After years of waiting for the NDIS, 57-year-old Frances felt an unexpected fear come over her after receiving her plan and her funding.
Unsure what to do, or even how Plan Management could help her, she was daunted, lost, and confused about what her next steps should be to get the proper care she requires.
“I’d been waiting a very long time for the NDIS roll out, and if it weren’t for the help of Living My Way, I’d probably still be sitting here trying to understand the plan I’ve been given,” Frances said.
A wheelchair user since the age of five, Frances has Spina Bifida. Although she is accustomed to her way of living, it was only after speaking to a friend that she felt she could navigate her next steps.
“I was speaking to one of my friends who started NDIS before me, and she was with Living My Way” she said.
“Back then I didn’t know the difference between Plan Management or Self Management, and she was saying that being able to be Plan Managed was a good thing because I could basically use anyone I wanted for my services, so that’s why I chose to do that.”
Over the last three years, Frances has been able to get an understanding of her NDIS, thanks to the assistance and consistent quality of support of the Plan Management Team at Living My Way.
“They’ve really helped me. The girls are very on the ball and I have never had any problems. The people I use for different services have never had problems either, so that’s been great.”
Frances also appreciates how seriously the staff at Living My Way are about each Member; a refreshing change to how she feels many people with disabilities are treated in broader society.
“People sometimes assume that just because you’re in a chair, you’re going to be like another person they know that’s in a chair, but that’s not the case. Everyone’s different and everyone has different needs,” she said.
“I’ve never felt that way about Living My Way. You are not just a number or someone on a piece of paper. You’re a person with their own needs and interest, and I feel like an actual person when I talk to them.”
Frances’ goal through the NDIS is to maintain her independent lifestyle.
“I have an Exercise Physiologist that I do things with, and that is really important to me,” she said.
“I need to keep up my strength for my daily life, like for transferring, and I aim to be as independent as I possibly can.
“It’s a big reason why I chose to be Plan Managed, because it gives me more freedom to use the providers I want to use, which also keeps me motivated.”
Outside of Exercise Physiology, Frances likes to keep herself busy by volunteering at her local school helping the students with their reading programs and attending a daytime program at her community centre.
Without the support of Living My Way, she believes her time would be filled doing paperwork and administration to keep her NDIS up to date and would miss out on enjoying other moments of her life.
“That’s why I chose to be Plan Managed. It gives me more freedom, and I can get help to work out what I want to do with the funds and manage the budget.
“Somebody said to be the other day, “oh, why do not you just do it yourself,” “
“And I said, “Oh, no way, I don’t think I could cope.”