How to use the NDIS to get more independence and daily living skills

04 July 2019

We all need a lot of skills in our day to day lives and most of us like to have as much independence as we can, to do the things we want and need to. The NDIS is designed to help you have more independence.

This month we’re looking at how our two participants, Milly and Bob, used their NDIS funding towards their independence and daily living goals.

Remember, your goals and funding might be very different to Bob and Milly’s, because your NDIS goals and plan will be based on what is important to YOU.

But, have a read, and you might get some ideas!

 

Meet Milly - at the beginning of her plan.

 

“I want to be able to live as independently as possible in all areas of my life.”

 

These are the steps Milly took to achieve her goal:

  1. Milly is excited to move out of Mum’s place later in the year and into somewhere with other young people. She’d like to learn some new skills to be more independent so she’s more confident about moving.

  2. Milly’s support coordinator suggests an occupational therapist come and assesses her at her mum’s house to see what skills she could get some support with that would increase her independence.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Coordination of supports, Support item > Coordination of supports

  3. The occupational therapist visits Milly at home to find out what she does in the mornings and at night-time. Together they can see that Milly would benefit from some help in learning how to manage her morning and evening routine a bit better.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Individual Assessment, Therapy And/Or Training (Includes Assistive Technology)

  4. The occupational therapist discovers that Milly isn’t brushing her teeth properly because she can’t grip the toothbrush well (called fine motor skills) and she’s also used to having Mum help with her shower and washing her hair. She’ll need some help learning to do these things so she’s able to do them herself.

  5. The occupational therapist draws up a plan to come in regularly to show Milly how to build these skills. Milly is quite excited about being able to wash and dry her own hair. Mum’s always preferred to do it for her so they can get out of the house more quickly because Mum has to get to work – and now she will be able to do it herself!

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Individual Assessment, Therapy And/Or Training (Includes Assistive Technology)

  6. Over the next few months Milly learns to manage her morning and evening routine by herself, ready for when she does move out. She likes to record the time she takes on her phone to make sure she’s getting better each time.

  7. Milly’s Mum has a work trip coming up and she has suggested that Milly try some short term accommodation (formerly known as respite) for those few days. Mum says that way she can start getting used to being away from home and with new people.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Short Term Accommodation and Assistance,
    Support item > Assistance with daily life (includes Supported Independent Living).

  8. The centre also offers a great life skills program that includes cooking, learning to make decisions and everyday safety which will help Milly towards her goal of greater independence.

  9. Milly is an outgoing girl and makes some new friends during her stay. They have great fun watching their favourite reality TV shows in the evening together and she tells them excitedly about her plans to move out of home over a bowl of popcorn.

  10. Milly also wants to learn to drive, but she has been a bit too nervous before because of her anxiety. At the moment, she takes the bus to TAFE or Mum drops her. Milly would like to be able to get about on her own eventually. It’s two stops on the bus to TAFE which is a bit inconvenient as there’s a long wait in between buses.

  11. Milly still has some problems with gripping on one hand (motor skills) and an occupational therapist’s assessment is needed to make sure that Milly has the right kind of training she needs to learn to drive.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Individual Assessment, Therapy And/Or Training (Includes Assistive Technology)

  12. Milly is able to start driving lessons a month later after all the paperwork is organised.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Specialised Driver Training.

  13. Milly enjoys being as independent as possible. While she does get a bit anxious with change, she likes to learn and her excitement at the thought of moving out with people her own age keeps her very motivated to master new skills!

 

Meet Bob - at the beginning of his plan.

 

“I’d like to be able to do more things for myself or have someone help me to do them if I’m unable to, so I can be more independent every day”.

 

  1. Bob’s Mum is a lovely lady and she helps Bob with most of the things he needs at home and Dad drives him about where he needs to go. But they’re in their 80s now, and it’s getting a bit too much for them to manage.

  2. Bob’s support coordinator suggests an occupational therapist come to the home to assess what Bob is going to need support with at home - what he might be able to learn to do himself over time and what he will need someone to help him with.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Individual Assessment, Therapy And/Or Training (Includes Assistive Technology)

  3. Bob’s Mum helps him with showering, shaving, getting dressed, brushing his teeth and combing his hair at the moment. This can take quite a long time, particularly when Bob gets cranky and doesn’t want to brush his teeth! The occupational therapist will help Bob with increasing his own ability to shower, get dressed, comb his hair and brush his teeth by himself. Bob’s hygiene could do with some improvement, so the OT makes sure he is learning to wash himself thoroughly.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Individual Assessment, Therapy And/Or Training (Includes Assistive Technology)

  4. A support worker helps Bob with shaving, eating his breakfast and making his bed. Even though Bob’s skills have increased in showering and getting dressed, he will still need some help from the support worker from time to time. The support worker also helps with making Bob’s breakfast and shows Bob how to wash up his bowl afterwards.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Assistance With Self-Care Activities - Standard
    Support item > Assistance with daily life (includes Supported Independent Living)

  5. Bob’s occupational therapist notices that Bob sometimes has a bit of difficulty with walking and getting up and down from the toilet. He recommends that Bob sees a physio to help him get stronger in these areas (these are called gross motor skills). Once Bob has strengthened his gross motor skills it will be easier for him to go to the toilet by himself.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved Daily Living,
    Support item > Individual Assessment, Therapy And/Or Training (Includes Assistive Technology)

  6. Bob’s Dad can’t drive him around everywhere anymore as his eyesight is going and he doesn’t like driving. Bob works at Endeavour Foundation Industries and so he’ll need to find another way to get there. Transport training is arranged for Bob to help him learn how to catch the bus to work.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Improved daily living,
    Support item > Public Transport Training

  7. Bob’s never caught the bus before and he’s a bit unsure about it but after the first few times, he quite likes being able to put his earphones in and look out the big windows! He also likes swiping his card as he gets on and off the bus, like he was taught to. Mum and Dad are relieved that Bob is able to manage catching the bus to and from work, with some support.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Support category > Assistance With Self-Care Activities - Standard
    Support item > Assistance with daily life (includes Supported Independent Living)

  8. Because Bob can be prone to falls and just in case he were ever to get lost, Bob’s got a smart watch which has the details of his journey to and from work programmed into it. This also puts Mum and Dad’s minds at rest as they know Bob can always be found through the smartwatch if he ever loses his way on his way back from work. Bob tries out using his smart watch lots of times first with his support worker before starting to travel on the bus by himself.

    What you could use from your plan:
    Low Cost AT > Low Cost AT for Personal Care and Safety (this is low cost assistive technology purchased for less than $1,500)

  9. Six months later, Bob is feeling more a lot confident to do one way of his bus trip each day by himself. Bob and his parents are proud of how well he can get himself ready in the mornings these days, and Bob doesn’t get cranky brushing his teeth anymore!

When it comes to independence and daily living skills there are lots of different options.

If you need help navigating the NDIS, give us a call on 1800 112 112.

Contact us to find out how we can support you

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