News • 03 Dec 2020

Life-changing Robust Specialist Disability Accommodation for Open Minds, soon to be completed

Life-changing Robust Specialist Disability Accommodation for Open Minds, soon to be completed

A strong network of Developers, Investors, healthcare professionals and Service Providers, have come together to provide a long-term, safe home for NDIS Participants. 

Ashley is a 41-year-old man who has been supported by Open Minds for over four years, whilst being in an extended-stay mental health facility. With thanks to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), Ashley now has a funding package which will provide him supported living in his own home, along with two other house mates, 24/7.

Ashley has a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia and Intellectual Impairment, to which he is supported to manage behaviours of concern, and his overall health and wellbeing so he can access the community.  Ashley’s sister said “My brother has lived in hospital for over a decade.  When we started working with Open Minds, their understanding of the NDIS helped us to get the funding Ashley needed, so that he could live a better life.  Ashley and I knew that his goal of living in the community was going to be possible once we had the support from Open Minds.  They just listened to what we wanted, talked through a plan and made us aware of what needed to happen.  Open Minds has provided my brother with quality of life by providing workers that assist him in daily living skills to prepare him for being in his own home. We knew it wouldn’t happen overnight, and it has taken four years, but I think the rapport the Support Workers and Ash have, is what has contributed to the huge improvements Ash has made, noticeably how his relationships with our family have been maintained. Moving forward, Ashley having his own house will provide him with a home instead of hospital.  I couldn’t be happier his hospital life is coming to an end – the outcomes will benefit everyone in Ashley’s life”.  

Through a partnership with Adapt Housing, Open Minds have worked with Ashley and two other residents to build a Robust, Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) home. 

Adapt Housing CEO, David Whitelaw said; “When we learnt of Ash and the other residents, we knew we could deliver a safe and modern home that is truly accessible, and provides them more independence, in a place of their own.  It has state-of-the-art technology and we have worked with the very best designers who understand the importance of SDA Build Categories like Robust, and can include reinforced walls, doors, sound proofing and of course automation into homes without the resident feeling like they are in anything other than a regular home.  It has been such a pleasure to walk Ashley and the other residents around the Site and provide them with a sense of ownership. 

We are also very fortunate to have so many socially conscious investors who want to work with us to continue building accessible, purpose designed and purpose-built SDA housing that goes above and beyond NDIS guidelines.  These homes can be built at no cost to participants and they have the flexibility to have the Supported Independent Living provided by organisations such as Open Minds”    

Ash and the other residents visited the site recently to walk around the newly poured slab.  They had the opportunity to place their hands in concrete, and make their mark on their soon-to-be, new home.  One of the residents said, “I can’t wait to have my mum over and cook lunch for her, I’ve never been able to do that”. 

Open Minds will continue providing support to transition the residents out of their current living situations into the new home (due for completion early 2021) where they will receive 24/7 Supported Independent Living (SIL) care.  This type of support from Open Minds will ensure the transfer is smooth and the residents have control over what their new daily lives will look like.  Open Minds works very hard to house match residents based on interests, hobbies and personality.  Support worker Luke said “I have worked with Ash for nine months and I have really enjoyed watching him prepare for his new life of independence.  He is learning to cook for himself and also learn domestic skills to be able to maintain his new home.  He really loves music and can name any band and musician without batting an eyelid.  The other residents also enjoy music, so I can see them all enjoying new genres together.  Ash is really looking forward to living with people he already gets along with, and with them having similar interests, means they can explore their newfound freedom together.  Ash is pretty excited to have his own alfresco area to sit outside and enjoy the day”.

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