The 12 things you should look for when picking a group home

Disability For many years, group homes have existed in Australian communities, providing housing for people with disabilities. They are intended to be places where residents can receive the assistance they require while remaining connected and reaping the benefits of communal living.

In the past, disability homes resembled institutions and residents had few options, but thankfully, things have changed. Providers are now concentrating on providing empowering services that promote dignity, self-esteem, choice, and independent living.

Not all group homes are the same, so do your homework to find one that not only meets NDIS and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) standards, but is also right for you.

Here are 12 things to look for when considering a group home, as well as some questions to ask a provider when deciding where to live.

1. Your choices are always respected.

A disability home should be a place where you are supported to make your own decisions, whether it's expressing your preferences, choosing your daily activities from a variety of options, helping to plan meals, or having a say in how your support is delivered. Staff should make you feel confident and in command. When it comes to your services, plans, and goals, they should include you in the decision-making process.

Questions to consider: How do you plan your day's activities? What is your approach to providing assistance and making decisions? How are people with disabilities' rights respected in this home?



2. You are always treated with dignity.

You should always be treated with dignity and respect as an individual. This means that you will have privacy for personal care and a sense of ownership over your space in a group home setting. Your viewpoint and point of view are taken into consideration, and you are treated equally and without discrimination..

Questions to consider include: Are there private areas in the home? Are the residents of the home content, respected, and valued as people? How does the care team interact with the residents?

3. You have chances to interact with the neighbourhood.

A good group home will provide numerous opportunities for residents to become involved in the community, whether through outings, programmes, daily activities, education, or assistance in finding work. The house should be similar to other houses in the neighbourhood and ideally located near public transportation, shops, health care facilities, libraries, and recreation areas.

Questions to consider include: what opportunities for community service exist? Do you have the ability to pursue your interests? Is the group home close to the things you require?

4. You’re supported in an active way.

According to research, allowing residents with disabilities to participate in activities and social relationships improves their outcomes. Staff should encourage you to do things for yourself and assist you in developing your skills. People should accomplish things with you rather than for you as a result of your support, which should be person-centered and empowering.

Questions to consider include: What does disability support look like in a group home? What chances will you have to improve your skills and learn new things? What social activities are available to you?

5. You can be content and healthy there

Wherever you live, you should feel valued, heard, and cared for, and there should be measures in place to protect your mental health and wellbeing. From the level of sensory input and stimulation within the home to the ability to have friends and family visit you, the environment should also suit your disability needs.

Questions to ask: When you visit, do you get a good sense of the place? Do you feel at ease and relaxed? Can you get along with your future roommates?How does the staff care for the residents' mental health and wellbeing?

6. It's a location where you can feel protected and healthy.

Your physical health is critical. You should have access to all of the resources you need to care for yourself, including medication management, allied health therapy, health monitoring, personal care, and complex health care. You should also feel safe and secure, have access to nutritious food, and be able to engage in enjoyable exercise.

Questions to consider include: how are meals handled at home (and are you involved in the preparation)? Will your medical requirements be met? Is there medical care nearby if you need it? Will you be encouraged to engage in physical activity that you enjoy?

7.The number of residents and employees is appropriate.

It's critical to find a place where you can make friends while also having enough space for privacy and alone time. A disability home should have no more than six residents and enough staff to meet the needs of the residents. According to research, homes with a diverse range of personalities, abilities, and support needs are more beneficial to residents and result in better outcomes.

How many people live in the disability home, for example? Can you meet them before moving in, or visit the house to see what it's like? How many employees work at the group home?

8. The house can accommodate your demands.

While all group homes must meet strict NDIS standards for accessible housing, it is important to ensure that the home is an inclusive environment with all of the aids you require. Hand rails, easy-to-use appliances, larger doorways, fall alarms, and proximity to accessible public transportation are examples of such features.

Will you be able to access all areas of the house if you have limited mobility? Can you live in the space safely and comfortably? Do you have transportation if you need it?

9. The workplace culture is positive.

Observing how staff interact with one another and treat residents in a group home can teach you a lot. A healthy staff culture is one in which everyone is respected, regardless of their background, frontline workers are empowered and happy, and residents are treated with warmth, compassion, and humanity.

Questions to consider include: how do staff members interact with one another and with residents? Do they show residents dignity and respect?

10. Your feedback is encouraged, not ignored.

It should be simple to provide feedback, express dissatisfaction with something, or inquire about your support in a group home. Staff should have a process in place for taking your feedback into consideration so that you feel heard and that your opinion is valued.

Questions to consider include: What is the process for providing feedback? What happens after feedback is given? If you have a query or an issue, who should you speak with?

11. You’re empowered to reach your goals

It is critical to be able to achieve your individual goals in order to continue living independently, learn new skills, and boost your self-esteem. Being a resident of a group home should provide you with numerous opportunities to work on your goals while receiving encouragement and support, as well as participate in activities that improve your quality of life.

Questions to consider: How will disability support workers assist you in achieving your goals? What will your strategy entail? How will it be followed up?

12. It’s a place you love!

Your space should feel like a home. It should be a place where you feel at ease and secure. Making friends with the other residents, being able to customise your bedroom, having space for your own photos and artwork, and having a role in how things are run are some examples matters such as meals and how the house is run.

Take a tour of the facility and see if you like the way it feels. Could you possibly live here? Is it welcoming and comfortable? Would you like to reside here? What are the residents' experiences like?

Home Caring group homes

Home Caring offers high-quality group homes in which residents are valued, supported, and integrated into the community. As an NDIS provider with a comprehensive range of support services, we provide. Our homes are built to high quality standards, ensuring your safety and comfort.

Other features we offer are:

Please contact us for more information about our accommodation options, to see if we have a group home for adults with disabilities in your area, or for more information about our disability services.

You have questions, we have answers.

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