“Royal Rehab has been absolutely marvelous with Ricky! He loves to be independent and feel in charge, especially at home, and the staff respect and encourage this.”– Father Ken.
Ricky is 38 years old and has a mild intellectual disability. He lives in one of Royal Rehab’s supported living properties in Bass Hill where he receives in-house support for his personal care, medical needs, behaviour management and overnight needs. Supports are also provided for daily activities including transport, meal time management, and access to the community, such as going for a walk or visiting the local shopping centre.
Ricky came to live with Ken and his wife Rhonda when he was just 18 months old. Ken says he became part of the family straight away.
Here is their story.
Ricky first came to us from Department of Community Services (DOCS) through the foster care system. My four biological children, who were around primary school age at the time, always accepted him as their little brother.
Royal Rehab has been absolutely marvellous with Ricky. He had been living with me when the offer came up for him to live at Adeline Street. He needs a lot of extra support and I’m not getting any younger – we knew he would have to move out eventually.
Ricky was reticent to go at first, but Royal Rehab never rushed him into taking the spot. They let him take his time, so he just went one hour a week at first, then a few hours a week, then a few hours several times a week and so on, until he decided he wanted to stay permanently.
Living at Adeline Street has made Ricky so happy; I haven’t got a worry in the world. The support team encourage the residents to learn new skills and foster their independence, stepping in to help whenever needed. They tailor their support to each person, depending on their needs, skills and what they like to do.
Ricky loves to be independent and feel in charge, especially at home, and the staff respect and encourage this. He looks after his own personal care, makes and packs his own lunches and uses most of the kitchen appliances under supervision. He also helps out a lot around the house, including preparing meals and cleaning up, sweeping the pergola, taking out the rubbish, putting together the shopping list and other household chores. I think he quite enjoys having these duties – he was always helpful like that when he lived with me too!
When out and about in the community, Ricky is less capable so this is where his support workers help him the most. Through the NDIS, Ricky has access to a daytime program during the weekdays where he does a range of activities such as bowling, gardening and music. He also attends a social program on Friday and Saturday evenings. His support workers will help him keep track of the activities in his diary and ensure he is ready to attend each day.
I have a wonderful bond with Ricky and visit him several times a week. It is the same as the bond I have with my biological children; his disability and the fact that he is adopted changes nothing for me. My four biological children are also very close to Ricky – even the nieces and nephews regularly phone him and have him over. I feel very lucky to have such a caring family.
In fact, I believe that adopting Ricky has made all of us better people – especially my two girls. The kids have lived experience of what can happen to people. They certainly helped to make it possible for Rhonda and I to do what we did. We ended up fostering 150 children and we adopted four of them, including two kids with special needs. I have no regrets at all – I’ve had a wonderful life.
Ricky benefits from:
- 24/7 supported accommodation
- Community participation