03:10am Tuesday 26 May 2020

Innovative housing for people with a disability

Young people in aged care

Monash University, in partnership with Mission Australia (MA) Housing, Yooralla and the Summer Foundation Ltd, has been allocated $1.939 million from the Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund to establish accommodation for young people with disabilities in need of long-term supported accommodation. The initial project will establish accommodation places for up to six people on land provided by Monash and located on the edge of the University’s Peninsula campus.

Libby Callaway from the Department of Occupational Therapy said the initiative had the capacity to help reduce the number of young people with acquired disability who are currently cared for in nursing homes, or those who are at risk of placement in residential ages care.

“There is an urgent need within the community to provide age-appropriate accommodation for younger people with disability,” Ms Callaway said.

“In contrast to traditional models of supported accomodation, our project separates the housing provided by MA Housing from the support delivered by Yooralla, improving the tenancy rights of residents.”

The units will provide residents with tailored accommodation and twenty-four hour care. The close proximity to the campus means the residents will have the opportunity to access existing recreational, social, employment and educational services available, including the Monash Peninsula Activity and Recreation Centre.

“Another exciting opportunity this project offers is a nation-first clinical training experience, driven by the person with a disability and their support network, for students from seven disciplines within the University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences,” Ms Callaway said.

“In addition to the 24-hour care provided, residents will be offered the option to access undergraduate allied health student support to work towards and achieve participation goals they see as personally meaningful or important.

“It will extend the distribution and capacity for teaching and clinical training outside the currently available health care settings to meet the individual and real-life aspirations of the person with disability, allowing the students better understanding of the lived experience of people with disabilities and their associated complex care needs.”

Head of the Department of Occupational Therapy Associate Professor Louise Farnworth said the project further demonstrates Monash University’s commitment to building a healthy, active community. 

“Through our key project partnerships, we aim to provide innovative, age-appropriate supported accommodation for people with profound disability that promotes real choice, empowerment, well being and community participation,” Associate Professor Farnworth said.

Monash University.

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