The NDIS is life-changing for many people with disability – especially if you are eligible for specialist disability accommodation (SDA) funding. If you have very high physical support needs, having SDA funding may give you a chance to think about moving out of your parents’ home – or out of a nursing home – for the very first time.
After a significant amount of time spent living with your parents, or somewhere like a hospital or a nursing home, it can be hard to imagine what living more independently might be like.
It’s possible that family members or support workers might not be able to imagine the available options either. For many, the NDIS is a whole new landscape, filled with new language, new processes and uncertainty. Many people don’t know what the new options look like and are understandably cautious.
The right information can make all the difference. Here are a few good things to know:
• SDA housing doesn’t mean that you take a lease and are left to your own devices. In a single-occupancy SDA apartment, for example, 24-hour on-site support is typically available – for any times that you need assistance when you are alone in your apartment.
• Brand new SDA apartments aren’t just beautiful, they’re affordable too. With SDA funded at the right level in your NDIS plan, the amount you pay to live in an SDA apartment is 25% of your Disability Support Pension, plus any Commonwealth Rent Assistance you receive.
• If you are in single occupant SDA, living alone doesn’t mean being lonely. SDA properties are often centrally located – close to public transport, shops and community facilities. This means that with the assistance of a support worker, getting out into the community can be relatively easy. You can explore work and learning opportunities, and get involved in local art, sport, church and other community groups. You can visit friends, or have friends visit you in your own home whenever they like. If you have an outgoing personality, these things should be listed as goals and funded in your NDIS plan.
• Moving out on your own often means learning new skills, but you don’t have to learn these things on your own. A successful move into an SDA apartment is as much about what happens before you move as what happens after – we call it ‘transition planning’ – and there are people available to help. Banking? Shopping? Bills? So many of these things can be automated these days, with some pre-planning and occasional ongoing support.
More and more SDA opportunities are becoming available. For example, applications are open right now for SDA apartments in Rockdale, NSW. The development features 10 beautiful apartments in a great inner-Sydney location, with 24-hour on-site support available. (For a host of other possibilities around the country, check out www.thehousinghub.org.au or gonest.com.au)
If you think you might be eligible for SDA, but are not sure whether it is right for you, please give the Summer Foundation a call. We can talk you through your options and help you decide if this is something you’d like to follow up.
For more information or to talk through your options, call Melody at the Summer Foundation on 0499 111 848.