The Summer Foundation was established in 2006 by Di Winkler, an occupational therapist who has worked with people with severe brain injury for more than 20 years.
The early work of the Summer Foundation focused on understanding the experience of young people forced to live in aged care and growing a body of evidence to support the need for systemic change.
We support the disability, health and aged care systems to work more effectively with younger people in nursing homes. We have prototyped effective housing alternatives to aged care for younger people with disability. We support people with disability and their families to share their stories and empower others to avoid or leave aged care.
As part of our work to resolve the issue of young people living in aged care, the Summer Foundation trialled an innovative housing solution that integrates smart home technology and good design with a support model designed to promote independence, all in well-located community settings.
We also develop practice guides, training materials and new models for government and non-government organisations to work together to resolve this issue. We undertake academic and applied research to make sure there is a strong evidence base for what works.
In 2017, we decided that the replication and scaling of our housing demonstration projects would be best implemented by a dedicated organisation that focuses on the ‘bricks and mortar’ of housing projects. So we established Summer Housing, a not-for-profit sister organisation to the Summer Foundation. Summer Housing is separate to the Summer Foundation, with an independent Board and staff, but the two organisations continue to collaborate on areas of common interest.
For more information on Summer Housing, visit www.summerhousing.org.au.