Gold Coast resident Carol Taylor says finding accessible accommodation for her and her family can sometimes feel like “finding a needle in a haystack”.
“You can find venues that may accommodate a single person with a disability and their carer, but as a family we always need an interconnecting second room for our son,” Carol said.
“I feel like nearly every family trip has involved endless hours browsing the internet to find somewhere to stay.”
When Carol was invited to speak at a Cairns Business Women’s Club event earlier in the year to discuss how she balances her life as a mum, wife, lawyer, artist, fashion designer and someone with a spinal cord injury, she jumped at the chance to explore more of Far North Queensland.
“I was thrilled to be invited to speak and as my family had never been to Cairns before, we turned the opportunity into a family holiday,” she said.
During the trip, Carol and her family stayed at the Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre near the Cairns Esplanade, which provides fully accessible accommodation options and services for people with a physical disability.
“I was blown away by the Healthy Living Centre,” she said.
“Arriving at our apartment, we were greeted with extra-wide automatic doors, kitchen benches and dining room tables that could be raised or lowered to suit; even the kitchen sink could be moved!
“The bedrooms were extra large and easy to move around in and included height-adjustable beds and pressure care mattresses.
“Honestly, in the 19 years since sustaining quadriplegia, I’ve never slept on such a comfortable bed – as soon as I returned home, I successfully asked my Occupational Therapist to find me the exact same mattress!”
Carol said having such a hassle-free accommodation experience in Cairns helped her and her family get the most from their stay.
“Cairns is such a beautiful and accessible city and the location of the Centre right near the Esplanade couldn’t be better,” she said.
“We could have easily stayed another week with how much there is to see and do.
“We had such a fantastic experience and cannot wait to return.”
Guests to the Healthy Living Centre can also access allied health services, including physiotherapy, exercise physiology, occupational therapy and more during their stay, as well as request a Personal Support Worker to assist them during their stay.
Options are available for participants of the NDIS and other funding schemes, as well as self-funded guests.
The Centre also includes an accessible gym, hydrotherapy pool and community café.
For more information on the Healthy Living Centre, visit spinalhealthyliving.com.au