I really enjoyed helping to make Jeff and Ryan’s Holiday a special one. It took a lot of planning but seeing how much Jeff and Ryan enjoyed themselves was very rewarding – it’s the best part of my job.” 

Danielle, Open Minds Support Worker that joined Jeffery and Ryan for the day at Sea World said: “I feel privileged to be part of Jeff and Ryan’s Holiday, I have been supporting both Jeff and Ryan for a long time and it was the happiest I have seen them. This experience makes what I do even more rewarding.” 

Matthew, a regular Open Minds Support Worker of Jeffery and Ryan said: “It was really nice to see them get out and have some fun, try new things and have new adventures. I enjoyed seeing how we can help support our clients to achieve their goals.” 

Since returning from the holiday both Jeffery and Ryan have been very happy and want to share their adventure with everyone they can. 

When Jeffery and Ryan were asked what they liked the most about their recent holiday, Jeffery said: “I liked walking around and going to Sea World, it was fun, I also liked the view from the hotel”, and Ryan said: “I really liked the dodgem cars and going to Sea World and seeing the animals, I want to go again.” 

Bridget, Open Minds Support Worker said: “I’ve never seen them so happy they both had a ball, it was great to be part of the holiday and to help with planning the experience, I had a lot of fun with them.” 

Both Jeffery and Ryan cannot wait to do it again, both agreeing that they would both love to stay for longer next time including a couple of days of rest before returning to normal everyday life. 

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

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