Chris English was celebrating his 69th birthday when a fall down steps left him a quadriplegic.
He spent 12 months in hospital, during which time his wife Bobbie had to move from their Kiama home into a new home at Tullimbar, which had been modified for wheelchair access.
The couple - who celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary this year - have accepted their "new normal" - yet they're finding it hard to accept the "inequity" they see in government funding.
Mrs English said had her husband fallen and acquired his disability before the age of 65 he would have been eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - and had access to more funding and support.
As his accident occurred after age 65, he's reliant on an aged care supplement - which is capped at $50,250 annually. That doesn't even cover a couple of hours of assistance each day.
Mrs English wants to meet with Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert, to discuss how the cut-off affects elderly Australians like her husband.
And with the help of Lions Kiama club, she's organised a petition which has gained over 6000 signatures. The goal is 10,000 signatures to get the issue aired in federal parliament.
"We think it is age discrimination and we want everyone with a disability to be covered under the same scheme," Mrs English said.
"Our lives have changed dramatically but right from day one, when we were told he'd be a quadriplegic on a ventilator, we worked to make sure we lived as normal a life as possible.
"Chris uses a chin-operated wheelchair but he needs 24/7 care. Yet the funding only covers care for one-and-a-half hours a day."
That leaves Mrs English, and her adult son and daughter, responsible for the vast majority of care.
"We have a lot of support and we're thankful for that - but what about the people who don't?" she said.
"We have a carer come in for one-and-a-half hours a day to help me get Chris up, showered and dressed.
One day last week, a carer wasn't available and my daughter had to come before work to help. What happens if no-one's around, are people just stuck in bed for the day?"
Mr English, a jeweler by trade, and a keen racing car enthusiast and gardener, remains stoic about his condition.
"You can't do much about it," he said, "but it does affect other people. I do feel for those who don't have the fantastic support that I do - the system needs to be fairer."
Mr Robert referred the Mercury's query to the Department of Social Services, which confirmed the cut-off for the NDIS was 65. A DSS spokesperson said NDIS eligibility did continue beyond age 64 for those who became NDIS participants prior to 65.
"The NDIS is not intended to replace the health or aged care systems," the spokesperson said. "For those 65 and over, there is a range of supports available within the aged care system that can be accessed through My Aged Care, which may be suitable for older people with disability."
Sign a copy of the petition at Milk and Honey or My Room on Terralong St, Kiama; or at Kiama council, Manning St. Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.