Joselyn and Muriel get ready to hit the road
FEROS CARE PARTICIPANT JOSELYN’S JOURNEY THROUGH HELPING OTHERS WITH
FREEDOM MACHINE MURIEL GETS SET FOR A SPECIAL DETOUR.
Most might see it simply as a motorised scooter, but for Feros Care ACT participant Joselyn Walker, it’s freedom.
Proudly getting about on her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funded freedom machine she lovingly calls “Muriel”, the rheumatoid arthritis and multiple stroke survivor, who also lives with Buerger’s Disease and diabetes, is working towards living her best life.
Finding greater mobility, independence and community belonging since securing her scooter through her initial engagement with the NDIS, Joselyn is looking to take things to the next level through her next plan, and the world is her oyster…. literally.
“Muriel signified my independence and allowed me to get out and do things on my own,” Joselyn said.
“Before joining the NDIS, I had to make do with a walking stick and a cane, but with Muriel, I can get out and about which is great.
“But I’m planning to have vehicle modifications done so I can take Muriel on the road and go wherever I want to go.”
JOSELYN CONTINUES TO BUILD HER CAPACITY THROUGH HELPING OTHERS
The opportunity to do something for herself is a major milestone for Joselyn, who, despite her disabilities and limited mobility, has dedicated her time and passion to assisting others.
Originally from Manly on Sydney’s north shore, Joselyn moved to Canberra when she was 21 and fitting like a glove, never looked back.
Now 50, Joselyn’s recent life is a contrast to her previous one, where she was “very active”, working three jobs and raising three kids.
Not one to “wallow”, Joselyn, through the help of daughter and carer Kelsey, worked her way through the toughest of times to find her place in helping those less fortunate through C3 Church in Monash.
“At first I had some really dark times and thought, ‘how am I going to do this’,” Joselyn said, remembering back when rheumatoid arthritis changed her life forever.
“Life went on for others; my husband left me, and suddenly, you’ve got a disability pension, you are living in community housing and you have lost your independence.
“But I found that if I can keep myself involved in something and get out there, that’s how I could get through, and connecting with the church has allowed me to do that.
“I’ve been with them since 2006. They’ve been really supportive of me and really helped me with my independence.”
Not only finding social connection through social engagements such as going for coffee, Joselyn has dedicated her time to volunteering to support those at risk, distributing feminine hygiene products through the “Handbags of Hope” program, finding the richest form of community belonging in the process.
“We support the homeless, the isolated, the chronically ill, and anyone isolated in society, who are at risk of homelessness and mental health issues,” Joselyn said.
“Loneliness is a big factor for all of the people we support, and I go to church and pack hampers which include about 30 items, which get delivered to people every fortnight with a hot lunch and dessert.
“We support around 60-80 people a fortnight and some of us cook, some of us pack hampers, and some of us just reach out and have a chat.
“Even in the current climate where we’re limited, we’re still making our drop-offs by putting frozen meals in hampers which can be reheated and enjoyed.
“Sometimes we can all wallow, but when I’m out there and hear people’s stories, I think ‘my life is easy’, so doing this is a way I can get involved and give back rather than sit around, and I feel blessed.”
HOW THE NDIS IS HELPING TO CHANGE LIVES
With her increased independence, Joselyn is excited, Kelsey, 21, has gained more freedom too, so she can pursue her nursing career, which fittingly materialised through caring for her mum.
Praising Feros Care, Joselyn said her current happiness and plans for the future wouldn’t have been possible without the NDIS.
Looking to engage a support worker while also gaining access to services such as physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, it’s the adventures laying ahead with Muriel which provide the greatest excitement.
“I want to keep going and keep reaching out to people, and the end goal involves keeping as active and independent for as long as I can,” Joselyn said.
“The access to assistive technology through the NDIS has been great, and Feros Care has helped me source new tap handles, door handles, a shower chair and walker, which has all helped me gain my independence.
“I’ll also have a rack that folds up on the back of the car for me to put Muriel on in the next six to 12 months. I’ve stuck to a 40km radius for a couple of years, but there’s a whole new, bigger world out there for me now, and I could even go up to Queensland to see my sister.
“I can’t wait to get out and do and see more,” Jocelyn said.