My living options

House shaped key chain with silver keys isolated on white

Where do you want to live? Who do you want to live with? What support do you need? If you’re a person with a disability, you and your whānau should be driving the choices on your living options. These days there are many to consider – from flatting with friends, through to fully-supported residential care, depending on eligibility.  What’s important is that you have the back-up and assistance when you need, as well as housing that suits your needs.

Get advice on what living options might suit you best
Your local  Needs Assessment Service Coordination organisation (NASC) can help give input to help you decide what living options are right for you. You may also be eligible for Individualised funding (IF) which enables disabled people to directly manage their disability supports, such as household management and personal care. Other organisations that could help give information on living options are your local Disability Information Advisory Service (including our team at Life Unlimited on 0800 011 008) and other disability support organisations.

Consider new approaches
Some regions in New Zealand now offer new programmes and initiatives that use the New Model for disability support – offering greater choice, control and flexibility. These include Local Area Coordination, Enhanced Individualised Funding, Choice in Community Living, Supported Self-Assessment and Enabling Good Lives. Read more about these programmes.

Create a Circle of Support
A great tool to help you think about your living options is to create a Circle of Support, including all the key people you have – or would like to have – in your life to support you. You could also invite the people in your Circle to get together regularly to discuss your goals and the best ways of achieving them.  You could also use a map to plot where these people live or the locations you visit them, to see what areas will be easiest for keeping in touch with these people and supports. It is a good idea create your Circle of Support as early as possible so that these people can help you plan any changes you’d like to make – and your Circle could help you find the best place to live.  Read more about circles of support on the Te Pou website or have a look at this manual from Australian organisation Resourcing Families. By the way, you can call your Circle of Support whatever you like – it could be just called Charlie’s Coffee Group if you meet at a café.

This is an example of a Circle of Support template.

This is an example of a Circle of Support template.

Look at the living options available
There is such a range of different living options available, with different levels of support, including home-based help.