Finding Good Group Home Care for People With Disabilities

Supported independent living is a group-home situation often used for the aged and for those with disabilities (or both). These homes have a few people living in them as residents, with staff on site to support each member of the home. Finding a group home can take some doing simply because you want to be sure you're placing your family member in a situation that will allow them to be as independent as possible, but cared for enough so that they don't end up having problems.

Treat It Like Shared Housing – Because It Is

Never place a family member in a group home that simply looks good on paper. This is shared housing, so while there are supervisors and staff helping out, it's essentially a housemate situation. Ensure that the noise levels both at night and during the day are acceptable and that the family member's boundaries will be respected. For example, if they bring a small TV, can they be sure they won't have other group home residents barging into their room to use the TV? If the bathroom is shared, can they be sure no one else will use their belongings? What is the bathroom schedule like, and how many people share one? Anything you might ask if you were personally moving into a housemate situation is what you need to ask here.

Try It out First

Some group homes allow short-term stays at first if the person wants to try out the home. Others allow short stays once the contract is signed. In either case, take advantage of these short-stay options. Your family member needs to feel comfortable with whatever option they end up with. These short-term stays, such as a weekend or a week, allow them to see what the home is like before staying there long-term.

Ensure the Home Is Approved by the Australian Government

The home needs to meet standards set forth by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework, and you may want to read this document from the Centre for Applied Disability Research as well. If you're not sure if a home has government approval, contact your state's disability department (for example, the Office of Disability in Victoria or the Home Disability Service in Western Australia) for help.

Good group home care doesn't have to be hard to find, but wading through all the details and different set-ups can make it seem that way. With help from your state's government office on disabilities, you can find good group homes that let your family member live a somewhat independent life with enough support to ensure they remain safe and comfortable. Keep these tips in mind when looking for a group home care service near you.