Matthew’s 2023 holiday plan

Geraldton and Kalbarri National Park 18th – 21st July

Earlier this year I decided to plan a holiday to Kalbarri for Matt and went ahead with some bookings. We need a wheelchair van and a mobile hoist, and have finalised the bookings for these just last week.

The support worker who was coming with us had to pull out due to changes in AbilityWA conditions for her employment for the four days. Fortunately our NDIS independant support person has been able to find a support worker through another agency and we were advised of his availability on Thursday last week. A huge sigh of relief as we didn’t want to go ahead without at least one support worker.

We also decided to base ourselves in Geraldton, rather than Kalbarri as I originally thought, and make a day trip up to the Kalbarri National Park. This saves travel time/distance on the first day and when heading home. It also means that we are based in a large enough city to have good health facilities, etc. The plan now is to have one day in the national park and one day exploring Geraldton.

I have been worrying about sharing a small villa, with four people, plus all of Matt’s equipment. Therefore, I’ve contacted the holiday village where we will be staying to see if they have a one bedroom villa close by. This uses the model that Marie and Geoff have when they take Glenn away, where he has his own villa and they stay in their caravan.

Of course, Matt needs someone in his own villa overnight and I can be on-call in case of any difficulties. Plus being there by 6.15 each morning, ready to help Matt get up.

By having our own space it will free up a bedroom for storing Matt’s commode chair and hoist when they are not being used. There are photos on the web of the villa and it doesn’t look very large.

The van we have hired has been modified by the hiring company, in fact modifying vans for wheelchairs is their main business, with hiring vans a more recent activity. They have taken out the normal Toyota windows to put in larger ones for better viewing. Matt does tend to nap when travelling, but at least when he is awake he will have good views.

Now that we seem to have all of our ducks in a row we are looking forward to the trip. It’s something we would like to do ourselves, and being able to share with Matt makes it even better. My sister and family will be in Geraldton at the same time and will join us for the visit to the Kalbarri Skywalk, etc. They are also transporting the hoist to Geraldton as I was worried about it being a hazard in case of an accident. The only place to store it is in front of where Matt will be seated.

This is occupying most of my thoughts and energy at the moment. It’s less stressful now that we seem to have everything prepared.

The photos are from our trip to Kalbarri in 2020.

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