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How we celebrated IDPwD across the country

Nextt came together to celebrate International Day of People with Disability across the nation.

Nextt came together to celebrate International Day of People with Disability across the nation. There were a range of events held in our offices and SIL houses, including our QLD Eight Mile Plains office morning tea event with some of their wonderful clients and Support Workers. 

Check out the photos below to see what we all got up to on this important day.

Chippendale Sydney

Our NSW Chippendale office hosted a morning tea with a special guest speaker, our client Sandra. Sandra shared her story and completely inspired our team!

Carlingford Sydney

In Carlingford our SIL team and clients celebrated with a morning tea dressed in their best orange and blue. 

 

Broadmeadow, Newcastle

Pictured here are Emma Bradshaw, our client Gabrielle, and Casey Birch celebrating with a morning tea at our Supported Independent Living Home at Broadmeadow NSW.

Belfield Sydney

To celebrate International Day of People with Disability we held a special breakfast celebration at one of supported accommodation homes in Belfield. Pictured here left to right (back row) Accommodation Manager Ali Delgado, Darrel, House Leader Keith Crowley-Mills, (front row) Va, Support worker Noah and Rachel.

Baulkham Hills

Our Baulkham Hills office celebrated the day with a few special guests, our client Carol and her sister Joanne. Carol shared her journey with the team. She is such a strong, positive, and wonderful soul!

Adelaide

Our plans for Brunch in the Park in Adelaide to support International Day of People with Disability were cancelled due to COVID – but we are looking forward to rescheduling to early next year. Here is just a taste (get it), of what’s in store with some cookies we had ordered to help celebrate the event.

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This year’s Nextt Christmas Cards

We’re very excited to show the artwork for this year’s Nextt Christmas card.

The artwork on this card was designed by Laurie, one of our amazing clients.  For the last three years, Laurie has been using painting as a medium to help her heal and cope with mental health challenges.

Art has always been a part of Laurie’s life to some degree, and it has become a major part of her recovery journey.  Since putting brush to canvas, Laurie’s life has become much more positive.  It has reignited her passion and she’s loving every minute of it. 

Laurie has a Facebook page called “Art by Laurie” where she showcases her original artworks.

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Official opening of Oak Tree, Mount Colah

Official opening of Oak Tree, Mount Colah

Nextt was thrilled to be involved in the recent launch of Oak Tree – new specialist disability accommodation housing available through Good Housing.

 

Located at Mount Colah in the Bushland Shire of Hornsby, Oak Tree is close to local shops (including a short trip to Hornsby Westfield), work, buses, train, hospitals, TAFE and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (including local ovals/parks). Mt Colah is positioned perfectly between the Central Coast (34 mins) and Sydney’s CBD (40 mins).

 

The home includes separate living quarters with assistive and smart technology, adopting healthy building standards with large private bedrooms including ensuites.  It boasts a great outdoor area and backyard space.

 

Nextt will provide SIL support at Oak Tree and is available to provide assistance with core if requested.

 

Pictured here from left to right:  Angela Mellors, Business Development Manager from Nextt, Good Housing co-founders Sam Graiche and Antony Anisse, Lily Nehme,  Tenant Empowerment Manager at Good Housing, Vanessa Lui, Regional Service Delivery Manager from Nextt and the Hon. Matt Kean MP, Member for Hornsby and Minister for the Environment.

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Nextt supports Scott to get more out of life

Nextt supports Scott to get more out of life

Scott transitioned to Nextt from Sorento Care in January 2017, where he was supported in one of our disability accommodation units.

Due to his disability, he was not able to able to navigate the NDIS and had minimal funding.  As a result, he was not receiving the allied health and medical support he needed.

Nextt supported Scott to apply for initial NDIA funding in June 2019. Unfortunately, the initial support budget he received did not include funding for Support Coordination – which Scott desperately needed to connect him with much needed services and ensure he had choice and control in his life.  A review was completed, and Scott received additional funds for Support Coordination in his new NDIS plan as well as funding for in-home supports. 

With the assistance of Lucia Imbrogno from Nextt Service Delivery and Eddy Roger, Nextt Support Coordinator, Scott was put in contact with an Allied Health team.  Eddy introduced Scott to both a Psychologist and Occupational Therapist.  Eddy also assisted him to get a state tribunal order through SACAT so he would have a Guardianship order in place to be supported in all his life decisions.

