Hi, my name is Helen. As much as I can, I like to spend time in nature, enjoying the fresh air, looking at plants and trees and listening to birds. In this video, I share how much my life has changed since moving into my apartment.
It's just so wonderful to have people coming to my place. It’s wonderful to go out with them too, but just to sit down at my table and have a cup of tea or just talk, just talk in a normal environment. One of life’s simple pleasures.
Most of the time I was in a nursing home, I just had to go out every day. It was just something that you had to do to keep your sanity. But now, I mean, I do go out most days, but every now and then I think, “I might just stay in today”. And it’s really really nice. I just, I read, I listen to the radio. Or sometimes, when I was first here, I’d do nothing. I’d just enjoy it.
I guess the other great thing is that it's not just a home, but it's a home where I have the modifications that I need, and I have the support that I need. It's a place where I, as a person who lives in a wheelchair, am able to access all the things in my place, except the very high cupboards, and know that I will have the support I need if there was an emergency.
I have an iPad that has lots of functions, and it means I have that autonomy of being able to open the blinds, put down the blinds, open the window, turn off lights, turn on lights.
I’m just across the road from the botanical gardens, so when the weather is a bit better I spend a lot of time over there. There are cafes and the arts centre, and the city, and South Melbourne Market, where I go every week with a support worker. It’s just a wonderful area, and it's just great to be able to just go out and get a coffee just a few metres from home. And I’m gathering quite a lot of plants. Every time I go to the market, I seem to accidentally bring home another plant.
It’s just fantastic to have my son come here, for him and his girlfriend, the time that they spent helping me move and to just enjoy their happiness at seeing me having my own place again. And knowing that they can come anytime. It doesn't matter what time it is. Yeah, it's just right.
It’s just so wonderful, having a home that can just be me, that I can have my personality as part of it. I’m not having my privacy intruded on all the time. It’s just so good on so many levels, it's hard to describe. I love being able to have the colours that I want, to have the decorations I want, the things that mean something to me. To have my own furniture, to have my own food, to have my own fridge. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. I suppose it's just wonderful to have a home again.