Routine and support the keys to happiness

David loves to walk.  He loves walking around his neighbourhood; in parks around Melbourne; and he loves to explore new areas.  He loves to walk so much that he needs to purchase new shoes every six months.  You can tell he loves to walk by the smile on his face, but this hasn’t always been the case.

When David first came to OC Connections he was highly anxious and found communicating with people around him difficult. He also found it difficult to express his needs and had trouble making decisions on his own.  Because of his anxiety and disconnection from those around him David did not appear happy or content and rarely smiled, if ever.

Since being at OC Connections the Community Living team have worked hard to build a dedicated and regular support team and a structured routine.  Staff have learnt David’s likes and dislikes and how to read his body language to assist in decision-making, reducing stressful situations, while the regular routine means David knows what to expect and when, which further eases his anxiety.

Working with DHHS and the NDIS, more appropriate accommodation was located enabling David to have the security of his own home while still receiving the ongoing support from his familiar team of support staff.  This stability has seen David develop into an active member of society, where he takes part in activities at OCC, interacts with fellow participants, support workers and other members of the community.  One day a week, he also assists in delivering meals with the Meals on Wheels program.

“In the last six years, David has changed considerably” says his support worker, Greg. “His anxiety has decreased, he is settled into his home life, helping around the house with cooking and cleaning and enjoying the company of his support staff. He also gets to go out in the community often: walking, shopping and bowling each week.”

Community Living Service Co-ordinator, Erina Hamilton says that she is “so proud of David. He has come so far since he first came to OCC.”