Planning your move to independent living

A young man baking with his support worker.

This guide has been created by Mable and the Housing Hub. You can use this guide as you plan your move into a home that will support you to live the life you want to.

If you’re thinking about whether your current home is right for you and if moving could be an option, then you might want to explore this article.

Once you have thought about where and how you want to live, it is important to plan out how your new life in your new home is going to actually work.

For most people, moving to a new home is a big deal. Planning helps avoid problems and stress that can otherwise happen. Plans don’t always work out perfectly, but things almost always work out better if you have a good plan.

Your plan for support

For many people with disability, changing where you live means some changes to the way you are supported.

A good way to plan how you will be supported in your new home is to look at what things you get support with in your current home, then work out who will support you to do those things in your new home.

Think about where your support comes from at the moment. Do your parents or other family members provide much of your support? Or friends or housemates? What support do you currently get from paid support workers?

A good starting point is to make a list of all the things you do in a day that you need support with. Some people prefer to have a different list for each day of the week. Some people prefer to just have two lists: one for weekdays and one for weekends. Do whatever works best for you.

It can be easy to forget important things when you are making a list like this, so think about asking the people who support you at the moment to check your list and make sure you haven’t left anything off. Make sure you also add in any new things you want to do in your new home that you may need support with.

Next, put in the times of the day that you want to have support with each thing on your list. This may be different from the times of day you currently get support with these things. For example, if you are in a group home or nursing home, staff may provide a lot of your support at set times. These times might suit the staff better than they suit you.

This is your list, so put the times that suit you. If you can (or want) to be flexible with the time of some of your supports, put that down too.

It usually helps to put your list in time order – from getting out of bed, until the last thing you get support with before you get up the next day.

The list you are making is sometimes called a ‘schedule of supports’.

Next to every thing on your list that you get support with, write down who supports you at the moment. Then in the next column, write who could support you in your new home. For some things, it might be the same person. For some things, you may need a new support worker to assist. You can book independent support workers on Mable using your NDIS funding.

Speak to your family, Support Coordinator or Local Area Coordinator, or you can contact Mable or the Housing Hub for assistance.

Changes in support for your new home

The right home and support will allow you to be more independent. Look at the schedule of supports you have created to see if there is anything on there you may want to do for yourself. You might also want to add on new things that you want to do on your own in your new home.

With some things, you might need support to learn how to do things for yourself and practise them before you’ll be able to do them without support. For example, if you live in a nursing home, you might not choose or prepare your own meals, but in your new home, this might be something you would like to learn to do with some support or without support.

Another example might be that you have lived at home with your parents, and you might not have had much practice at taking care of your own money – working out how much things will cost, working out if you have enough money to pay for everything you need, paying your bills, etc. You may need some support to learn how to do these things.

Yet another example is that if you are living in a group home, you might not have had to buy groceries or pay rent and household bills. It might be good to practise these things with some support before you move.

The NDIS calls this ‘capacity building’, and may provide funding in your plan to develop these new skills you’ll need. Speak to your Support Coordinator or NDIS Planner.

Of course, some things may need to wait until you’re in your new home to learn and practise.

Support for your move

Many people need extra support for the time leading up to, during and after their move. You may need extra support to:

  • Prepare for the move – including working out all the details and costs that go with it
  • Pack up your old life in your old home
  • Transport everything to your new home
  • Unpack and get organised
  • Settle into your new home, your new neighbourhood, your new life and your new support schedule.

Talk about these support needs – which are sometimes called ‘transition supports’ – with your Support Coordinator or NDIS Planner. You may be able to get funding for them in your NDIS Plan. You can then connect with independent support workers to build a support team to help you during this transition.

Consider your ‘Plan B’

As with anything else, things can go wrong during your move. For example:

  • Something might be harder to learn than you expected
  • Some of your equipment might break
  • You might get sick
  • Furniture, food or other things might be more expensive than you thought
  • Changes in your support worker’s plan.

Think about who in your support network can work out some of the potential issues and risks with you. It’s useful to have a team of support workers to avoid disruptions in case your support worker is unable to be with you. Mable Last Minute is a great option for booking an independent support worker for jobs within a 4hr-48hr time period.