My brother is my best friend

My name is Emily, I am 25 years old and I care for my older brother Jamie. Jamie was born with a genetic condition called xxyy48, which impacts him physically and intellectually. Jamie and I have always been close. I understand him really well when most others don’t.

Jamie has lived with me for around 7 years. We now live together with my partner Dylan, and my new baby Evie. I am currently unemployed, and will remain so until Jamie becomes more independent. This is a goal we are working towards with the help of his NDIA funding.

Jamie has support two days a week from paid support workers to increase his social participation and increase his life skills. The rest of the days of the week support is provided by me. I take care of the household work and cooking for Jamie, and I also help him to manage his money and bills. I assist him with various errands and attend all medical appointments.

Jamie has required numerous surgeries on his legs and feet to keep him mobile. During the recovery periods I assist with his mobility and self-care needs like showering and dressing. I coordinate most things in Jamie’s life.

Caring for Jamie is challenging and rewarding. With the recent birth of my daughter, things have been tricky at home, but we are slowly getting used to the changes that we are making. It is hard to juggle being a new mother and a young carer, but I love that we are such a close family. To see Jamie grow and learn new skills is such a great feeling. I want nothing more than for him to lead a happy life!

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