If not for the support of Carinity Bunderra, Betty Wilson says she and her family just couldn’t get by.
Not only does Betty live with a number of physical impairments, she also cares for her dependent daughter Michelle, who is legally blind and has mental health issues, and her grandson Hayden, who lives with high functioning autism.
Carinity Bunderra has been a second home for Michelle for 20 years – half her lifetime – while Hayden has blossomed since he first started receiving support there three years ago.
“With Hayden’s autism, he can get worked up and have a sense of uneasiness. Michelle also has good days and bad days. It can be taxing,” Betty said.
The disability support service in Boonah provides personalised care, support and respite when people most need it.
“Kylie, my support worker, takes me out to get me away of a Wednesday. We do some shopping and she makes sure I’m safe. I can talk to her and relax and have that break away from home,” Betty said.
As well as taking Betty out and about in her community, Carinity Bunderra carers arrange in-home cleaning and personal support and help her family to access National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding. They are also organising home care support for her.
“Bunderra provides great support with NDIS, social outings, appointments and social interactions. They will go above and beyond. It’s never too much bother,” Betty said.
Co-located with the Carinity Fassifern Community Centre, Bunderra offers a supportive and social community where people can build life-long friendships, confidence and learn new skills.
Carinity Bunderra team member, Kathy Van Der Meulen, enjoys supporting around 70 people living with disability, from primary school students to people in their 70s, and “seeing them grow in different ways”.
“For a lot of people that come to Bunderra, joining in with the other participants is their only social outlet. It’s a home away from home for them,” said Kathy.
Since visiting Carinity Bunderra, Michelle has become more independent while Hayden, who has difficulty engaging with others, is more outgoing and socially active.
“For over three years Hayden’s had his learner’s permit for driving but we couldn’t get him into the car, no matter what we tried,” Betty explained.
“Within two weeks his carer got him motivated and had him booked in at the PCYC Braking the Cycle driving service.”
“There’s more people in the district that are using Carinity than you realise – and there is more who do need it who aren’t asking,” Betty said.
“Ask for help because it’s there.”