In 2005, Kate Gild was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when she was 33-years-old. She was living in London at the time and home in Perth on holiday visiting family, when she started experiencing nerve pain in her wrist. Kate thought it was Carpal tunnel, but an MRI revealed it was MS.
“At the time I didn’t know much about MS, and after receiving my diagnosis, I realised I had been living with some symptoms for a while. I would fall over for no reason or find I could not walk properly which I had put down to being clumsy. I also had tingling in my right hand that I thought was Carpal tunnel syndrome, which my mum and grandma both had. I was very scared,” Kate said.
Now in an electric wheelchair, life has been a roller coast for Kate and her family, but she considers herself fortunate to call MSWA Treendale Gardens home, for the last three years. The facility provides high-support, state of the art accommodation and respite for people with neurological conditions in the state’s beautiful South West, just outside of Bunbury. There, Kate accesses 24-hour care and nursing, and allied health including physiotherapy and Outreach at the Community and Health Services Centre in Bunbury.
However, the 46-year-old wants to be closer to her family and was very excited when she discovered that MSWA was building an $8 million high-support accommodation and services facility in WA’s northern suburbs of Butler.
Once complete, it will be a one-stop shop for people living with MS and all neurological conditions offering a range of services such as physiotherapy, counselling, nursing, Outreach and peer group sessions, and will be a base for staff co-ordinating home support.
The adjoining development will be a high-support accommodation facility equipped with 10 fully self-contained units for people living with neurological conditions. As soon as Kate found out about the development, she put her name down to apply for one of the units.
“I'm so excited to move into the Butler community. I’ve been living in Treendale for almost three years and my life has been fine but it's just so far away from my friends and family. I’ve missed them so much,” said Kate.
The facility will provide permanent accommodation options for people who can no longer stay in their own homes. They offer an age appropriate option for younger people who would otherwise be at risk of entering aged care facilities, due to their high care needs.
Kate is looking forward to the simple things like having friends over for a coffee or going to her parents’ house which has proved difficult whilst living regionally.
“The onsite care and support will allow me to lead a fulfilling and independent life. The train station is down the road and there is a services hub next door. I can take myself to my physiotherapy sessions or go grocery shopping. I can’t begin to tell you what that means to me,” added Kate.
“MSWA is thrilled to be opening a purpose-built centre for people living with neurological conditions like Kate. Residents will have their own self-contained unit and shared communal area where they can socialise via a high-support accommodation facility which includes onsite 24-hour, 7-day a week care for younger people who may have otherwise had to face the very real prospect of living in an aged care facility,” MSWA CEO, Marcus Stafford AM said.
“These developments are made possible by the ongoing support of MSWA by generous Western Australians who buy tickets in our Mega Home Lotteries, take part in events like MSWA Ocean Ride and make bequests and donations. We thank all of our supporters very much.”
Mr Stafford added that the Butler Centre was part of the organisation’s long-term, strategic growth plan which will continue to develop a network of facilities in regional areas, like Albany.
“We’ve found that the number of people using our high-support accommodation facilities has grown and I predict that we’ll see the same thing happen in Butler. To manage the ongoing demand over the coming years we have a major building program planned, both in the metropolitan area and regional Western Australia. As well as bricks and mortar we also want to continually increase the services we provide to our customers and the number of hours’ worth of services that we provide.”