Enabling Good Lives sparks ideas for Andrell family Posted by Posted by Imogen Loakman on 6 March 2016 Posted on: 6 March 2016

Posted by Imogen Loakman

Posted on: 6 March 2016

Kerry and Irene Andrell are optimistic about the future possibilities for their daughters Keriann and Shannen who both have very high needs.

Since becoming part of the Enabling Good Lives demonstration, the Andrells are trying out creative support options and beginning to plan for what Keriann and Shannen’s good lives may look like in the future.

‘We were getting nowhere until we heard about Enabling Good Lives. It’s re-sparked us – it’s like we are on fire again. We haven’t stopped – it’s so exciting, and it’s given us energy to go forward for the girls’ lifestyle and their future,’ Kerry says.

Keriann and Shannen will both leave school in the next three years and Kerry and Irene are making progress on ideas for the young women’s future lifestyles.

‘Having an Enabling Good Lives navigator helps you re-look at things and re-focus and start to think that it’s okay to dream You can look at what you want for your children and start to expect it,’ Irene says.

The Andrells recently tried out a creative approach to respite care as part of their good life ideas. Keriann and Shannen travelled to Hanmer and spent time with a friend and three paid carers, instead of going into centre-based respite care. They went to the hot pools, travelled behind Clydesdale horses and relaxed in the sun – a physical and mental break for all.

Shannen Keriann Andrell

Shannen and Keriann enjoy the hot pools in Hanmer with carer Renee as part of their unique respite trip.

‘We knew who they were with and what they were doing. We got regular text updates and photos too. The girls came back so happy from their stay in Hanmer,’ Irene says.

Another idea the Andrells have for the future is to establish a micro-enterprise based on their daughters’ strengths and interests in crafts and gardening. Bath bomb creation and planting pots are two of the ideas on the table. A business would provide Keriann and Shannen with some income and give them opportunities to connect with their community regularly.

‘We want to tap into what’s available in the community around us. That’s really important for the girls,’ Irene says.

Kerry and Irene are also starting to plan long term, looking at Circles of Support and an accessible home for their daughters where they can live independently with care and be able to invite their friends around.

‘We want the peace of mind that when we go, they are fully set up and they have the lifestyle they want,’ Kerry says.

Before getting involved with Enabling Good Lives, Kerry and Irene were disheartened by what the future might be for their daughters and felt that none of the options they had were ideal. Now they are hopeful for what the future will bring.

‘Enabling Good Lives has given us hope for our daughters to be able to live meaningful and full lives like every other Kiwi does,’ Irene says.

Story taken from Christchurch's Enabling Good Lives Newsletter | December – January 2014

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