Home & Living

There are several housing and home and living options for people with disability, with circumstances sometimes changing over time.

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What is best or right for one person with disability might look very different to another, and it can change over time. But what we should always be aiming for is home and living options that best suit the needs and wishes of the individual.

When considering your brother or sister’s home and living options, there are lots of things to take into account. This can include what your brother or sister wants, the level of care they need, safety and security, proximity to family, and their NDIS plan. 

How the NDIS approaches housing, and home and living support

The NDIS recognises four different types of accommodation to support participants to live as independently as possible.

Short Term Accommodation/ Respite (STA) Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) Supported Independent Living (SIL) Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

STA, including respite, is support and accommodation for a short time away from a participant’s usual home. STA is generally only available for short periods of time (approx 2 weeks), where the participant might have a short stay with others. Holidays are also funded through STA.

MTA provides accommodation if a participant is unable to move into a long-term home because their disability supports aren't ready. To be eligible, the participant must have a home they’ll move into and need somewhere else to live in the medium-term. MTA is usually available for up to 90 days.

SIL is for participants with higher support needs who always need help at home – often a significant amount of help throughout the day, seven days a week and often also overnight support. SIL homes are usually a group home framework shared with other NDIS participants.

SDA is housing designed and built for people with extreme functional impairment or very high needs. SDA usually involves a shared home with a small number of other people, although a participant might also be able to live in SDA by themselves if that best meets their needs and circumstances. SDA funding includes the cost of the home or building. There are usually ongoing costs to live in SDA, which include things like rent and any services or supports required.

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NDIS home and living supports

You can access a detailed explanation of all the NDIS’ home and living options, supports and funding for NDIS participants on the NDIS website.

Access NDIS information about home and living supports.

Making changes to your brother or sister with disability’s living arrangements

Depending on your brother or sister’s happiness with their current living arrangements, if their needs have changed or are no longer being met, it might be time to talk about making a change.

This might mean moving out of the family home to live in their own home, or to share a home with others. Regardless, moving house is one of life’s big milestones and needs to be carefully planned to ensure an easy transition.

Making disability approved home modifications

If your brother or sister’s current living arrangements are likely to continue to meet their requirements, you may need to look into future proofing their home with modifications.

Home modifications are custom-built changes made to a home to ensure ease of access. These modifications can be minor, or they can be complex. As with any building work, there are laws and regulations that need to be adhered to when undertaking home modifications for a NDIS participant. Check with your local council about what their planning rules are.

You might be able to pay for home modifications using NDIS funding. There are different rules for different types of modifications.

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NDIS home modifications explainer

You can access a detailed explanation of the home modifications for NDIS participants on the NDIS website.

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NDIS providers

The NDIS has developed an online provider finder tool for searching registered providers across all provider types, including home modification design and construction, across Australia.

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Service providers & info guides

Disability Support Guide has developed an online provider and information guide finder tool for searching registered providers across all provider types, including home modification design and construction, across Australia. You can also search for disability or diagnosis specific information.

Home and living support for older people with disability needs

The NDIA is committed to making sure that no NDIS participant aged under 65 years (under 50 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) lives in a residential aged care facility, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The NDIA supports younger participants to have more choice and control over where and how they want to live. If your brother or sister receives their funding from My Aged Care and they are in the appropriate age bracket, their living arrangements could be one of:

Accommodation Concierge Care Services

 

A room in an aged care home/nursing home or residential aged care facility. This includes their room and all the things that come with it – including furnishings and bedding.

 

Services to meet day-to-day needs such as meals, laundry and social activities. Also includes the services that maintain the aged care home. This covers cleaning, heating and cooling, and maintenance of the grounds and building.

Personal care

Personal care support such as bathing, eating, support with taking medications, and carrying out health treatments.

Clinical care

Clinical care according to needs. This can include special bedding, nursing services and therapy services such as speech therapy, podiatry (foot care) and physiotherapy.

There are also options for short term care, in-home care and transition care.
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 My Aged Care introduces and explains the types of services that can help people to maintain a good quality of life as they get older.  

Learn about types of care on the My Aged Care website.

What you can do

Understand and facilitate supported decision-making for a person with disability

Every person has the right to make their own decisions, but sometimes, we need support. When someone needs help to make decisions, it’s called supported decision-making. And is based on making decisions with someone not for them.

Support with decision-making can come from family, friends, and other peers. Support can also come from service providers or other people, such as advocates. Supported decision making looks different for each person.

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Easy Read & video

The Council for Intellectual Disability has created information about supported decision-making for people with intellectual disability. It’s called ‘I can make decisions’ and includes a downloadable two-page Easy Read document in pdf format, and a three-minute video.

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Guide to NDIS decision-making

The Victorian Office
for the Public Advocate’s ‘Guide to NDIS decision-making’ and explores when a decision can be made by, with or for an adult with significant cognitive disability.

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Lived experience video

Check out this NDIS
video where Luke from Inclusion Australia talks about supported decision-making
for people with disability.

Establish a Circle of Support for a person with disability

It is important to remember that there are alternatives to seeking formal legal orders (which might include guardianship and administration), such as establishing a Circle of Support to support you and your brother or sister with decision making.

A Circle of Support involves a group of people in your brother or sister’s life, who they know and trust, coming together to support formulating, promoting and achieving the goals of a person with disability. The circle acts as a community to support and provide practical advice, solve problems and generate creative ideas to contribute positively to a person’s life.

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Blog

A Circle of Support for a person with disability can be whatever you make of them.

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Microboards

 

A Microboard is a similar concept to a Circle of Support but is legally incorporated to become a not-for-profit organisation that supports just one person. A Circle of Support often progresses to become a formalised Microboard.

Complete our personal profiles for future sibling planning

To ensure you can support your brother or sister to make important life decisions that are right for them, it’s important that you first ensure you understand what they want, what is important to them, and how they see themselves living their life for the foreseeable future.

That’s why we’ve created two helpful personal profile documents – a personal profile for your brother or sister, and a personal profile for you. Completing these profiles will help you to gain clarity on their wants and needs, keep track of relevant information and decisions, and enable you to reflect and plan ahead. It’s something you can do with your brother or sister, and you might even find it fun!

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