20 March 2022

Deb’s bowling away Down Syndrome misconceptions

A former Ten Pin bowling champion has overcome a tumultuous few years to relishing an independent life.

Deb’s bowling away Down syndrome misconceptions

A former Ten Pin bowling champion has overcome a tumultuous few years to relishing an independent life thanks to in-home supports.    

Deb – who has Down syndrome and potential early stages of Dementia, will celebrate her 58th birthday this year – a fate once unheard of.

Better support at home

Just Better Care House Facilitator Simone Knight said prior to moving into Supported Independent Living, there were nine residents and not enough staff to meet her unique needs.

“Deb wasn’t coping and was placed into hospital on a number of occasions. For most people, hospital is a traumatising time, but for someone with Down Syndrome, it takes an extra toll on them,” Ms Knight said.

“When I first met Deb, she wasn’t in a great way. She wouldn’t sleep or eat, and would choke on anything we fed her.

“The one-on-one care in her new home has been an absolute godsend to her longevity and wellbeing.”

A loyal zoo visitor 

Deb like most of us loves spending time in the community and is using her NDIS plan to explore her love of animals, with a yearly pass to Australia Zoo.

“Some days she’ll pack her bag, choose her own outfit and decide we are off to the zoo. Other days she chooses to sleep in,” she said.

“Deb has a complete ball on the drives to the shops and zoo, on the condition she ‘bags’ the front seat. She lights up whenever I put on her favourite band Abba.”

A talented bowler

A former member of the Carpet Snakes Ten Pin bowling group, Deb’s swashbuckling bowling career spanned over 15 years – collecting a trove of medals in successful team and individual performances throughout South East Queensland.

“The bowling alley was where Deb felt most at home and definitely one of her proudest achievements,” Deb’s older brother Ian said.  

Deb’s Just Better Care Support Coordinator Kieren Trask recalled the fond memories of bowling with Deb every Saturday, when he worked as her support professional.

“Deb was the ultimate competitor. She’d stick her tongue out wide open at the pins when she wasn’t happy with her bowl. When she scored a strike she would lose her mind – and explode with laughter, and jump up and down,” Mr Trask said.

What’s install for the rest of 2022 for Deb?

Ian, who visits his sister once a week, said she hopes to develop her skill sets at an arts and craft class and fine-tune her routine – the backbone of Deb’s being.  

Today marks #WorldDownSyndromeDay. March 21 was chosen to signify the uniqueness of a child born with Down syndrome, who present with an extra 21st chromosome. 

Interested in personalised in-home care for you or a loved one? Head over to our ‘Get Started’ section on our website. Alternatively, give us a call on 5353 5111.