CHL has won the 2012 Northern NSW Special Purpose Housing Project of the Year at the HIA Shriro Commercial Northern NSW Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards for its development in Dumaresq Street, Armidale. This outstanding development received the accolade for being highly successful in providing its tenants with far more appropriate accommodation enabling a more active and engaged lifestyle after having lived in aged care or high care facilities for periods of between 12 months and 10 years.
Whilst the property is designed, constructed and managed by CHL, our support partner House With No Steps (HWNS) is providing support services for the tenants which focuses on choice of service, taking control of their own lives, and engaging with the community either through employment or other productive contributions. The separation of housing and support services with integrated service delivery approach provide a community living environment for supported independent living.
“This model is supporting men to actively participate in daily routines that had previously been done for them and that many other people take for granted,” says CHL’s Managing Director Steve Bevington. “They are developing independence in basic life skills, collecting their mail, making food choices, preparing their meals, accessing their own bank account, and buying their own personal items.”
There has long been widespread debate about young people with a disability being housed in aged care facilities. The major concerns have centred around a lack of stimulation in an essentially sedate environment, as well as concerns about not having the opportunity to live independently with support. Perhaps most importantly for their social development is being able to spend time with people their own age. All tenants have lived and worked locally, and some have children and grandchildren nearby.
“Men who previously spent many hours each day in bed look forward to going into the community regularly. They have a renewed zest for life and their own expectation now is that they have a voice and will be heard. They’re starting to advocate for themselves and tell staff if they’re not happy or worried with something, which indicates the level of empowerment these people are enjoying,” says Mr. Bevington.
The innovative government funded program allows the men to receive 18 hours of one-to-one support per week to reconnect with the community they were once part of. Some of the programs offered also include therapeutic services such as podiatry, massage, and physiotherapy sessions.
The development was funded via Ageing, Disability and Home Care Services of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) under the Young People In Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) program, a national initiative being driven by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
The tenant’s physical, mental and emotional well-being has greatly improved based on the assessment of an occupational therapist. Funding has also provided the latest health-related equipment. This includes air-circulating mattress beds, specialist shower chairs, the latest comfort-designed day wheelchairs, and new community access wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs. All bedrooms are fitted with a ceiling hoist to assist in the easy transfer for the resident from their bed to their chair. This has improved the physical well being of the residents thus resulting in a commensurate improvement in their mental health.
For more information on CHL, contact:
Media and Communications Coordinator
t 03 9856 0050
m 0430 555 241