 In October 2020, Eddy worked with Scott to find a suitable home with daily supports.

 Scott has made his home a home with his toys and much-loved Power Ranger Morphers.

 His next step is to transition into Supported Independent Living, to make sure all his needs are being met, and that he gets more out of life.

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Nextt joins Trustpilot

Nextt joins Trustpilot

Nextt has recently joined Trustpilot, an online review platform that allows our clients to share their experiences.

We are hoping to build our reviews and help inform people who are seeking a new disability services provider.

You will need to create a user profile to leave a review.  To remain anonymous, please create a username that cannot be traced back to you (for example, do not include your family name).

Your review will be posted on Trustpilot.com immediately.


We invite you to view our Trustpilot reviews page and share your experiences here:  https://www.trustpilot.com/review/nextt.com.au

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How Nextt changed Sean’s life

Nextt has changed Sean's life

Sean recently contacted our Nextt team in Coffs Harbour.
He thanked us for our quality of service and for supporting him to leave the house without being afraid and meet new people.

“Before I was with Nextt I was having trouble with everyday life and just kept to myself,” Sean said. “With the help of my support workers, I am able to leave the house and I’m starting to be more confident.”

Sean said that Terri from Nextt had investigated and listened to his needs and helped with putting a great team of support workers together.

Sean has recently joined an Auslan group in Coffs Harbour, and started to go 10-pin bowling. These are the types of social activities he was once afraid to do.

The Nextt staff are constantly inspiring Sean to do more. Sean is accomplishing things he did not believe he was capable of, and he is ready to keep ticking goals off his list, including sky diving. 

“Terri and my support workers have gone above and beyond for me,” Sean said. “They have made so much more possible. They don’t take no for an answer. We all like to say: where there is a will, there is a Terri.”

“I have been motivated to set goals and do things that are now possible.”

Thank you Sean for this amazing feedback, and a huge well done to Terri and the Coffs Harbour team for their fantastic support.

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Shane, Scott and Leigh get out in the local community

Shane, and Scott have been Nextt clients for a number of years, living together in one of our Supported Independent Living houses. Unfortunately, the funding they were receiving prior to NDIS was extremely limited. It was not enough to deliver any supports to their families and it was not matched to help them meet their individual needs and goals. Two years ago, Shane was in hospital with pneumonia and struggling with his health. He also had changes to his diet where he required vitamised food. Both Shane and Scott required one-to-one supports if they wanted to take part in any community activities. Nextt Support Coordinators Eddy and Barbara worked together with their families to ensure their NDIS plans were reviewed and to make sure they were receiving the right funding. As a result, additional funds were approved and allocated by the NDIS. With additional funding, they can now take part in community activities and get much more out of life. When Shane left hospital he could not walk for a few months, and it took a lot of work to normalise his life. He would retreat into himself and was not interested to engage with others. Over the last year, his quality of life has improved enormously. Both Shane and Scott now get extremely excited when they get the opportunity to engage with others. Pictured here are Shane, Scott, Leigh and their support workers at their recent days out at the Big Rocking Horse and the Toy Factory in the Adelaide Hills and at the St Kilda Adventure Playground. As you can see by the look on their faces – they had an absolute ball.
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‘It is a real privilege being allowed into someone’s life.’ Hear support worker Paula’s story.

When Paula was studying tourism at university in Peru and later working in customer service for Aeroperú, she could hardly have imagined that in the years ahead, her life would take her to Australia and a completely different path.

She migrated to Australia in 1988 and for the past 19 years, has been working as a support worker helping others improve the quality of their lives by providing both emotional and practical support for individuals and their families.

Paula doesn’t really think of her role as work, it’s more a vocation. As she says, ‘I believe very strongly that this is what I am meant to do, at this time in my life.’

Paula’s primary motivation for beginning her career as a support worker came after the death of her parents.

I couldn’t look after my parents in their final years (because they were still living in Peru), but I decided I could be there for other people’s parents and their family members when they needed me most.

Perhaps Paula’s career change isn’t that surprising given she sees herself as an ‘absolute extension’ of her own parents and her lived experiences.

We all cared for my grandfather in his final years. Dad would return home from his job as an accountant every lunchtime, carry grandad from his bed to the bathroom and shower him. My mum would then dress grandad and I would carefully prepare and feed him his lunch – I had to take great care with this task as grandad was always so impeccably dressed.

