In the last couple of days the story of Naomi Clarke has surfaced, whose at-home care needs exceed the funding guidelines for Disability SA. She has fallen into the category of individuals who face leaving their home for fulltime care in either a nursing home or assisted accommodation. She is 44.
Naomi has Kyphoscoliosis and a spinal cord injury resulting from a botched operation when she was five. She has been confined to a wheelchair since then, however this did not impede her receiving a mainstream education and working fulltime up until her organs started crushing her lungs three years ago requiring her to have constant oxygen and to rely on a VPAP machine to force air into her lungs while she sleeps.
Her husband cared for her fulltime until finances required him to go back to work recently, and so the care allocated by Disability SA is used while he is at away. Leaving him with the option of not sleeping overnight when there is no backup or risking his wife’s life.
Their situation is heartbreaking and illogical given that it will cost more tax payer funds to accommodate Naomi in a nursing home than give her the additional funding needed to stay at home.
A light in the dark is that the SA Health Minister Tony Picollo has said that Disability SA will be meeting with Naomi and her husband next week to discuss her particular needs with the aim of enabling her to stay at home.
Lets hope they can work out a better outcome for Naomi. To support their cause link to http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/jay-weatherill-premier-of-south-australia-keep-naomi-at-home