“The most wonderful thing about the service Royal Rehab provides is the staff’”– son Jason.
Semko was in his early 30s and a father to two young children when he was involved in a life-changing car accident. After a long period in intensive care where he suffered a stroke, underwent surgery to remove his temporal lobe and later suffered a seizure, he was left without the ability to walk or talk.
In 2010, Semko came to live at Royal Rehab’s supported accommodation in Hilda Street, Bass Hill. He shares his home with two other residents in a 24-hour supported care arrangement.
Clinical therapy is also provided through Royal Rehab including occupational therapy and physiotherapy, to assist with his strength and functioning, and speech therapy to assist him with his eating.
According to support worker, Sue, ‘’When Semko first arrived at Hilda Street, he was very quiet and withdrawn. These days he is positive, interactive and upbeat.’’
“Dad is a real character and very social,’’ said Jason, Semko’s son. ‘’Even though he can’t talk, he communicates with his eyes and his gestures. I know Dad is very proud of my sister and I and he absolutely loves his three grandchildren. He is still the same person inside and likes the same things he always did – watching the Roosters play, V8 super cars, gardening, food and being with people.’’
Jason enjoys that it is easy for the family to visit Semko any time and have privacy to be together, however it is Royal Rehab’s staff that he says makes all the difference.
‘’The most wonderful thing about the service Royal Rehab provides is the staff. Sue, Dad’s support worker, is absolutely amazing. She is so understanding and helpful, and always lets me know what is going on with Dad and asks for my input. She treats him as a human being. Sue goes well beyond her job; she genuinely cares about Dad and that’s the big difference. You really need the right employees when it comes to disability services and they are hard to find.’’
Sue and the team help Semko with personal care, meal preparation, managing his spending money, learning how to feed himself, ensuring his attendance at his day program, providing daily massage of his hands, feet and legs and working closely with his occupational therapist and physiotherapist to make sure his exercises are being done properly.
Sue lights up as she speaks of the team. ‘’The team of support workers at Bass Hill are fantastic. We work together to provide active support for Semko and the other residents, helping them achieve their own personal goals. We all work hard to bring joy and stability to Semko’s life. While we assist with the physical side of things, and will liaise with doctors and specialists whenever necessary, we also look after his mental wellbeing – this is so important.
“He loves being outside, listening to music, gardening and entertaining his family so we make sure these things are a regular part of his life. The team and I will also take him out for a meal and to special events – we’ve seen the Roosters play, been to the V8 supercars and have even attended a Pink Floyd concert! When I go home and Semko is happy, I know in my heart I have made a difference to his life that day.’’
Semko benefits from:
- 24/7 supported accommodation
- NDIS support coordination
- Community participation
- Clinical therapies – occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy