New Butler centre to make life easier for people with MS

 MSWA members Nicolette Murphy and Kate Gild with chief executive Marcus Stafford at the Butler facility sod-turning event last year.
MSWA members Nicolette Murphy and Kate Gild with chief executive Marcus Stafford at the Butler facility sod-turning event last year.

THE opening of a Butler facility for people with multiple sclerosis this year will enable Kate Gild (46) to live closer to her family.

Ms Gild was diagnosed with the disease in 2005 after feeling nerve pain in her wrist after coming back to Perth from the UK for a holiday.

She initially thought it was Carpal tunnel, but an MRI revealed it was MS.

“At the time I didn’t know much about MS and after receiving my diagnosis I realised I had been living with some symptoms for a while,” she said.

“I would fall over for no reason or find I could not walk properly, which I had put down to being clumsy.

“I also had tingling in my right hand that I thought was Carpal tunnel syndrome, which my mum and grandma both had.

“I was very scared.”

Ms Gild, who now uses an electric wheelchair, has called MSWA Treendale Gardens “home” in the South-West for the past three years.

The facility provides high-support accommodation and respite for people with neurological conditions, giving them access to 24-hour care and nursing, and allied health including physiotherapy and outreach at the Community and Health Services Centre in Bunbury.

However, she wanted to be closer to her family and was excited to learn MSWA was building an $8 million high-support accommodation and services facility in Butler.

The MSWA facility on Butler Boulevard. Picture: Martin Kennealey

Once complete, it will be a one-stop shop for people living with MS and all neurological conditions, offering services such as physiotherapy, counselling, nursing, outreach and peer group sessions.

The adjoining development will be a high-support accommodation facility with 10 self-contained units for people living with neurological conditions.

“I’m so excited to move into the Butler community,” Ms Gild said.

“I’ve been living in Treendale for almost three years and my life has been fine, but it’s just so far away from my friends and family.”

The facility will provide permanent accommodation options for people who can no longer stay in their own homes.

Ms Gild said she was looking forward to the simple things such as having friends over for a coffee or going to her parents’ house, which had been difficult while living regionally.

“The onsite care and support will allow me to lead a fulfilling and independent life,” she said.

“The train station is down the road and there is a services hub next door.

“I can take myself to my physiotherapy sessions or go grocery shopping.”

MSWA chief executive Marcus Stafford said the organisation was thrilled to be opening a purpose-built centre for people living with neurological conditions.

“Residents will have their own self-contained unit and shared communal area where they can socialise via a high-support accommodation facility,” he said.

“(It) includes onsite 24-hour, seven-day a week care for younger people who may have otherwise had to face the very real prospect of living in an aged care facility.

“These developments are made possible by the ongoing support of MSWA by generous West Australians who buy tickets in our Mega Home Lotteries, take part in events like MSWA Ocean Ride and make bequests and donations.”

Mr Stafford said the Butler centre was part of the organisation’s long-term, strategic growth plan which would continue to develop a network of facilities in regional areas such as Albany.

“We’ve found that the number of people using our high-support accommodation facilities has grown and I predict that we’ll see the same thing happen in Butler,” he said.

“To manage the ongoing demand over the coming years we have a major building program planned, both in the metropolitan area and regional WA.

“As well as bricks and mortar we also want to continually increase the services we provide to our customers and the number of hours’ worth of services that we provide.”

MSWA expects to open the Butler facility in February.