Individuals with disabilities lead a life more challenging than others. The physical, mental, and social obstacles can make it difficult to lead an independent life. In Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) offers programs that provide the necessary support to people with disabilities. Supported Independent Living (SIL) is among the most beneficial and popular programs.
In this comprehensive blog, we will talk about SIL, its functions within the NDIS, and how it can positively impact the lives of individuals with disabilities. Let’s begin.
What is Supported Independent Living (SIL)?
Supported Independent Living (SIL) is a support program for those individuals with disabilities in Australia who are NDIS participants. It offers tailored support to individuals who wish to gain more freedom and live independently. The program ensures 24/7 support to individuals to address their tailored needs and unique challenges.
The goal of SIL is to offer necessary assistance and resources to help them live with as little person-to-person support as possible. It may include assisting individuals with everyday chores, creating a safe and supportive environment or facilitating connection with family and friends.
How to Access SIL Services Through NDIS Plans?
You must have NDIS funding to get SIL services. If you don’t have one and are applying for it, you must be deemed eligible for it.
Once you’re eligible, you can incorporate SIL into your individualised NDIS plan with the help of an SIL provider.
You must meet the following eligibility criteria to get access to SIl services –
- Have a permanent and significant disability.
- Has high support needs and requires regular assistance with daily living.
- Require support with everyday activities.
- Meet age and residency requirements.
Even with eligibility criteria, NDIA reviews each case and decides whether the funding is ‘reasonable and necessary’ for an individual. It covers several aspects before offering the funding, including accommodation, personal care, transportation, and more.
The Role of SIL Providers
SIL providers play a vital role in the lives of people with disabilities. Here are their key responsibilities –
Assistance with Daily Living Activities
If you need help with your routine activities, SIL providers can help you. It can include assistance with personal care, medication management, housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, and shopping.
Providing Tailored Support to Cater to Individual Needs
SIL providers do not work with a set SIL plan. Instead, they understand every individual has different needs and preferences. Therefore, they devise a personalised support plan for every individual to cater to their well-being.
Be it appointments, grocery shopping, social activities, or family visits, an individual with a disability may need transportation support. SIL providers plan and coordinate transportation services to ensure you can attend to your obligations and social plans.
Types of Accommodations Available
SIL offers several options for housing for people with disabilities –
Shared housing is an arrangement where individuals with disabilities live with a carer and share the house with other individuals. It offers a home-like living environment to individuals and is suitable for those who need socialised accommodation but don’t want to give up their independence.
Also known as Independent Living Units (ILUs), single-occupancy apartments are self-contained units for people with disabilities who need minimal assistance. While SIL residents would be responsible for their meals, cleaning and personal care, they can get assistance with some tasks, such as meal delivery and housekeeping. This independent living option by NDIS is best for people who need a private and self-sufficient environment.
Group homes are large homes with several residents living in their private rooms and sharing common areas and support staff. This living arrangement offers a safe, private and structured living environment for individuals with disabilities while promoting community engagement.
Supported Living Centers
Supported living centres are living units for individuals who need a higher level of support and care assistance. It is recommended for people who have disabilities with complex needs.
Common Questions and Concerns Regarding SIL
- Can a person with a disability or their family choose their own SIL provider?
Yes, individuals can choose an SIL provider of their choice based on their needs, preferences, comfort and compatibility. Therefore, research the best SIL providers in your area based on their expertise and experience.
- What if the needs of an individual change over time?
SIL services are flexible and adaptable. If your needs change according to your disability development, NDIS and your SIL provider can figure out a new support plan for you.
- How can I change my living arrangement within SIL?
If you want to change your supported disability accommodation, talk to your NDIS planner and SIL provider. They can help you determine your next accommodation and make your transition easier.
Benefits of SIL
Supported Independent Living (SIL) is beneficial to individuals with disabilities. Here are some of its advantages –
- Empower individuals with disabilities to live more independently.
- Offers personalized support plans as per unique needs, preferences, and goals.
- Round-the-clock support.
- Promotes social interaction and community engagement.
- Flexibility and freedom to choose your accommodation type.
- Improved quality of life by getting the support for fulfilling and meaningful lives.
- Empowers individuals to achieve personal goals, be it education, employment, or personal development.
While navigating a life with a disability can be stressful, programs like SIL offer comfort to individuals. It is a way towards greater independence, personal growth and empowerment.
So choose your SIL provider with careful research and consideration. With the 24/7 support of a SIL provider, you can lead more fulfilling lives on your terms.