I remember an occupational therapist at the hospital I was connected to, writing out a report for me during the application process for my SDA apartment. In it she said I would need a two person transfer whenever I used my hoist. I panicked when I read that, because surely that would be too much and I would be overlooked for my apartment if I was going to need that much support. I begged her to change it and tried to point out how I could do this with less support.
Not long after this I had a discussion with my support coordinator who pointed out to me that, in fact, SDA is specially designed for people who need high physical support and have an extreme functional impairment. I ended up going back to the OT and telling her that the report she wrote was perfect!
There are properties designed and intended for people just like you. In fact, there may be people already living independently in their own house, unit or apartment with higher physical support needs than you have, and they’re thriving and living exactly how they want to be. SDA properties, like the apartment I live in, are designed with each individual's needs in mind. My apartment is fitted out with automated technology, so I can open doors and blinds at the touch of a button, and there’s backup support on site, so there is always a support worker nearby if you need them. Plus you decide when and how your individual supports are delivered. It’s all tailored and it’s irrelevant how disabled you are.
So explore your options. You may just find the perfect home that supports you in every way possible to achieve the lifestyle you have always wanted.
Belinda has worked as a Lived Experience Facilitator in the Summer Foundation's Housing Hub Team since June 2020. She brings the experience of navigating her own housing journey which sees her now living in an SDA apartment. Belinda has a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.
Belinda is passionate about people with disability having a voice and a say in their own housing journey, which will lead them to have the best support, choice and flexibility in how they live.
Belinda is also the SDA Tenants' Reference Group Lead. Learn more about the group here.
After acquiring a brain injury Will's close-knit family worked tirelessly to get Will home to his own apartment. "He's 27, like he's not meant to be in a nursing home."