This blog was written by NDIS Supported Independent Living provider Lighthouse Disability.
When you have a brother or sister with a disability, your journey is unique, filled with challenges, joys, and responsibilities that shape your life. As you both navigate the path ahead, one important aspect to consider is future planning. As your brother or sister with disability grows older, their needs may change, and it’s essential to explore options like short-term accommodation and supported living.
Peer Short-Term Accommodation
Short-Term Accommodation (also known as STA) provides an opportunity for your sibling to experience a sense of independence while being supported in a safe environment.
Respite properties and transitional housing programs offer a break for caregivers while enabling your sibling to develop life skills and build relationships. This experience can enhance their confidence and self reliance, contributing to their overall growth. STA can also be great way to move into 24/7 support with Supported Independent Living – as it allows an easy transition into living independently.
Engaging with STA also benefits you, the sibling and family. It allows you to focus on yourself, knowing that your sibling is receiving quality support. It’s a chance to recharge, fostering a healthy balance between your responsibilities and personal development.
Supported Independent Living
As your sibling approaches adulthood, the concept of Supported Independent Living (also known as SIL) comes to the forefront. This type of support provides them with the opportunity to live independently while receiving the necessary support to thrive. Collaborating with disability support organisations, you can tailor a plan that aligns with your sibling’s needs and aspirations.
SIL empowers your siblings to make decisions, manage daily tasks, and engage with their community. It fosters a sense of belonging and enables them to develop essential life skills that contribute to their autonomy and self-esteem.
For you, the sibling, this phase of planning involves active participation in finding the right support network and resources. It’s an opportunity to continue your role as a supportive family member while acknowledging your sibling’s journey toward self-sufficiency.
What are the next steps if your sibling is interested in STA or SIL – how do you support them to get the funding?
There is a process to receive this level of NDIS funding and it all depends on several factors. Given the complexities, as well as the number of different health professionals that will need to be involved, we recommend engaging with a Support Coordinator – who will be able to support you through the whole process.
Here is a guide of a typical process to get STA or SIL NDIS funding:
- Initial Contact: Begin by reaching out to your Support Coordinator or NDIA. Express your interest in SIL or STA services.
- Assessment: Work closely with an NDIS planner or Support Coordinator. Discuss your sibling’s goals, daily needs, and support requirements. This assessment helps determine the appropriate level of funding.
- Documentation: Gather all relevant documentation, such as medical reports, assessments, and any information showcasing your need for 24/7 support (SIL) or temporary accommodation (STA).
- Plan Development: Collaborate with your planner to create a detailed plan outlining your sibling’s individual needs. Specify the type of support required, whether it’s assistance with daily tasks, personal care, or other services.
- Support Category: Determine whether your needs align with SIL or STA criteria. SIL focuses on ongoing support for daily living, while STA caters to short-term accommodation needs, often during emergencies or when caregivers require respite.
- NDIS Review: Submit your plan to the NDIS agency for review. They will assess your case, considering factors like your sibling’s disability, current living situation and available support from family and caregivers.
- Approval and Funding: Upon approval, you will be granted SIL or STA funding in your NDIS plan. This funding is allocated based on your assessed requirements and can be used to access appropriate services and accommodations.
- Provider Selection: Research service providers who offer SIL or STA services that match your needs. Work with them to tailor your support and accommodation arrangements.
- Implementation: Put your plan into action. Start receiving the support and accommodation services outlined in your NDIS plan.
- Regular Reviews: Periodically, your NDIS plan will be reviewed to ensure it aligns with your evolving needs. Adjustments can be made to the funding and services as necessary.
Embracing the Journey Together
In this journey of future planning for a sibling with disability, open communication is paramount. Regularly discuss your sibling’s evolving needs, desires, and goals. Seek input from your parents, other family members, friends or caregivers and involve your sibling in decision-making to ensure their preferences are considered.
As you navigate the road ahead, STA and SIL can become stepping stones toward a future where your sibling with a disability thrives in an environment that respects their unique journey. Embrace this path with optimism, love, and a commitment to creating a brighter future together.
Lighthouse Disability is a registered not-for-profit NDIS provider of supported independent living and plan management in the north and north-east of Adelaide. The journey of Lighthouse Disability started over 30 years ago when a dedicated group of parents, familiar with the challenges and needs of their children with diverse and complex disabilities, joined forces to develop accommodation support for their loved ones. Many of our founding clients and their families have remained part of our community throughout the years. Together with our dedicated staff, we continue to deliver support that people can depend on.