Supported independence

FRIENDLY PLACE: DSA's Charlestown Villas offer an alternative to the traditional group home model that works well for people like Michale.
FRIENDLY PLACE: DSA's Charlestown Villas offer an alternative to the traditional group home model that works well for people like Michale.
SUITABLE: Ken decided to move into the Charlestown Villas because he can still have his independence.

SUITABLE: Ken decided to move into the Charlestown Villas because he can still have his independence.

Recognising that one of our basic human needs is to have a safe, secure place to live, Disability Services Australia (DSA) has a focus on providing independent living support that best meets people's needs.

NDIS funding is all about giving people with disability more choice and control in their lives.

If living independently is one of your goals, then Supported Independent Living has clear benefits for you.

DSA's Charlestown Villas offer an alternative to the traditional group home model that works well for some people but is not for everyone.

There are four villas on site, each with their own kitchen, bathroom, living and outdoor areas as well as access to common shared areas including a communal BBQ area.

Sarsha Reti is DSA's Service Manager at Charlestown and this week she spoke with Ken and Michael about how they came to be living independently with support from DSA.

Ken used to work as a truck driver, but after developing Parkinson's disease his circumstances changed, he lost his job and moved into a hostel to live.

"I then went through a real low period in my life," says Ken. Sarsha asked Ken what made him decide to move into the villas.

"The people here are what made me sure I wanted to move here. It wasn't like a group home; I saw that I could still have my independence," he said.

Every day Sarsha and the Charlestown team see the difference the right supports can make in a person's life through improved health and wellbeing, a sense of belonging and connection to family and friends and opportunities to explore new social activities and interests in the community.

Michael lived at home with his mum and dad until they passed away, but then he was on his own.

He tried living alone with drop-in support. "I had an accident where my head was hit and I was bleeding," he said. "I then went to hospital for a long time."

The people who cared for Michael at the time were concerned and knew Michael needed more support.

"I felt like this place is a friendly place and its close to the shops," he said. "There is 24/7 support here which I didn't have, when I was in hospital the staff were always changing and I didn't know who the staff were.

"Here I know the staff that support me. I feel like I have more room to be independent and go out in the community and enjoy myself."

DSA are committed to supporting people to explore the community around them and all it has to offer, build friendships, stay connected with friends and family and live life the way they want to.

To get in touch call 1300 372 121 or visit www.dsa.org.au.

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