SPONSORED STORY: People living with disability want independence and support when they need it, but have previously told the Disability Royal Commission, they are often stuck in residential aged care facilities.
The Disability Royal Commission has previously looked into alternative accommodation options for young people living with disability, including options like Supported Residential Services (SRS).
SRS is an accommodation and support option for people of all ages groups, including those living with disability, who may need more help with everyday activities like showering or managing medications but are still wanting independence.
Victorian SRS provider Effective Care, caters for Victorians living with disability as an alternative to aged care facilities.
Director of Effective Care, Nalin Ranasinghe, says that being independent is an important part of providing SRS services for people living with disability.
“Independence is important to all and especially important to those who have a disability. Limitations on one’s independence can have an adverse effect on the person's confidence, self-esteem and motivation.
“In the SRS setting, independence goals are set with the client, and we do our utmost to support and encourage the achievement of those goals.”
SRS’s are usually smaller in size and offer similar, if not the same, level of service as residential aged care facilities. This makes them an accessible and attractive alternative for people living with disability who are looking to receive support but don’t want to live in a residential facility.
Mr Ranasinghe explains, “The SRS setting is all-inclusive. Meaning there is no age eligibility requirement to be in a SRS. SRS facilities are an ideal option for younger disability clients as we are flexible, and the care and support is based on an individual’s needs and wants.”
SRS’s do not receive funding from the State or Federal Government, however, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding may be used towards the care component, says Mr Ranasinghe.
This means that NDIS providers are still able to manage clients while they are benefiting from daily social interactions and around the clock support while living in SRS.
Effective Care resident Gail has spent one year living in a SRS and says it is “absolutely fantastic” and has made a big difference in her life as she can’t live alone.
“I’m well cared for and well-fed. [Staff are able to] assist with personal care,” explains Gail.
According to Alfred, who has spent five years in a SRS, the environment offers him independence but “care when I need it.”
“[The] staff are very good and are trained to act in an emergency.”
After living in a SRS for eight years, Stephen agrees that it has let him keep his independence while still receiving the day to day support he needs.
Mr Ranasinghe says there are often misconceptions that surround SRS’s, which can mean people don’t quite know what to think or expect about living in a SRS.
He explains that despite what people believe, SRSs are in fact, for people of all ages, with or without disability, who need additional care from appropriately trained and qualified staff receiving appropriate training and qualifications and could be considered as a genuine alternative for those looking for an alternative to residential aged care homes.
To find out more about Supported Residential Services (SRS) and to see if they might be right for you contact Effective Care.