Customer Merri, with the help of her support staff, is learning to use a computer to keep in touch with family and friends

Customer Merri, with the help of her support staff, is learning to use a computer to keep in touch with family and friends

Customer Merri has been enjoying learning new skills to independently keep in touch with family and friends, and achieve greater independence at home.

Merri has lived in Activ supported accommodation for over 20 years, and for the last 13 years has been accompanied by her cat Charlotte. Merri’s large family, including four siblings, all live in different places across WA, so keeping in touch with everyone is extremely important to Merri.

One of Merri’s support workers Yvette, has been working with Merri to learn how to use a computer, especially emails, to chat to her family and friends. Yvette ensured that the computer’s settings were appropriate for Merri’s level of vision, adjusting text sizes to make Outlook emails more accessible to Merri.

“I like to use the computer to chat to my family. They send me photos and emails. Yvette helps me to read the messages I get on Outlook,” said Merri.

Merri can now independently open her computer, open Outlook, and read the emails that she gets from family and friends.

“It’s good that I can read them myself, because I don’t have to wait for any staff to do that for me, I can read them whenever I want,” said Merri.

At the moment, Yvette supports Merri to reply to the emails, but it won’t be long before Merri starts to do that independently too.

“I find it a bit hard to reply to them so Yvette helps me with that, but she’s supporting me to learn to do that by myself,” said Merri.

Merri’s also been keeping in touch with her friends, and for the first time ever, has started to catch up with them over dinner completely independently. A couple weeks ago Merri and her friends had a great meal at the pub, which she really enjoyed!

“A support worker would come with me before, but now I can go by myself. They just drop me off and pick me up. It feels good to be going by myself and seeing my friends,” said Merri.

One of Merri’s support workers, Louise, said that Merri had no hesitations going to the pub, as she always knew her support staff were a phone call away if she ever needed them. Louise, and Merri’s other support staff, are supporting Merri to go to a party this weekend, which she is very excited about.

“This weekend I’m going to my friend’s place for her birthday party. I’m going to bring some dips and corn chips. This will be the second time I’m going by myself,” said Merri.

Merri’s independence feats don’t stop there. Merri’s learnt to order healthy meals, heat them up herself at home, as well as wash and put away her dishes, and as a result has lost over 20 kilos!

“I choose all my YouFoodz meals myself, and I can heat them up when I want to eat them, and chop up all my veggies myself,” said Merri.

Merri also loves keeping active and is kicking her health and fitness goals.

“I go for a big walk everyday. It used to take me an hour to walk around the park I go to, but now it only takes me 40 minutes,” said Merri.

When Merri goes to the shops, she goes to her favourite café and independently orders her coffee, before picking out food for Charlotte.

“I like it there because they all know me and what I like to have,” said Merri.

“Then I go to pick out food for Charlotte, because she is a bit of a spoilt princess!”

Louise has been so impressed with how Merri has achieved so many of her independence goals recently.

“Merri just gets more and more independent as time goes on. She can also wash her clothes by herself, she goes to the bank by herself, writes her own shopping list. It’s really great, she’s learning new things all the time,” said Louise.

With all this progress in just the last few months, we can’t wait to see what Merri will achieve next.

We can help you to achieve your goals, and live more independently, just like Merri. To find out more about Activ’s accommodation services, contact our friendly Customer Engagement team via email at or on 08 9387 0555.

Click here to read about how supported accommodation can support you on your independence journey.