Young People in Nursing Homes – how the NDIS can help


An event exploring the experiences of young people in nursing homes in the NSW NDIS trial site, and considerations for the full implementation of the NDIS, organised by The Summer Foundation was held on Friday 8 May.

A range of speakers in operations and policy who work with young people in nursing homes presented their experiences, what they have learnt about accessing the NDIS and the changing landscape of housing.

Recovery Station was thrilled to be invited to be part of the event. Aimee Prosser, senior Occupational Therapist represented Recovery Station. Aimee has extensive experience working with the NDIS in providing services to participants within the Hunter trial site. Aimee used the case study of Mrs P, a young lady in a nursing home with NDIS funding. Meet Mrs P and learn how NIDS funded Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy services helped a young person exit a nursing home and return home:

Mrs P is in her early 40’s and was leading a very full and active life that changed dramatically in 2013 when she suffered a left MCA CVA (Stroke). Mrs P stayed in hospital for 3 months and then was transferred to respite in high level nursing home which became permanent placement. Looking at a functional picture of Mrs P, this was a sensible decision, and where she would stay. She had dysphasia and an unreliable yes/no response, she required a lifter for all transfers, she had a dense hemiplegia with a flaccid right arm, and she was spending all of her time in bed or a wheelchair pushed by a carer. Care staff were helping with all daily care.

What is missing from this picture?

Mrs P is also a wife and a mother who was living with her husband, 2 kids and several pets. She was a lady who liked to go out, liked music, enjoyed travel, and placed very high importance on being a mum. These were her “occupations” and “occupational roles” that came through clearly in her NDIS Care Plan. Mrs P identified in her Care Plan (feb 2014) that she wanted to be as independent as possible; to have as much contact with her family as possible; to communicate better and; to one day walk again.

Recovery Station provided Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy working on; standing, stepping, transfers, powered wheelchair, lower limb strength, upper limb maintenance, dressing, toileting. We were seeing Mrs P twice per week in the nursing home until Mrs P was walking with a forearm walker, transferring with the assistance of staff member, and was even toileting herself. Home became possible so we moved to organising home modifications, equipment prescription, educating care staff on how to work with Mrs P. Permanent placement only lasted 6months and Mrs P was discharged to her home with her husband and children and support from 1 carer for 5 hours per day, 5 days per week.

The improvements continued!

Mrs P now walks with a quad stick and hates the wheelchair! She attends a local exercise class each week and goes swimming twice a week. Our latest accomplishment is one handed cooking as there is still very limited movement with Mrs P’s right arm.

Without the consistent therapy/ modifications/ equipment funded through NDIS, Mrs P would still be in a nursing home. This may not be achievable for every young person in a nursing home but where possible, the improvement in quality of life is immeasurable.

Some things that worked in our favour in Mrs P’s case;

  • The NDIS Care Planner was extremely supportive and anything we wanted and could justify as Reasonable and Necessary they would grant us.
  • All parties involved in the case, husband, planner and all service providers looked at the case quarterly and created goals that would move the client to her end goal of getting home.
  • All service providers worked together on treatment. Family and Planner were extremely good at communicating and encouraging all service providers to look at the big picture and how you get there. This included face to face meetings between service providers and education sessions (therapists teaching carers how to incorporate therapy into daily living tasks).
  • Many services were allowed at the same time. This allowed for her physical treatment to be addressed, whilst her home environment and equipment needs for when she got home would be ready.
  • Everyone was well informed and worked as a team in achieving the shared goal of getting Mrs P home.

At Recovery Station, we have been providing comprehensive care that contributes to meaningful and beneficial changes in the lives of thousands of individuals and families. We help bridge the gap for people to live life to the fullest, whether the goals are around safety, independence, dignity or integration.

Our team of experienced clinicians can help you reach your goals and aspirations too. If you need help don’t hesitate to call us now.