Is Supported Independent Living the Right Choice for You?

Perry Cross And His Carer In Perry S New Accessible Apartment
Brianna Barry
About the Author
Brianna Barry
Guest Author

Brianna manages and coordinates the fulfilment of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) vacancies for MS Queensland, supporting potential SDA participants through the transition into an SDA tenant and Supported Independent Living (SIL) service recipient.

If your goal is to live independently, while having the comfort and security of a dedicated team, then Supported Independent Living (SIL) could be the best option for you. SIL means 24 hour assistance is available to meet your needs, while empowering you to live as independently as possible.

SIL offers a range of assistance with a variety of tasks, from personal care, cooking, cleaning and laundry all the way to helping pick up that remote that’s accidentally fallen to the floor.

Brianna Barry is the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Intake Manager from MS Queensland, which is working hand in hand with Accessible Housing Australia (AHA) to find suitable National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants who may be eligible for SIL, and accommodation, in AHA’s new East Palm Beach project on the Gold Coast.

Brianna explains how SIL can offer more flexibility and freedom for those with high physical needs.

How does Supported Independent Living work?

Supported Independent Living (SIL) is the support you need on a daily basis, provided by Support Workers, with your daily tasks. As each NDIS participant presents with completely different abilities, goals, lifestyles and preferences, SIL supports are tailored to ensure that you have someone there to do the things you want and need to do.

At its core, SIL is people, based within or nearby your home – ready to be support you when you need them.

SIL is typically presented as the model of support present in shared accommodation, however it can be so much more than that. SIL is a flexible support, that can present as on-call or “concierge” styled assistance, as well as the more traditional, comprehensive shared model.

What does SIL as a concierge model look like?

Concierge SIL is a new model within contemporary disability services, that allows for more choice and control over who provides your day-to-day assistance, while also providing cost-effective 24/7 presence of on-call Support Workers.

You are able to choose specific times for when you want to dip in to the pool of Support Workers available on-site through SIL, and balance this with your preferred provider of drop-in supports.

What this translates to is control over who provides you assistance with your scheduled needs (e.g. personal care, meal preparation, cleaning), with the back-up SIL service to provide:

  1. That extra person you need to assist with a hoist transfer
  2. On-call overnight supports, for the strange, unexpected supports that pop up unpredictably
  3. Emergency support, for when something goes wrong
  4. All of the above, including your day-to-day tasks – if that’s what you want!

How can I access SIL?

SIL is accessed through your NDIS plan, should you qualify for this support type.

SIL at the East Palm Beach apartments can be accessed by eligible NDIS participants, who have met High Physical Support SDA eligibility requirements for the apartments.

High physical support needs usually present as:

  • Extreme functional impairment (limited mobility, self care or self management)
  • High need for person-to-person support (with limited access to ongoing informal support) or particular risks associated with a participant’s disability (special accommodation would improve health and limit risk)

The MS Queensland SDA Intake Team’s purpose is to assist you on this journey to access SIL and SDA funding through your NDIS plan.

What if my current home isn’t suitable for me?

There are many people with a disability who are currently living in unsuitable accommodation, which may include a private dwelling without necessary modifications, or an aged care facility.

We encourage you to reach out to our SDA Intake Team to discuss supported accommodation options that will work for you.

What type of housing is offered by SDA providers?

There are many different housing options available, and the MS Queensland SDA Intake Team play a role in matching clients with suitable accommodation.

SDA can be a group home with a dedicated residence for onsite Support Workers, or a private home, duplex or unit with space for a support worker.

There are also new partnerships being created between developers and SDA providers, who purchase a number of dwellings in a new apartment project or housing estate for SDA use.

AHA has purchased units in a new Palm Beach project on the Gold Coast and will work with eligible NDIS participants to customise each residence to meet individual needs. Custom fittings may include a range of automation features, like motion sensor lighting and speech activated controls for doors, blinds and entertainment devices.

The interior of the residence may be retro-fitted to adjust bench heights to make cooking easier, removing any uneven surfaces in flooring for wheelchair use and fitting hoists to assist with personal care. Our team will support eligible applicants to go through the process of securing the equipment, modifications, assistive technology and services you need to live as independently as possible in an SDA apartment.

If you would like more information about Supported Independent Living, please contact MS Queensland on 1800 870 416 or info@msqld.org.au.

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