Group 3

James grew up in rural New South Wales. At 19 years old he was an ammunition technician looking forward to going to a military academy. James loved to party, was always smiling, respectful of others and quite an extrovert. He had dreams of buying a house, proposing to a girl and having a family. This all changed when he was assaulted and left with an acquired brain injury.

James spent 2 years in hospital and rehabilitation. He had been improving, but he didn’t have the capacity to go home and look after himself. His support needs were still high care. James went into aged care where he lived for almost 7 years. He says he was “sentenced” because it felt like jail.

“You have no choice left in your life. You have a meal menu that just keeps repeating itself. Choice of what you eat, choice of what time you get up, choice of what time you go to bed is gone.”

After featuring on a media story, James had the opportunity to move into a supported accommodation. He then went on to live in an SDA apartments and is now living with a friend.

“You might make a friend or acquaintance, but the next week they’re dead.
A 21-year-old should not be losing the people around them like that.”

Read and watch more stories from young people who lived in aged care