Luke used to stay at an aged care facility following a life-changing diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. This North Lakes local turned 40 recently and for the first time in seven years, was able to celebrate his birthday in his own home, under the Specialist Disability Accommodation program.
Luke has been living with Huntington’s disease for a decade, which has taken his abilities to walk, speak and live independently. However, for the first time since moving in and out of care facilities, he was able to enjoy a different kind of birthday party in his new and more appropriate Youngcare North Lakes apartment with his family.
According to his Aunt Kaye, Luke didn’t like living in aged care, despite receiving medical attention and support.
“He wouldn’t engage in any of the activities whatsoever. He wouldn’t even go out into the dining room. The poor kid just lived in his room,” Kaye said.
The family has been trying to find Luke a more appropriate accommodation when Youngcare’s SDA program rolled out in North Lakes with the construction of the housing accommodation in 2020. The new site can take in 14 young people who may be stuck in a living arrangement that cannot fully support their physical, mental and social needs.
In early 2021, Luke became one of the first residents to move in when the facilities opened. According to Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan, about 130 residences are still set for launch within the next three years in Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast.
“While tens of thousands of young people are eligible for SDA funding, there is still a phenomenal gap in supply of appropriate accommodation,” Mr Ryan said. “We’re working hard to redefine the concept of integrated living and provide a voice that empowers change in the wider disability sector, and ensures the 12,000 young Australians with high care needs — 2,500 of whom are Queenslanders — feel at home and free to participate in their community.”
To learn more about Youngcare’s SDA, visit their official site or enquire via Youngcare Connect on 1800 844 727.