There are multiple reasons Muscular Dystrophy Australia (MDA) places such an emphasis on our respite and quality of life programs.
Firstly, those living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) often require 24 hour care seven days a week, in order to assist with basic living needs and activities. This can be exhausting for family members caring for a loved one living with MD.
Currently, there are few alternatives to offer respite to families with children or loved ones living with MD, who require this level of care and attention. Without much needed respite families very often struggle with the demand and complex needs of their loved one living with MD. Therefore one of the main reasons MDA’s offers these programs is to offer families a chance to have a break from their caring duties and recuperate, rest and recharge, knowing their loved one is being well looked after and having an enjoyable time.
MDA research has shown that before CampMDA or before knowledge of its existence, families had no choice but to place their child or loved one in hospital for respite purposes. CampMDA offers an economical respite alternative to families of children and loved ones with MD, as well as a more engaging and enjoyable atmosphere and experience for the child or loved one. CampMDA is a low cost viable alternative to MD patients occupying a hospital bed. MDA can deliver respite through CampMDA at a cost of approximately $8.00 per hour per child, which is significantly less than the cost of a hospital bed where daily costs can well exceed $2 – 3,000.
Secondly, respite programs such as Operation MD! ShortBreak and Operation MD! SWAP offer those living with MD a chance to interact and establish meaningful relationships with their peers. As many people come from regional areas, these programs offer socially and/or geographically isolated individuals in our community the benefit of forging meaningful relationships.
As of September 2016 MDA has proudly run 104 instances of CampMDA programs, and numerous Operation MD! ShortBreak and Operation MD! SWAP since inception. These programs have delivered more than 460,300 hours of activity and more than 638,850 hours of respite to the MD community.
In addition to these amazing service delivery hours and respite provided, through the Student Placement Program, university students have contributed in excess of 170,000 hours of support to the members of the MD Community attending CampMDA.