After a decade, N.S. disability rights advocate finally allowed to move out of nursing home


Vicky Levack could not consider it when she discovered out she was finally shifting out of her nursing home.

“There’s issues I can not say…. since you’ll have to bleep it, however belief me they had been all very excited issues that might have to be bleeped,” she stated.

Levack, 31, has cerebral palsy and has been residing in Arborstone Enhanced Care in Halifax for a decade. When she moved in, she was informed it could be like residing in a dorm for individuals with disabilities.

“I used to be offered a bill of items that wasn’t true,” Levack stated. “Initially, I used to be on a ground with a lot of individuals with dementia and different sicknesses like that. As a end result, I used to be bodily assaulted by individuals who did not know what they had been doing.”

Levack spent her twenties residing in a room with a hospital mattress. She had to eat meals at set instances. She stopped inviting individuals over as a result of she was embarrassed when there have been screams and shouting from different residents within the corridor.

Levack additionally could not supply company a place to sit in her room.

“Having my niece come go to – she’s 5 now – however I believe it scared her a little bit.”

Vicky Levack says her room within the nursing home makes her really feel like she’s residing in an establishment as a substitute of a home. She has no privateness if she needs to invite company over. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

Levack’s expertise impressed her to change into a vocal advocate. She spent years working with the disability rights coalition in Nova Scotia, begging the provincial authorities to do extra for younger adults with disabilities.

Their combat with the province ended up in a lawsuit – with Nova Scotia’s high court docket ruling the province discriminated towards individuals with disabilities.

Finally, on Tuesday, Levack bought the decision she’s been ready for. She’ll be among the many first 4 individuals to participate in a pilot program from the province, permitting her to move into an house for the primary time in her grownup life.

“I will now not have nurses respiration down my neck. Not that they accomplish that deliberately, however there’s at all times anyone round and I prefer it when I’ve my very own area.”

Nova Scotia’s division of group providers stated in a assertion that it’s spending $3.5 million on this fiscal yr to kick begin this system. That will enable 25 younger adults with disabilities to move into flats, and obtain the help providers they want.

Vicky Levack and supporters have campaigned for the top of the institutionalization of individuals with disabilities in Nova Scotia. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

Levack is among the many first 4 who will move in mid-November. She says she may have a roommate who can also be in this system, and they’re going to have entry to 24-hour nursing help.

Community providers says it’s working with the division of seniors and lengthy–time period care to function the pilot.

It says over the following three years, one other 175 younger individuals can be in a position to move out on their very own.

Levack says she’s lucky that she’s among the many first, however she will not cease her advocacy till everybody with disabilities who needs to dwell independently has the choice.

“There are actually 300 younger adults throughout this province who’re in the very same boat I’ve been in for 10 years,” she stated.

“Quite a bit of individuals have died earlier than that they had a likelihood to dwell locally and expertise full citizenship. So my job will not be achieved.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here