Support our current Appeal
What will happen to Karyn when we can no longer care for her?
Most people’s definition of retirement: Long lunches, lazy mornings, spending time with the grandchildren and holidays with friends.
My name is Ian Thomas and I am married to my lovely wife, Helen. I am 87 years old and Helen is 78. We are both retired.
Do you want to hear our definition of retirement?
5.30am – The alarm goes off and although achy, stiff and sore, both my wife Helen and I get out of bed to prepare for the busy day ahead. We call them ‘half an hour cycles’ – everything about our routine revolves every 30 minutes. I’ll explain why next.
6.00am – We start the physically challenging process of getting Karyn out of bed. You might be thinking why this may be a challenging task, but Karyn is our daughter who is 40 years of age and lives with Cerebral Palsy. She is non-verbal and is completely dependent on our care. Together we find the strength to lift Karyn out of bed and into her wheelchair. As you can imagine this isn’t an easy task at our age, as we are becoming frail and have our own health issues.
6.30am – We then prepare her medication and PEG feed her. We have to feed Karyn through a tube that is inserted into her abdominal wall as she has difficulty consuming food orally.
7.00am –We manage to find the time to eat our own breakfast and squeeze in our morning coffee before the next ‘half an hour’ cycle begins.
7.30am – While I’m cleaning up the dishes, Helen is preparing the bath for Karyn.
8.00am – Helen and I begin the physically enduring task of getting Karyn out of her wheelchair, into the sling so we can transfer her across into the bath. After her morning bath is complete, we transfer Karyn back into her wheelchair and onto the bed in her bedroom so we can dry and dress her.
8.30am – Karyn is transferred back into her wheelchair and we prepare her lunch and medication for the day.
9.30am – Helen and I drop Karyn off to the scosa Mitcham Hub. Karyn has been attending scosa for the last 20 years of her life.
2.45pm – We pick Karyn back up from the Mitcham Hub and take her back home for our routine to begin all over again.
You may be thinking – so what do you do between 10.00am – 2.45pm everyday?
Our day is filled with housework, gardening, attending our own health appointments and if we are lucky, we manage to squeeze in half an hour to have a coffee and read the paper. We have learnt to appreciate the simple things in life.
I don’t know what we would do without scosa. In addition to providing Helen and I with valuable respite, it has also provided Karyn with the opportunity to develop her life skills and build some of her own friendships. Our biggest worry is that we are not going to be around forever and we want Karyn to be able to learn to trust other people and develop new skills. 20 years ago, Karyn was a passive onlooker but now she loves getting out in the community, which is so important.
Most of our family live interstate so we don’t really have access to family support when we need it, however we really do look at scosa as an extension of our own family – scosa plays such a positive role in all of our lives.
On behalf of all the families living with disability who will struggle at times, this Christmas we kindly invite you to make a tax deductible donation to scosa. This will help scosa continue to provide a range of activities and programs to develop the life skills of people like Karyn and also provide respite to families like ours.
We don’t want gifts or material things this Christmas, we all just want the peace of mind knowing that our child is safe, happy and cared for, even when sometimes it is challenging for us to always do it ourselves. Without scosa, we would truly be lost.
Wishing you all a safe and wonderful Christmas.
Ian and Helen Thomas
We invite you to make a tax deductible donation to support our life changing services at scosa.
$50 will pay for a small group to attend a local Do it Yourself (DIY) activity session
Our participants at scosa love doing DIY projects. A morning on the tools is a great way to develop motor skills and promote small group interaction which supports the formation of new friendships and encourages confidence and self-esteem.
$100 will enable a day’s outing for a larger group of scosa participants
Your donation will give a group of people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in some great activities in their local communities, such as a visit to a local sport and recreation centre, a trip to the Adelaide Zoo or a shopping excursion to the Adelaide Central Market to stock up on supplies for our popular cooking classes.
$250 will support a participant to be part of the scosa Maximum Potential Leadership Group
This fabulous small-group leadership program is challenging our participants at scosa to chase their dreams and develop new life pathways. The eight month intensive program covers topics including goal setting, self-awareness, skill identification and public speaking, while also acting as an important tool to promote the formation of new friendships.
$500 will enable us to provide much needed capital items to energise our scosa Hubs
Most of the items in our scosa Hubs are subject to heavy wear and tear and many Hubs need new dining tables, BBQ’s and computer equipment. Your donation will have a very practical and visual impact which will enhance the lives of many!