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The Mill Park family of 39-year-old Sarah Brady battling the later stages of dementia has been awarded a six-figure sum in Superannuation Total and Permanent Disability insurance payments to help pay for her full-time care. Read more to find out how we helped Sarah continue with the care she needs.

Not more than eight years ago, Sarah was an energetic and bright young woman who enjoyed a career in procurement, playing sport and socialising with friends.

Her mother Lyn said that in 2012, Sarah moved to Perth for work but shortly after lost her job, prompting her return to Melbourne where she continued to have trouble maintaining employment.

The early stages

Lyn started noticing little bits and pieces, we knew something wasn’t right. One day while Sarah drove Lyn to an appointment she wet herself on the way and was cutting cars off the road. The family had to take Sarah’s keys off her.

By 2013, basic tasks such as memory retention, using a knife and fork, speech and sense of direction had become major challenges. The family noticed she had become much quieter at this time, prompting a doctor’s misdiagnosis of depression.

The diagnosis

Sarah was finally diagnosed with dementia in September 2014 at the age of 37 and was given no more than six years by doctors. She now lives at aged care home The Boulevard in Mill Park, where she receives round-the-clock care.

Continued support

Lyn says it has been an extremely difficult process for the family watching their eldest child – the family includes four children and two foster children - gradually deteriorate in recent years.

“She used to be so energetic, she played netball, she went out with her friends, she was just a fun-loving girl,” says Lyn. A year ago, Sarah was talking but now, she has trouble swallowing. And her family want people to be aware that this can happen to anyone.

Add to that the financial costs of supporting Sarah had been overwhelming. After receiving the money, the family can now just focus on enjoying as much time with her as possible, making memories with her and “give her the best quality of life with the time she has left.”

How Slater and Gordon was able to help

Slater and Gordon Associate Tristan Nathanielsz who was involved with the case said the money had been awarded from four funds including REST, CBUS, Australian Super and AMP.

Mr Nathanielsz said the case was complicated by the fact that Sarah’s employment and medical history – normally provided from memory – needed to be collected from documents obtained from family recollections.

“Families in similar situations need to be aware that they are entitled to make claims through superannuation funds to help compensate for lack of earnings and medical costs,’ adds Mr Nathanielsz.

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