At Enhanced Lifestyles, one of our services is Supported Independent Living (SIL).

SIL is a service where, if you have the correct funding in your NDIS plan, you can move into a home that is staffed 24/7 by support workers. Often, SIL homes are shared between two or more customers.

As a SIL provider, we get a lot of questions about it – people often want to know how it can benefit them and what to expect from the process. But we also think it’s important to understand best practice from a provider’s perspective, otherwise it’s possible to miss some red flags.

Below, we’ve answered some of your questions about SIL and detailed what good looks like!

What are the benefits of SIL?

Hands down, the most beneficial aspect of SIL is the independence it affords. Good support workers empower you and build your confidence to master tasks; it’s not about doing things for you – it’s about doing things with you.

Our SIL customers find the support incredibly empowering and are able to realise their own capability. In turn, this makes them more confident in trying new things – before long, they’re well on the road to achieving their goals and enjoying a vibrant, varied lifestyle.

Plus, between the other residents and the support workers, you’re immersed in a supportive environment 24/7. The close-knit nature of SIL means that you develop a sense of community where everyone looks out for each other – it’s like a little family!

What should I look for when exploring potential SIL providers?

Embarking on a SIL journey is no small feat, and it often represents a significant lifestyle change for the customer. We firmly believe that good SIL providers understand the gravity of the decision and go above and beyond to make the transition as easy as possible.

When you first contact a SIL provider, look for signs that they are genuinely interested in what you want. They should be asking questions about your preferences and use your responses to match you to the best possible SIL home.

A robust sign-up process is a good sign. Keep in mind that a good SIL provider will:

  • Hold a meet and greet with the other residents to see if everyone gets along
  • Screen for compatibility with support workers
  • Discuss your goals and help you set more
  • Ask you and your loved ones about your support needs
  • Ensure that the home and staff can meet your support needs – for example, making sure it has the appropriate assistive technology and that the staff have the right training and skills
  • Make every effort to match you to a home that is close to your loved ones
  • Discuss what your hobbies and interests are or what new experiences you’d like to try

On the other hand, there are some red flags to be aware of. If the provider makes little or no effort to get to know you, they won’t have the necessary information to find the right home for you. Likewise, if you feel rushed or not listened to during the onboarding process, it could be a sign that the provider is trying to expedite the process and force you into a home, regardless of compatibility. If this happens, remember that you have the right to pull out and explore other options – never settle for a provider that doesn’t put your needs first.

If we’re being realistic, though, it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes a SIL home just doesn’t work for you. This can happen with any provider, even those who make every effort to find a good fit in the first place. However, the difference between a good and a not-so-good provider is really clear here: if you find yourself in an incompatible SIL home, the provider should listen to your concerns and support you to take action to help you find another home.

What’s it like to use Enhanced Lifestyles for SIL?

You might have guessed from what we said above, we are all about providing individualised support in all of our services, including SIL.

Our team carefully consider your placement into a SIL home, holding meet and greets and screening every aspect of the home for compatibility with your needs and goals. To make sure you’re happy, there is a trial period too.

We also support you to maintain your hobbies and interests, or explore new experiences. For example, you’ll be supported to meet new people, attend entertainment venues and events, engage in education activities, enjoy holidays or short trips, and even explore career or volunteering opportunities!

We work with you to set goals that our whole team is across, so that everyone is working together to empower you 24/7. Lastly, we do our best to place you in a home that is close to your loved ones so you can still see them regularly.

To make sure the process is going smoothly, we check in with you regularly to seek feedback and monitor your progress towards your goals. SIL support workers also receive mentoring to ensure they are supported in their ongoing learning and development.

View our Supported Independent Living vacancies here