Photo of Darryle, a Cocoon SDA Care participant happily with his healthy garden sitting in his backyard.

Before Darryle became a Cocoon SDA Care participant, he was in a living environment that was detrimental to his physical and mental health. Darryle experienced daily falls and was unable to go outdoors as there was no wheelchair access and an imposing hill at the entry to his wing. Darryle went days without having his bed pad changed and lived on highly processed supermarket frozen meals.

The loneliness he felt was overwhelming to the point that it would drive him to literal tears. He felt there was no one there to care for him and that he had no support around him. He would tell people that he could not go on much longer living there. The loneliness manifested into behaviours of concern resulting in ambulance trips and hospital visits. It was all driven by one motivation: seeking human interaction.

By any measure, it was a miserable existence and fell well short of the life he deserved.

Happily, through our In-home support services, Darryle is now flourishing in life. He says the biggest achievement since moving into his new Cocoon SDA Care home and being with a supportive care team has been “removing my helmet that I wore all day, every day for 15 years.”

Aside from no longer wearing a helmet that he kept on 24hrs a day, Darryle is learning life skills like cooking, doing the washing, and even pouring a coffee. He enjoys his favourite meals, including Shepherd’s pie and tuna mornay, and the odd mid-strength beer. He has very positive relationships with the other residents, who all enjoy listening to rock music together, taking in the sun’s rays, and exchanging friendly banter across the kitchen table. We could tell you all about his improvements, but we think these two images, taken six months apart, say it all.

“Darryl told me it had been 30 years since he felt the sand under his feet! I couldn’t believe it, so during our walk down Semaphore, we saw an accessible walkway down to the sand/water. Once we got to the end, Darryl got to enjoy one of life’s many simple pleasures. I know how relaxing being by the water can be and feeling the sand under your feet. Such simple things we take for granted!” By Alex Russo.

Happily, Darryle is now flourishing in life. He says that the biggest achievement since moving into his new Cocoon SDA Care home has been “removing my helmet that I wore all day, every day for 15 years.”

– Darryle, South Australia

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