It is undeniable that the way in which you are supported in a nursing home will be very different from how you are supported when you move out. The main difference is that you will have a choice about who is in your support team. You may be fortunate to meet someone that you really connect with. You might be lucky enough to have support workers that you have shared interests with. The aim is that you have a support team that works for you. Samar and Michael talk about how they chose the best people to help them move out and work with them.
It’s always a bit scary to have new people in your home. At first I thought, “no, I don’t want to do it.” What I struggled with the most was being around people the whole day, from having no support to having people around you all the time. It was a big adjustment. But now I couldn’t imagine my life any differently. My support coordinator was already doing the NDIS with her sister, so knew what she was doing on a personal level. That gave me a bit of confidence. The main thing for me, apart from having a great support coordinator, is having a great support worker network. It’s a lot of trial and error to start with. My support coordinator mentioned companies to try out. They came out and did a meet and greet first. Then they brought out 6 different support workers. Out of the 6 I chose 2. For me it was about whether we clicked. It was hard to pinpoint it. I think it’s about having that connection and making sure you got along well. When you’re bringing people in for personal care it’s about if you feel comfortable with them fully. My Support Coordinator always made sure if I wasn’t happy with somebody that I could say, “I don’t want to work with them. I’m not comfortable.” But it did take me a while to feel ok to say this, no I’m not comfortable.
At first, the decision for my SDA came back saying I only got shared accommodation. That was stressful. My Support Coordinator knew that I wasn’t going to accept this outcome so we went ahead and did what we had to do to appeal. I was quite nervous. It turns out not all the forms were filed properly by the planner. You shouldn’t just accept things like that. It’s hard to fight but worth it.
When it comes to supports I always use the analogy. Sometimes it's like a doctor, you might need a GP, but other times you need a specialist. Don't be scared to ask the organisation or the people providing supports what experience they have. You could even ask them, have they successfully gotten somebody out of an aged care facility before? How many people? And are they happy with where they living? Remember, these people are getting paid to support you. You are paying them with your NDIS funds. I think it's important to be honest with your support providers, and always make sure you explain to them exactly what you want, and always tell them if you're happy, or if you're not. If someone asked me how easy it was to get out of aged care, I wouldn't want to sugarcoat the whole thing. I'd explain to them that it's going to be important to get the right supports, and that it's not an easy process. So, it's always good to have as much support as you can get. I'd say, look, it's not going to be 100% perfect all the time, but it's a darn lot better than living in aged care.
Hopefully you have found this information useful. For you to feel comfortable with your support team, you need to remember that you make the final decisions. You have every right to choose people that make up your support team and remember too that it has to work for you. Moving out of a nursing home may seem daunting, but it is possible! There are people who have done the same before and have come out the other side. There are also plenty of people willing to help you along the way.