Lisa grew up in the Victorian bayside suburb of Frankston with her three children. Following an incident in 2012, Lisa acquired a severe brain injury. This resulted in her having quadriplegia and bulbar dysfunction and now requires a high level of assistance for all activities of daily living.
After 7 long years of finding myself trapped in a nursing home, I had one goal in life…and that was to get out of Aged Care. When I moved in, I didn’t know what was happening to me and no one bothered to tell me…I wanted to leave and every day I felt like killing myself. I wanted to be treated like a human being. I wanted an ordinary life. Determined and motivated, I accomplished what many others in my situation desire to have for themselves.
I chose my Summer Housing apartment because of its’ close proximity to where I lived prior to my brain injury, so it felt like home. I was over the moon about moving into my apartment. After years of enduring life in Aged Care which I would describe as ‘living in hell’, I finally experienced a sense of freedom when I moved in. What I love most about where I live is the community and how nice and friendly the people are in this area. It’s one of life’s pleasures to be able to meet new people, connect and make friends. Now I have that opportunity and I can look forward to inviting them over to my place and regain my social life. In the nursing home, I didn’t have any friends, but what’s worse is there was no opportunity to make any friends. In Aged Care, I didn’t know what was happening to me and no one bothered to tell me. Living in my apartment, I now have the control to make my own plans when I want to, and where I want to.
I worry about other people in the same situation. So many people feel the way I do. I don’t just want to improve my own situation – I want to help other people. I’m a person with the same rights as everyone else to live the life I want. Those rights have been taken away from me and I want them back. I want to share with others going through what I went through, that there is an option to live independently and gain back your freedom. I want to tell them they can do it!
As previously mentioned, my one goal originally was to get out of Aged Care. Now I have achieved that goal, I’m not just able to set new goals in my life, but I can set the same goals just like everyone else…like making new friends, going out dancing, listening to Rock and Roll…oh and best of all, getting out there to barrack for my No. 1 footy team – the Carlton Blues!
Lisa, Aged 45, VIC tenant