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Regaining Independence: Joel’s Story

Posted by admin on October 30, 2018



Joel was an active father of two before his life changed 12 years ago. A split-second decision to step onto the road from behind a tram saw Joel collide with a fast-moving car and flung into the air. His spinal cord was severed in the process, leaving him a paraplegic and unable to walk.

After a relatively quick rehab journey, where he was taught how to care for himself again, he returned home to a myriad of house modifications to help him get around. While Joel also got back to caring for his young daughters, he still faced challenges adjusting to his new life.

Providing support and care

With more than 60 years of experience caring for people living with a disability or personal need, Independence Australia was able to step in and help Joel and his family with much-needed in-home care services.

Being fiercely self-reliant, Joel was at first reluctant to accept any outside help. However, realising the importance of regaining and retaining his independence for both the sake of his children and himself, he welcomed the assistance of Independence Australia’s support workers. Each day, he receives care at home with a variety of tasks, including:

  • Getting out of bed
  • Bowel care
  • Dressing
  • Preparing the family’s meals
  • Light cleaning 

Independence Australia also provides Joel with a broad range of essential healthcare products, including continence and wound care, specific to his needs. By buying these essential items from the organisation and supporting our social enterprise, Joel is also ensuring that he, along with more than 1,200 of Independence Australia’s customers, continues to receive these vital daily services. 

A new career

Joel’s journey has also paved the way for another new beginning. SpinChat speakers educate students on behalf of Independence Australia about the dangers of risk-taking behaviour. Now, Joel visits secondary schools across Victoria, sharing his story in the hope of preventing spinal cord injuries.

Finding hope

Joel credits Independence Australia with helping him achieve his goals. Thanks to the support of the organisation’s specialised team of experts, tailoring his care and employing him through the SpinChat program, Joel has returned to his active life.

Find out more

If you want to learn more about how Independence Australia can provide at-home care tailored to your needs, visit our website, send us an email or call 1300 032 774. You can also have a chat to us and see what we offer at the Melbourne Disability Expo on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 November.

Register HERE to attend the Melbourne Disability Expo, organised by Social Impact Institute, advancing the social impact of organisations and increasing access to the right advice, products and services for people with disability.

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