An Acquired Brain Injury does not have to define or confine
Robert Willcocks was an avid traveller who enjoyed exploring the globe and in particular the Philippines, where he fell in love with the island way of life. In 2008 whilst managing his own gardening business in Perth, spending time fishing on the weekends and proudly supporting his beloved AFL team – Collingwood, Robert had a stroke which lead to an acquired brain injury at the age of 45.
Robert’s brain injury had affected his communication abilities by impairing his hearing, muscle movements of his speech and the weakening of muscles in his mouth. His family knew that living at home was no longer a safe or practical option and that he would need 24-hour onsite care.
After learning about MSWA’s high-support accommodation facility in Hamilton Hill, which is located in suburban surroundings and integrated with the local community, they felt reassured that this could become his new home rather than entering an aged-care facility.
Not only did Robert have a new home staffed by a friendly and experienced MSWA team and other people living with similar neurological conditions, he was also able to access vital services and support including speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy tailored to his needs.
“My speech and mobility have dramatically improved since receiving services from MSWA. I like to do as much as I can for myself, including hanging my washing out in my courtyard, tidying in my unit and making my bed.”
Since moving into MSWA’s Hamilton Hill facility, Robert’s spirit and cheeky personality has flourished, he is now a part of the MSWA family and can often been seen cracking jokes and making his fellow residents laugh.
With the help of MSWA services and support, Robert has been able to regain some independence, working part-time as a gardener whilst getting the chance to socialise.
“My brother Darryl often visits and takes me to football and soccer matches and my social support worker will take me to my favourite spot to fish. I’m grateful that my condition hasn’t prevented me from enjoying my life.”