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Customer Story – Michael and Sabrina

Michael Armstrong has always loved nature, growing up in the country town of Colac, Victoria. Today,  inspired by his love of all animals, Michael lovingly cares for his two birds; a Pink and Grey Galah called Pinky and an Indian Ring Neck Parrot called Bluey.

Michael began his dementia journey at the age of 62, but the signs were evident well before that time, according to his wife Sabrina. At the start of 2022 Sabrina attended an Alzheimers WA workshop to help her care for Michael. After gaining some insight into Younger Onset Dementia, she rang our customer support line and spoke with our NDIS team about a plan. Sabrina was encouraged to keep Michael at home for as long as possible and Alzheimers WA Occupational Therapist Debra Truscott has been enabling them to do so, providing assistance with equipment and accessibility. Michael has had four back operations and consequently took on the role of housekeeper while Sabrina worked full time.

However, as he continued his dementia journey and the impact of his back problems worsened, more of the duties around the house fell upon Sabrina. OT Debra has helped Michael obtain suitable equipment that has enabled him to continue to be as independent as possible with daily living tasks. This along with Sabrina supporting Michael to consistently complete his exercises has resulted in great improvements in Michaels independence. He is once again able to help around the house. 

The benefits of Michael being at home with Sabrina and the renewed ability to participate in the household is crucial for those living with younger onset dementia and their families. It also ensures that Michael can spend plenty of time with Pinky and Bluey.

Sometimes I think what’s the point, but (then) I get into the bird cage to say hello and they bring me joy.

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