When moving out of home is the best for your child with disability

Endeavour Foundation - My Home My Life Initiative

It’s normal for parents to experience a range of emotions when their children move out of home. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for everyone, but also a new and more independent life for both of you.

If your child has a disability, it can be even more difficult to let go. But as we have discovered from talking to many parents, when your child is ready, and the right supports are in place, there are plenty of positives to finding a place they can call their own.

Meet May and Scott

We chatted with May, whose son Scott is moving into one of our brand-new homes built as part of Endeavour Foundation’s My Home, My Life initiative.

Scott has an intellectual disability, but as May points out Scott has all the daily living skills he needs to leave the family nest and flourish.

For May, this move will help to reduce her anxiety about what will happen to Scott as she ages. “It was very hard, but I’ve given him a life of his own now, and as I get older, I don’t have to worry… I know he’s being taken care of,” she said.

The My Home, My Life initiative will provide 350 people with disability the opportunity to live independently in a new home. Each home is built in accordance with the Fully Accessible Specialist Disability Accommodation category requirements under the NDIS and can be retrofitted to ensure the occupants are able to live as safely and independently as possible.

The purpose-built modern homes all include features such as:

  • ducted air-conditioning
  • video intercom from the front door for visibility and safety
  • Wi-Fi access for all housemates, and
  • assistive technology such as help alarms for peace of mind.

These homes have been designed to the highest quality and prioritise the safety and security of the people who will live there, giving great comfort to parents like May, siblings, and carers, as well as to residents like Scott who can live independently for as long as they choose.

Scott is both proud and excited about his new home, especially as he gets to choose his own room and will be living with people who share similar interests, likes, and dislikes. It’s like he’s getting an extended family.

“I’m excited to be able to move into a brand-new house after living in my current home for 21 years,” Scott said, “I’m very excited to have a veggie garden.”

May could not be happier with Scott’s beautiful new home and thinks all the housemates are going to learn a lot living independently as part of a small group and having the opportunity to do a lot more things for themselves.

Like many people with a disability who move out of home for the first time, Scott is in his 30s. He is familiar with the local neighbourhood he has grown up in and has become used to a routine with his family. Moving out will mean a huge change that can be a source of worry for both parties, but with the right support, Scott will benefit greatly from the independence that his new life away from home brings.

“My house is very close to the shops, work, and the park with a cricket pitch so I can practice my cricket skills,” Scott said.

The importance of independence

Many people with disability want to live an ‘ordinary life’ and hit the same milestones as their peers. A big part of growing up is to become more independent and have a level of autonomy and control over your own life.

It’s common for people with disability to become overly dependent on family members. But we’ve found independent living arrangements can offer them the opportunity to make more friends, learn more skills, and access more mainstream services.

According to many studies, one of the keys to quality of life is self-determination – which just means making choices and decisions about your life and acting as you want to.

Independence in Supported Independent Living

The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability, article 19, highlights the rights for people with disability to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live, with support and responsive community services.

The NDIS provides access to services and supports that recognise and respect unique individual needs and goals so people with disability can live their best life.

Through the NDIS, Scott accesses Supported Independent Living (SIL), which provides him with access to a ratio of support in a Supported Disability Accommodation (SDA) aligned to his individual needs. In Scott’s case, that’s a ‘Fully Accessible’ home.

Scott’s SIL funding also supports the development of his independence and skills training for things like:

  1. support managing money and household budgeting
  2. assistance to complete basic self-care tasks, such as showering and dressing
  3. help accessing local public transport to visit family and friends or attend social or community activities
  4. assistance with cooking and meal preparation
  5. help with domestic duties such as cleaning, doing laundry, and gardening
  6. support with grocery shopping
  7. regular skills training
  8. overnight or 24/7 care and support from trained staff.

The benefit of SIL

Consistently we hear of the desire for people with disability to have the same opportunities as everyone else for leading a fulfilling and productive life. Seeking independence for personal development, inclusion, and emotional, physical, and material wellbeing is at the heart of achieving this.

Worldwide, people with disabilities get most of the support and care they need from family members. Through greater opportunities for independence, a balance can be achieved so that both they and their families have the chance at improved quality of life, and social and economic participation.

For May and Scott, it is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in their lives.

Looking for supported independent living options?

We have a number of vacancies in our properties. Like any household, it’s important that people get along. We do our best to match housemates based on similar ages and interests.