When her grandfather eventually passed away, Paula never forgot the many ways her parents preserved his dignity, physical and emotional wellbeing right up until the end.

Although Paula says she has noticed changes in her work over the years, the core of what she does remains the same.

I let people know, that no matter what, my job is to protect the dignity of the person in my care. Sometimes it’s just about sitting next to someone, holding their hand and reassuring them that I am there for them.

One of Paula’s other key roles is to remind her clients about life’s small joys. Much has been written about the power of music and sometimes when words fail, music provides a way for a person to connect with others and engage with memories and emotions.

Just recently, Paula learned that one of her regular clients used to love singers like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald. Her client had often spoken to her of the big bands and dance halls of her youth, when big bands dominated the jazz scene in Australia and around the world.

So, armed with this important information, Paula bought some CDs with this exact type of music. The result – many joyful karaoke sessions and a more engaged, happier and responsive client.

At other times, Paula has learned that the simple act of helping her clients organise their lives often helps them regain a sense of independence. From first-hand experience she argues

We all need structure in our lives and this is particularly important for people with brain injuries.

Paula just loves helping people get their lives in order and is adamant that setting up a weekly timetable outlining social activities, appointments, rest periods and rehabilitation is central to improving the cognitive and emotional challenges faced by some of her clients.

Unsurprisingly, Paula is adored by the people she supports. She still has a thank you note given to her in 2011 that she keeps on her dressing table as a daily reminder of the importance of her work. It says,

I want to take the time to let you know that you are an amazing angel. You are caring, and your professionalism is such a high standard. Never forget how much you are appreciated.

Paula loves her work and says it is a real privilege being allowed into someone’s life. Her advice to others considering this line of work is simple,

Do what you love and follow your heart; it’s not really a job being with people who need you – it’s a gift.

For more information about how we can help you start or built your career in healthcare, please visit https://nextt.com.au/careers/ or call us on 1300 369 568.

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Nextt’s client Jack talks Mental Health

Fear can be crippling! It can keep you awake at night second guessing every noise you hear and can certainly make you question everything. For 28 year old Jack Kerswill, dealing with paranoia and hallucinations for over a decade is now becoming easier with the help of disability service provider, Nextt.

Jack was diagnosed with schizophrenia and advanced post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at only 18 years old. He currently lives independently in a public housing unit in Morooka, Queensland and has previously worked as a horticulturist and in information technology (IT).

Jack says for many years he went through life dealing with hallucinations of aliens abducting him, which had a destructive effect on his social life, including the loss of his job.

“For many years I was very quiet about it until I went to a doctor and was referred to a mental health clinic. It took a while to diagnose but they knew something was up,” he explains.

“When I got diagnosed I was working and I think they kind of new something was up because I was going through a lot of emotional issues from my childhood.

“My boss let me off and I was really upset about that as I felt like my job was kind of what
made me ‘me’.”

He says the sudden loss of employment took an emotional toll.

“When they put me on Newstart I felt like I was a burden and not contributing to society.”

Jack describes the diagnosis as a “big relief”, but says it was also met with denial.

“Now I can actually see that even though it seems realistic to me, it’s not real.”

Initially, Jack found it difficult to accept the help he desperately needed as the hallucinations and paranoia felt so real and kept him up at night, but it was his sister who encouraged him to reach out to a mental health specialist.

“Your brain is so powerful, it knows how to ‘get you’,” he explains.

“I would never sleep at night due to the paranoia.

“I go to work, go home and play games all night and once it hit night time, it was absolutely destructive.

“I would have these episodes where I was hallucinating constantly, hearing voices and seeing things.”

After the first episode Jack was admitted to hospital for a week with fear taking a gripping and lasting effect.

To help overcome his mental health challenges, Jack enlisted the help of Nextt through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to improve his independence and reassure him the things he was hearing and seeing weren’t real.

“In the mornings I get two hours of support and an hour at night, across a range of tasks such as cleaning the unit, travelling to doctor appointments, accompanying me to the shops, learning to cook new food, travel training and taking medication,” he explains.

He says Nextt have truly helped him conquer his fears and learn a variety of life skills.

“I could never cook and would always get takeaway, but now I’ve learnt to cook a lot of different foods.

