A Positive Attitude and Mindset Goes a Long
Overseas travel can be daunting. Particularly if you aren’t a frequent jet setter. More so, if you are travelling with a child with a complex disability. In early June, my wife and I took our son, Tristan, to Europe. Tristan has Cerebral Palsy and I knew that if anything interfered with my ability to provide Tristan support, we would not be in a good place. I was nearing the end of an anticipated work week and my lower back twinged the day we were leaving.
our planning paid off and we took a great deal of time to ensure we took the
right amount of luggage. Incontinence aids took up half a suitcase and we had
to estimate the number of incontinence aids required for a 17-hour plane
trip. Tristan requires fully modified food so we pre-prepared all of his
meals and snacks, closely following any onboard food restrictions. We knew
an indirect flight would cause stress, so we opted to fly directly from Perth
pre-arranged our transport connections and notified each hotel manager to clear
any valuable equipment from each of Tristan’s rooms. We knew from previous
experience, that any hotel fittings could be damaged, plus the ramifications of
a hefty checkout fee. We needed to ensure all screws and wheels on Tristan’s
wheelchair and walker were secure and that his equipment could not be damaged
on the cobblestone streets.
you can imagine, Italy is not the easiest place to travel when supporting a
child in a wheelchair. Particularly, when moving from the Pantheon to the Arch of Constantine or hiking up the Colosseum in Rome. The stairs are often too steep and narrow
to implement any kind of disability access. In Sicily, the streets
are so narrow that you can’t fit a scooter and wheelchair on the road at the
same time. Despite some age-old limitations, the Italians made it work. Their
positivity and love of people made the greatest difference during some
difficult times. This positive mentality was living proof that
one can overcome anything with the right mindset.
the airports in Sicily and Rome, two assistants supported Tristan instead of
one which made a huge difference. They were interested in
Tristan, had a pleasant and friendly manner, and provided us
with the utmost care and support. Such goodwill and the overall
experience in Italy caused me to reflect on what we do at Hearth and the importance we place on relationships.
a successful business in the disability sector means placing people at the
forefront of everything we do. It’s about matching Participants and Support
Workers with mutual mindsets and attitudes and ensuring Participants feel
empowered with choice and maximum independence. Much can be overcome when we
work together and have the right attitude and mindset.
we planned most of our trip, we found that some of the most important
decisions were made on the spot and it was peoples’ attitudes that helped us
get there. An ability to think quickly in high-pressure situations is one of
the key qualities we look for when hiring Hearth Support Workers. It’s a valuable skill they can use throughout