Rita* resides in a caravan with her daughter, Alice* who lives with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability.
Rita and Alice were forced to live in the caravan after the family home became unliveable following a landslide.
“We nearly lost our home to bushfires a couple of years ago and then the landslide happened,” says Rita.
“I was running a small business from a shed on the property, so we lost that too.
“It’s just too traumatic to go back and rebuild.”
Rita says living in a caravan with Alice, who needs full-time care, is challenging.
“Alice is in her late twenties but has a significantly reduced mental capacity for her age,” says Rita.
“It’s challenging at times, especially in the confined space of a caravan.
“My son lives about two hours away and helps when he can. He’s the only other person who understands her needs.”
Rita was referred to Carer Gateway to seek practical and emotional support.
“It can be difficult when people call and say: “how can I help you” but you don’t really know what services they offer and how they can help,” says Rita.
“But (Carer Gateway) were great from the start.”
Rita and Alice received a voucher to buy bedding.
The team also purchased an annex for the caravan and a microwave to cook meals.
“The annex has been a godsend,” says Rita.
“Having the extra space has made life a lot easier for us.
“I can’t express how grateful I am for the practical and emotional support I get from them.
“(My support worker) will often call to see how I am and ask if there’s anything she can do.
“Just to have someone who calls to check-in on how I’m doing is really helpful.”
The family are on the waiting list for permanent housing.
But for now, they have everything they need.
“Alice is comfortable here, so I’m not in a rush to relocate,” says Rita.
“To me, the Carer Gateway staff are the most wonderful, helpful people I’ve ever met.”
To find out more about Carer Gateway, visit Carer Gateway.
*This is a true story about real people. Some details such as names have been changed to respect the wishes of the people featured. The photo accompanying this story is for illustrative purposes only. It is not a photo of the people featured in this story.