“I used to live in a pigsty, but now my place is one of the cleanest you’ll ever go to.”

“On the bus I would hear voices in my head and wasn’t sure if I was saying it out loud, so a Nextt support worker would reconfirm I wasn’t saying anything and taught me to focus on
different things.”

Jack says he was taught ‘grounding’, a type of meditation to distract your focus when experiencing anxiety, paranoia or hallucinations.

He also says Nextt have helped him achieve his main goals of getting back into employment, losing weight and being able to support himself by overcoming his fears.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am for pushing me this far.”
Jack says the disability service provider is flexible, uses a client-centred approach and describes the Nextt team as “lovely.”

With the huge stigma around mental health and the social and employment challenges it poses, Jack says he wishes more people understood that mental health conditions are acquired in a number of ways.

“Just because someone has a mental health condition, it doesn’t mean they have done something stupid to get poor mental health.”

It is with this understanding, Jack hopes more people will ask for help when they need it.

“Don’t be ignorant … just ask for help!”

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Here’s what the 15 NDIS support categories 2020 – 2021 can offer participants

When it comes to accessing NDIS funding, it’s important to know about the different NDIS support categories 2020 – 2021 and what kind of help they can offer participants.

There are 15 NDIS support categories in total, which are divided into three key areas: NDIS core supports, capital services, and capacity building activities. Here’s a brief overview of what supports and services they each cover.

a. Core Supports

The first batch of NDIS support categories 2020 – 2021are classified as core supports. These services assist NDIS participants in being able to complete daily living activities, as well as help them work towards their individual NDIS goals.

The NDIS core support categories are:

  1. Assistance with daily life: this category covers supports and services that help you with daily activities, such as assistance with household decision making, supervision within shared living arrangements, personal care and domestic help, as well as food services such as Meals on Wheels.
  2. Transport: this NDIS support category covers transport-based supports and services, such as specialised transport to school or work, as well as access to community activities and other recreational and vocational programs.
  3. Consumables: this category covers consumable products or services that help with daily activities, such as interpreting, translating, continence and home enteral nutrition services.
  4. Assistances with social and community participation: this NDIS support category enables participants to participate within social and community groups, such as accessing camps, art classes and other programs that help the participant work towards development goals.

b. Capital

The second of the NDIS support categories2020 – 2021 is capital. These supports relate to any investments that NDIS participants need to make to assist them in daily life.

The NDIS capital support categories are:

  1. Assistive technology: this support category helps cover costs of assistive technologies, such as hearing aids and wheelchairs.
  2. Home modifications: this NDIS support category helps to cover costs associated with making homes more liveable and accessible for participants, such as adding stair climbers and guard rails.

c. Capacity Building

Most of the NDIS support categories 2020 – 2021 are classified as capacity building activities. This relates to any support or services that helps NDIS participants build skills that will enable them to live as independently as possible.

The capacity building NDIS support categories are:

  1. Coordination of supports: this support category covers the costs associated with NDIS support coordination, which allows participants to consult with NDIS support coordinators to create their individual NDIS plans.
  2. Improved living arrangements: this NDIS support category deals with accessing better living arrangements, including moving into group homes, individual accommodation support and assistance with achieving tenancy obligations.
  3. Increased social and community participation: this category provides access to a wide range of community programs, including childcare, peer support, fitness groups and respite services.
  4. Find a job: this NDIS support category provides support for participants to find employment, including employment preparation and work transition programs.
  5. Improved relationships: this category covers costs of programs that help participants build skills to improve their interpersonal relationships, including individualised social skill development programs or intensive behaviour intervention programs.
  6. Improved health and wellbeing: this NDIS support category helps participants improve their physical health through accessing fitness, physiotherapy and dietary services.
  7. Improved learning: this category aims to help participants become lifelong learners, and can include services such as school transition programs.
  8. Improved life choices: this NDIS support category aims to empower participants to make good life choices. It incorporates range of services including building organisational, managerial and financial skills.
  9. Improved daily living: this final NDIS support category covers other services and support that build participants’ life skills. These could include a variety of therapy services, such as early intervention programs, the Nextt Steps Programor occupational therapy.

As an NDIS-approved support coordinator and provider, Nextt can help you and your loved ones get the help you need. Call 1300 369 568 or send us a message to find out more about what Nextt services might be right for you.