Living at home with your family can be a good option for people with disabilities. The advantages are that you are able to enjoy a stable, familiar home environment with the people you care about – and who care about you. If living at home is a good option for you, then read below to see what support you can get to make your life as independent as possible.
Is your home fit for purpose?
Everyone wants to feel safe and comfortable in their own home. If you need to modify your home so it is easier to get around, visit our My Independence section on Home Modification.
Do you need help around the house or personal care?
If you live at home, are over 18, and have high needs, you might be eligible for Funded Family Care, which gives payment to your parents or family members for providing your personal care, such as helping dress, wash and get about, and household support, such as preparing meals and doing your laundry. You can’t use this funding to pay a partner or spouse. If you feel you need this sort of support, you should check your eligibility with your local NASC.
If you require a non-family member to carry out your care, your NASC will help you choose a local disability services provider to help you out (you can find a list of all Home and Community Support Services providers on the Home and Community Healthcare Association website). Find out more about Home and Community Support Services or talk to your local NASC.
If you are not eligible for Government funding, you may still wish to employ a carer or home-based help. You could advertise yourself, or use a service like MyCare to help match you with a carer who will suit your needs.
Are you wanting to learn the life skills you need to become independent?
If you are wanting to increase your life skills and become more independent, you might be eligible for short-term Supported Living – a service, funded by Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People, that helps disabled people to live independently. If you meet the criteria, a tailored package of support will be created with you, to help you gain the skills you need. This could include help with daily tasks like shopping, budgeting and support in the community, including help with meetings and dealing with Government agencies. The plan is to help you learn new skills and gain confidence so you will rely less on formal support. Supported Living will be provided by a local disability services organisation contracted on your behalf.
Supported Living cannot be used to support you with personal care, household management, rehabilitation or vocational services. Find out more about Supported Living from your NASC or on the Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People website.
Do you want to take a break?
A change of scene, every now and then, can be really beneficial for your well-being. You might have access to funding for respite services, which allows you to take a short-term break at a community-based residence. A respite service should provide a safe, enjoyable environment for you to have a break from your family. There is limited availability, depending on what your needs are and where you live and you need to talk to your local Needs Assessment Service Coordination organisation (NASC) about whether this service is right for you.
Grow your community connections
Get to know your local community outside of your family home, either in person or online. Websites such as Neighbourly or suburban/local Facebook groups are great tools for finding ways to get involved and sharing resources with others. In some areas, you can also trade any useful skills you have on Timebank to get the help you need for free.
Many people with disabilities prefer to get their support from people and organisations which they naturally come into contact with through their own connections – rather than a service-based approach. Developing a mutual relationship with someone else – where you can both help each other – can often have the best outcome. For example, if you want to attend a hobby group that you can’t get transport to – why not call the organiser and see if anyone else attending is willing to pick you up? You could say thanks by helping with petrol or doing some extra club admin duties. These sorts of reciprocal relationships can often lead to other great community connections.