Ingrid’s new home is a hive of activity when we visit her on a Monday afternoon.
The 64-year-old has just returned home from her day at Northgate Social and Life Skills Hub and is working alongside her support worker Steve to get her lunch ready for tomorrow.
With funding for Supported Independent Living (SIL) in her NDIS plan, Ingrid recently joined fellow NDIS participants Donna and Dominic in the 4-bedroom McDowall home.
“Ingrid is delighted with her new home,” says her sister Astrid.
“We’d done lots of research and knew Centacare had a strong track record in creating safe and supportive home environments for people. They use a thorough assessment process to ensure every person’s care needs, personality and interests are carefully matched with their housemates.
“It has worked a treat. They’re more than housemates – they’re friends. They go to the footy and have sausage sizzles in the park. They are big fans of ABBA and are all going to see Mamma Mia together at QPAC.
“You want to feel confident that the people you love are being cared for in the same way you would care for them. Especially as we age – we know we’re not going to be around forever.”
‘Visiting friends’ is a key part of the process Centacare uses to ensure housemates can live together in a safe and nurturing environment.
“We understand that home means much more than a roof over your head,” said Service Delivery Manager, Jodie. It’s important to us that housemates get the most out of the opportunity that taking charge in their own home brings.
“‘Visiting friends’ gives everyone the opportunity to get to know each other in a fun and gradual way. Ingrid popped over for regular visits with Donna and Dominic over a period of months. They shared morning tea and meals together. Ingrid brought Astrid along with her until she built the confidence to visit by herself.
“We knew it was time for Ingrid to move in when everyone became really excited about it. So we all worked together to move her things in. Ingrid set up her room and chose where she wanted to put her furniture. She loves to sleep with her nightlight on and she chose to plug that in beside her TV.”
Support worker Steve warns not to let Ingrid’s quiet nature fool you. “She has a cheeky sense of humour and loves to be part of everything,” he said. “Whether it’s a household conversation or dinner preparation – she likes to observe what’s going on.
“Every morning I pull up at the house to start my shift and find Ingrid in her favourite spot – in the front room watching the neighbours walk their dogs. She’s up before sunrise – she just loves animals.”
Long-time support worker Liisa supports Ingrid to access the community and arranged for Ingrid to walk one of the neighbourhood dogs every Friday morning.
“I have real peace of mind knowing that Ingrid has a stable and reliable care team that know her so well,” said Astrid. “Dominic likes routine, Donna likes her veggies roasted and pureed – they understand everyone’s needs, aspirations and preferences and work really hard to give them the personalised care they need to thrive.”
WHO CAN GET FUNDING FOR SUPPORTED INDEPENDENT LIVING?
The NDIS has published a useful Supported Independent Living Participant Information Pack, which includes detailed information on how SIL works.
We offer a wide variety of supported living options to suit a range of people and circumstances. For those with complex needs, we have our own in-house behaviour support specialists who can work collaboratively with families, other providers and our own support workers to provide complete wrap-around care, tailored to individual goals.