Support helps Tony live a full life
- Last updated:
- 24 November 2021 1:07PM
- First published:
- 24 November 2021 1:05PM
As a HIV positive person for 38 years, Tony is a long-time survivor, but he doesn’t let that stop him from living a full life.
Tony lived without symptoms for 13 years, then noticed problems with his balance and coordination and lost feeling in his legs. Over time, he could no longer enjoy pastimes such as ballet or cycling and even walking up a hill became difficult.
Now 60, Tony can’t walk unassisted and needs help to maintain his home and access his local community. Receiving help from the Queensland Community Support Scheme (QCSS) has made a big difference to his life.
Tony’s QCSS support worker, Helen, visits once a week to help him for a few hours.
“I look forward to Helen’s visits and feel better as soon as she arrives,” Tony said.
“With her help, I can do my supermarket shopping and have coffee in a local café.
“She also helps me with jobs at home because I am unable to move around or stand up for long enough to do it myself.”
Helen says Tony has a positive attitude to life, despite his health challenges.
“Not only does Tony struggle with limited mobility, but he also experiences arthritic pain and frequent sinus headaches that have debilitating effects on his day-to-day life,” Helen said.
“Despite this, Tony is a gregarious individual who loves the social interactions that accompany his QCSS services, and we often have a good chat while we complete tasks.”
QCSS has helped to increase Tony’s confidence and ability to enjoy social activities.
“I enjoy the monthly barbecue at Queensland Positive People, where I connect with other HIV positive people and share my experience,” Tony said.
“I also recently had a dinner with my friends at a local restaurant to celebrate my birthday.”
While Tony lives a quieter life now, he’s thankful for the life he’s lived.
“I lived in Sydney and was always out at parties or enjoying nights at the theatre,” Tony said.
“You don’t have to look far to see someone worse off than you. I’ve had a great life.”
If you are under 65 and need a small amount of help to keep or regain your independence, the Queensland Community Support Scheme can help you continue living safely in your home and participating in your community.