Are you someone that has always lived with other people around you and the thought of being on your own in a brand new SDA property is a little daunting? I get that. I lived my life with my family, so I always had someone around. I never really thought about being lonely before I moved into my SDA apartment. However, I really felt it after I moved in and I’m usually someone who is happy to be in my own company.
So what did I do about it? Well, my solution won’t be for everyone, but I spent two days at the RSPCA getting to know their cats that were up for adoption and eventually came home with my precious princess, Arya. She officially has the title of my companion cat and we live together in harmony and happiness. However, a pet is for life and the commitment is real. They do cost quite a bit of money and they do require a lot of care. For example, a dog must be walked every day and a cat needs to have their litter cleaned out. They also both may need weekly or even daily grooming. You may need help doing all of these tasks with your pet, so once you have one, you will need support workers who are comfortable in helping with them and who aren't allergic or afraid of cats and dogs.
If a pet isn’t for you, what else can you do? Remember SDA isn’t just the home or apartment you live in. It’s the key to unlocking a whole community that’s right at your fingertips. Most cities and towns will have community activities or clubs you can join, so a whole new social circle can open up for you. There will be places to go and many people to meet.
That has the day covered, what about the night? Many SDA properties have 24/7 on-site back-up support. If you feel overwhelmed with loneliness at any time, you can buzz for support. Remember, it’s not just physical support that you might need. Your mental health is just as important and support could be provided to you in the form of a chat. So in reality, you are never truly alone.
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.