As someone living with an intellectual disability, you may find yourself wanting to lead a more independent lifestyle as you grow older.
If you’re still living with family, there are ways to gradually transition to living on your own. You’ll find there are a range of supported living options available in Perth that can help you take the next step in your independence journey.
No matter whether you feel ready to leave home or you’re still considering your options, you can use this guide to prepare for moving into supported accommodation.
But before you start looking at your housing options, you first need to obtain NDIS funding.
Are you eligible for the NDIS?
The National Disability Insurance Scheme provides more than $22 billion in funding a year to around 500,000 Australians living with a disability.
If you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident aged between 7 and 65 with a disability, you could be eligible for the NDIS.
How to make an access request
If you meet the criteria for the NDIS, the next step is to apply for funding by making an access request.
You can either call the NDIS and complete your application over the phone, or you can submit an electronic form online, depending on your preference.
During the application process, you will need to confirm your identity and request documentation from your treating health professional to provide evidence of your disability.
Create your NDIS plan
When your application is approved, you will receive what’s called an access decision letter.
A representative from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will then make contact with you and help you create your NDIS plan.
Your plan will outline what you hope to gain from the NDIS and identify the support you will need to help you achieve your goals.
This is when you will have the opportunity to discuss moving out of home and how the NDIS can assist you in your journey.
How the process works
The NDIS will often ask you to get a support coordinator who will help you find an accommodation provider and will complete a housing exploration report for you.
The housing exploration report informs the NDIS of your support needs and will guide you through the eligibility criteria for supported accommodation.
Your support coordinator will also assist you with finding an occupational therapist, who will conduct a functional capacity assessment.
Your NDIS plan will then be reviewed, and you will be provided with a list of NDIS registered providers who can support you with your accommodation options.
Talk to an NDIS Service Provider
You’ve got your funding. You’ve got your plan. Now you can sit down with an NDIS service provider to see what types of accommodation are available in Perth.
There are shared supported living homes where you will get to live with other people who are also living with an intellectual disability, with trained staff available to assist you at all times.
There are also independent living options where you can have access to drop-in supports.
Make a smooth transition
In the lead up to moving into your supported accommodation, it’s a good idea to get organised and put yourself in the right mindset.
Here are some ways to prepare for living more independently and how you can get further help from the NDIS if needed.
Practice at home
While you’re still living with family, you can start to practice certain tasks and activities before you move out.
If you haven’t got a lot of experience in cooking meals, washing your clothes or how to use certain household appliances, use your time at home to learn as much as you can. By the time you move into your supported accommodation, you will be feeling a lot more confident.
Make a budget
When living out of home, you need to make sure you’re managing your money wisely.
By creating a budget, you can make sure you have enough money set aside for rent and other living expenses.
You will also be able to calculate how much you can spend on yourself and start to put some money away in savings.
It’s best to put your budget together before you start living in supported accommodation.
If you need some support, reach out to your NDIS service provider.
Get to know your housemates
Take the opportunity to meet your potential housemates before you move in.
Your NDIS service provider may be able to organize an overnight trial stay in your future home or a short-term accommodation house.
You could arrange to spend a day or two with your potential housemates to bond over daily household and leisure activities.
Discover your neighbourhood
Once you know what suburb you’ll be living in, take some time to get to know your neighbourhood.
Learn about the public transport routes, your local shopping centres, parks and beaches nearby and more.
You might feel comfortable doing some research on your own or taking a look around with your friends and family. Alternatively, you can also ask your coordinator for assistance.
Talk to a mental health professional
If you’re feeling anxious or nervous about moving out of home, you might benefit from talking to a mental health professional.
Under the NDIS, you may be able to access individual counselling services where you can discuss what’s on your mind with a trained professional.
You’ll be able to work through your worries and learn techniques to help you manage any stress you may be experiencing.
Get the support you need
If you’re looking to move into supported accommodation and need help with any part of the process, get in touch with the friendly team at Activ.
We work with people living with intellectual disabilities and provide them with the support they need to lead an independent life.
As one of the largest NDIS service providers in Perth, we can also assist you with employment, community services and much more. Contact us today.