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At least I’m not closed up in my room, any more!

“At least I’m not closed up in my room any more”, this statement from Joe Mahu is a simple one that speaks volumes for the need and benefit of

Supported Living.

Joe has spina bifida and problems with his only remaining kidney failing, for which it is believed there is no option of a transplant being available. Quite a gloomy outlook for Joe just over 18 months ago. Today the story is a little different. Joe lives in his own two bedroom unit, goes out shopping and goes out just for a nice walk at times. As Joe says, “I never used to do these things prior to Supported Living, it’s just like living in general”.

As with all the Supported Living clients of the Renaissance Group, Joe went through the process of meeting with a Supported Living Coordinator. At this meeting a plan was written and Joe set his goals and ambitions into place within this important document. The Coordinator then held a meeting with the Supported Living Facilitator and Joe to devise a series of tasks that would help Joe achieve his goals of Independent Living.

So what difference has working with his Supported Living Facilitator made to Joe’s life?, “It certainly has got me out more, I just used to stay in the house, now I’ve moved into my own unit, I can do things when I want too and it feels pretty good!“

Not only does Joe live independently, he is also an active participant in the sporting arena, playing wheelchair basketball. This satisfies his need for physical activity but to satisfy his need for knowledge he is currently taking a computer course two days a week.

Not bad at all for a person who, before receiving the support and encouragement of the Supported Living Team from the Renaissance Group, would sit in his house doing very little. As Joe says when asked what it was like prior to receiving support, “I don’t want to think about that back then.”

The last word from Joe, “If the Renaissance Groups Supported Living Facilitators weren’t around it would be awful, I would probably be back in my room!”