Everyone has their own unique dreams and goals they want to pursue in life – it’s a driving force behind why we do what we do. At Challenge Community Services, we’re committed to providing people with disability with a growing range of support services to help them reach those goals.
One of the ways we achieve this is through Supported Independent Living (SIL), a service that supports people who are unable to live independently and want to immerse themselves in a shared living space with others of a similar age and interests.
Michael has been a client of Challenge for a number of years and he recently transitioned into retirement while in SIL. This is the story of Michael and his support worker Jess.
Being a part of the Challenge community
Having spent three years as a support worker for Challenge, Tamworth-based Jess is experienced in all that SIL has to offer. But perhaps even more familiar with the opportunities provided by Challenge is Michael, who’s been a client with Challenge for over 30 years and has been supported through many different life stages.
“Michael definitely has a sense of family and community as he has been with Challenge for a long time,” Jess says. “You can tell he has friends within the organisation and he talks a lot about the other residents – he’s formed some very close bonds with some of the long-standing staff.”
A typical day for Michael
SIL is all about giving house members the opportunity for as much independence as they want while also providing support for a variety of tasks. Jess says she helps Michael get into a consistent routine on the days he spends at his day program, while he is free to do whatever he likes on his days off.
“On a typical day, Michael heads off to a day program so I will assist him with getting ready in the morning. We try to encourage Michael and the other house members to be as independent as possible in their day-to-day tasks, but we do support him with personal care, tidying up and meal preparation when needed.
“At the moment, Michael is transitioning into retirement. This means that he attends a day program four days a week and then spends an extra day in his shared home to do whatever he chooses, supported by myself or another support worker.”
Living in Australia’s home of country music
Michael is very much a social creature, and Jess says he loves the communal interactions he gets to have every day with the other four men in his home. Being based in Tamworth is also perfect for Michael the music lover, who’s always listening to his CDs in his room and has been known to belt out a few Adam Harvey numbers on karaoke nights.
“They all really love music and will often have karaoke competitions in the evening,” Jess says. “We also try to get out and listen to as much live music as we can, which is great when we live in the country music capital!”
What is Supported Independent Living?
Supported Independent Living (SIL) is a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funded support that provides eligible people with help and/or supervision of daily tasks to develop the skills of an individual to live as independently as possible.
At Challenge, we offer SIL as a shared living arrangement in spacious modern homes with experienced support workers on hand 24/7. Our trained staff are available to support house members with personal care, meal preparation, household tasks, shopping, attending medical appointments, recreational activities and much more.
Making new friends and getting out in the community together is an important part of Supported Independent Living. Community events, shopping excursions and shared activities such as attending the movies or live music are some of the social activities house members partake in every week.
“I love my job,” says Jess. “I get to work with great people. I get to go out and be involved in the community. I get to help and meet really great people. You really get the job satisfaction out of it.”
Already have SIL in your NDIS plan and looking for a shared home? View our Supported Independent Living Vacancies