Mark has greater control

April 18, 2024

It’s been a year of change and growth for Mark, who is a proud resident of CatholicCare’s newly established Supported Independent Living house in Wahroonga. Upon being asked what he most enjoys about living at Kokoda House, Mark says, “everything!”

Before moving to Kokoda House, Mark was working with our Support Coordination team and together we identified his need for a better, safer accommodation option. His fellow residents, Elyce and Victoria were also Support Coordination clients whose former living arrangements were not geared towards growth and independence. The needs of these clients inspired the establishment of Kokoda House in December 2022, and the impact on their lives has been immense. Launching Kokoda House shows what’s possible when CatholicCare’s multiple teams work together for the good of our clients.

Previously Mark lived 1½ hours away from his parents, and the move to Wahroonga has meant that he is now in the neighbouring suburb. “Living closer to my parents is very good.” Mark says. “I get to see them more, which makes me happy.”

Since moving to Kokoda House, Disability Support Partner, Jess says that Mark has experienced a greater sense of control over his life. “Here, he has been encouraged to take on new responsibilities and challenges, which has increased his confidence. Mark helps out with cooking, cleaning and other chores. He has been given choice and control where he can make decisions about his daily routine, activities, and the service he receives.” When Mark isn’t belting out tunes from The Beatles, he enjoys spending time with his fellow residents.

“Mark has developed great friendships with the other residents, which has allowed him to develop a caring support system,” Jess says. Fellow residents, Victoria, Elyce and Priya have also demonstrated enormous growth in their living skills since December. For Victoria, Kokoda House is her first experience of living outside the family home, and she is thriving in her new environment. Priya, who came to CatholicCare from another provider, has also benefited significantly from the move, particularly as she now lives closer to her ageing mother.

Upon being asked about his hopes for the future, Mark says, “I would like to live here for many years.” He also envisions a future filled with watching rugby league and wins for his beloved Parramatta Eels!

In many ways, the initial hopes for Kokoda House have already come to fruition, with participants enjoying fulfilling lives as active members of the community. Reflecting on the last year, Jess says that the growth of the residents is all thanks to the friendship, support, care and control that they now have over their lives. In the words of Mark, “I love living here.”

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