If you’re supporting a loved one living with disability, you may have experienced a number of challenges in securing the right support for their everyday needs and experiences. Thankfully, as Australians, access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can provide significant support in the form of resources, services and funding.

Navigating the NDIS for the first time can be a complicated process. While this support has proven to be life-changing for both those living with disability and their loved ones alike, it’s also not the only form of support available.

Finding the right support for your loved one can be an ongoing process, but by understanding the range of options available, you can explore them with more certainty and awareness.

The role of the NDIS

The NDIS was formed after federal legislation was passed in March 2013. Designed to support people living with disability, their families and unofficial carers, this funding is provided by federal, state and territory governments alike.

As a part of significant disability legislation reform in Australia, the objectives of the NDIS are to:

  • Support the independence, social and economic participation of people living with disability
  • Provide access to reasonable and necessary supports
  • Enable people with disability to have agency and control of the pursuit of their goals, as well as the design and implementation of their supports
  • Facilitate the development of a consistent approach to disability services access across Australia
  • Promote the provision of high quality, innovative supports to people living with disability

Eligibility for NDIS funding is based on access requirements, such as the geographical location of the applicant, residency requirements, a meeting of disability or early intervention requirements and an age under 65 years at the time of application.

How the NDIS provides individualised supports

Individuals who are eligible to access NDIS support can design their supports according to their needs, goals and the impact of their disability. This funding can be utilised in areas including education, employment, social participation, independence, living arrangements and a wide range of health and wellbeing considerations. Funding may support:

  • Daily personal needs and activities
  • Transport to personal and professional activities
  • Workplace help to support individuals in seeking and keeping employment
  • Therapeutic supports and treatments
  • Households and domestic tasks
  • Support with aids or equipment assessments from skilled personnel
  • The design and construction of relevant home modifications
  • Mobility equipment and vehicle modifications

By working closely with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), each NDIS participant develops an NDIS plan that encompasses their individual support requirements and preferences.

This ensures choice and control remains in the hands of those living with disability themselves, promoting ongoing autonomy and agency.

Community organisations and informal support

Alongside the foundational support offered by the NDIS, there are a number of community organisations and informal support sources available to Australians living with disability. These can be of great use in areas such as mental health, employment services, intervention services, family support, community-building activities and education.

Support within the sector is grouped within the categories of mainstream support, community support and informal supports. Mainstream and community supports refer to the kind of support available outside of the NDIS.

Mainstream supports

Mainstream supports within government bodies include:

  • Health (including mental health)
  • Early childhood development
  • Child protection and family support
  • Education (including school, higher education and vocational education/training)
  • Employment services
  • Housing services and community infrastructure matters
  • Transport
  • Justice services
  • Aged care

When mainstream services need to make adjustments to their supports to make them suitable for individuals living with disability, these take the form of reasonable adjustments. This system recognises that people living with disability require the same supports and services as all Australians, with separate areas of government working together to provide complementary support services.

Community supports

Community supports may come in the form of community groups, non-profit organisations, local clubs and councils, religious groups and more. Reasonable adjustments may also be made to community services to provide suitable support for those living with disability.

Informal supports

Alongside these support frameworks are informal supports, including your friends, family and wider community. These methods of support are designed to work together in harmony to provide support for individuals living with disability across their unique needs.

Resources that can support you in building a wide web of ongoing support include:

  • The Disability Gateway. This resource, provided by the Australian Government, connects those with disability, their friends and carers to information and services that can provide crucial ongoing support.
  • Disability Australia Hub. This project by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations provides a list of organisations in every state and territory that offer relevant support, as well as disability knowledge, advocacy and information resources.

NDIS support from Enhanced Lifestyles

By making the most of the support services available to your loved one, you can find a sustainable approach to the daily needs and wellbeing of those living with disability and their family alike.

Enhanced Lifestyles believes that everyone should be empowered to decide how their lives are lived. Established by a group of people living with disability themselves, our founders realised that no one was better equipped to choose the type of individualised support they needed than they were.

Thirty years later, Enhanced Lifestyles provides disability support services that are based on lived experience, resulting in high-quality personalised in-home care, supported independent living, social and community-based activities and more.

Our Lifestyle Attendants support our customers across a range of domestic and community tasks and experiences. We work with our customers to co-design a plan that works for you, fitting your lifestyle, interests and health needs.

Enhanced Lifestyles’ services include:

  • Support in your community – including assistance for events and activities, wheelchair-accessible transport and tailored services.
  • Support in your home – including domestic assistance, meal preparation, support for complex health needs.
  • Personal care – including toileting, showering, washing, manual handling and support for personal routines.
  • In-home respite – offering 24/7 respite care in your home that’s respectful and dignified.
  • Supported Independent Living – 24/7 support to build an independent lifestyle including short-term accommodation (STA) , and medium-term accommodation (MTA).
  • Psychosocial Recovery Coaching – we take a customised approach to building meaningful, ongoing relationships, support and advice to make the most of your NDIS plan, personalised plans for individual recovery steps, connection with mainstream supports and the development of goals, strengths, hopes and aspirations.
  • Support Coordination – including comprehensive coordination of all service providers, creation and management of service agreements, price and package negotiations and more.

Our work plays a core role in the care structure of our customers. Alongside support from family, friends and loved ones, our Lifestyle Attendants can become a crucial part of supporting independent living and ongoing individual benefits. Learn more today about how we can partner with your loved one.