New disability accommodation options are combining accessible design and innovative on-site support models to offer more independence.
Brad Holloway’s goal to find a home where he can live alone with the right support seemed unattainable, until he heard about Highton Green, a new mixed-use development in Geelong.
“This has been a long time coming. I have been looking for a suitable house for twenty years,” said the 45 year old, who shares his new home with his dog Tex.
Brad is one of 12 people living in new specialist disability accommodation apartments by Emerge Living, and who share 24 hour a day onsite support from genU.
Sharing onsite support with other residents was a new but attractive concept for Brad, and an important factor in his decision to sign his long-term lease.
“It gives me comfort knowing someone is downstairs to help me – knowing I don’t have to call mum, or I don’t have to wait until tomorrow when a support worker comes,” Brad said.
Rose O’Brien, genU Operations Manager at Highton Green says that the shared support model offers flexibility. “genU staff are based in a separate, dedicated unit in the building. They are available day and night to provide planned support including check-ins, or unplanned help as and when needed,” she said.
“It can create new options for how people access or combine types of support, and funding savings that may be able to be used differently.”
For Tanya Sexton, Vacancy Coordinator at genU, the combination of genU support with accessible design and technology used by Emerge Living in the Highton Green apartments offer a sense of security to the new residents and their families.
“Brad’s mum has shared with me the peace of mind his new situation has given her,” she said.
“It maximises independence, giving people the option to live in their own space with the comfort of on-site assistance for short times in their day – a concierge-style service.”
As he settles into his new home, Brad is enjoying a layout, cabinetry and features that were designed with easy wheelchair use in mind from the very beginning. His apartment also features a second room which can be used as a guest room, study or for carers if needed in the future.
“This place is so advanced compared to my last place,” Brad said.
“My wheelchair couldn’t even fit in my last bathroom so I had to hop on the floor. I catch myself saying ‘oh wow, this is great’ every single time I have a shower here.”
“I wake up every morning happy.”