Like with so many things in life, sometimes the right opportunity comes along at the right time, and when it does, this family’s advice is to grab them with both hands.
Warren Huby, his partner AJ and his daughter Taryn, 30, have recently undergone one of the biggest transitions of their lives.
Taryn has flown the family nest and moved into supported independent living arrangement in a small share house with Endeavour Foundation.
Taryn has an intellectual disability and is non-verbal, but as Warren points out, his daughter still has plenty to say.
From left: AJ (Taryn’s stepmother), Warren (Taryn’s father), Taryn, and Michelle (close family friend)
As part of a five year plan for Taryn, Warren intended to slowly start to introduce the concept of Taryn moving into her own home, but within 48 hours of first telling their service providers they were looking for a new home for Taryn, a suitable opportunity became available. Within two weeks, Taryn had moved in and she hasn’t looked back since.
“We were so worried about how to manage this step. You hear the horror stories and I was worried that she wouldn’t be fed properly or safe, but my fears were allayed when I saw the home. It was clean, well laid out and the staff are fabulous. We walked away with a good feeling.”
To prepare for the move, Taryn visited the property a number of times, met the 2 other residents and staff.
Stepmother AJ was impressed from the first visit.
“I turned to Warren and said this is 5 star, it’s absolutely 5 star! It’s a modern home, it’s beautiful and clean, with 24/7 support. They go out, they go shopping, they are connected to the community. It’s top of the pops” AJ said.
The family say that overall, the transition went really well.
“We talked to her a lot about her independence and about how one day she would live in her own house.
“On the day of the move, we set up Taryn’s whole bedroom in her new home so she’d see all her things and know this was where she lived
“She sat down and took her shoes off, and that’s when you know that Taryn’s home, that this was now home” Warren said.
AJ says that since she’s moved out of the family home, Taryn has flourished.
“It’s now been 5 months since Taryn left home and she’s happy, she’s asserting her independence and she’s learning new skills.
“In terms of the challenges that’s been thrown her way in the transition, she’s just stepped in to it. It has been incredible for Taryn, and now, the sky is the limit. She’s a much more engaged young woman in her own future” AJ said.
Warren and AJ’s tips for parents
How did you know it was time?
Taryn had been ready for years! We knew that she had the skills.
For me though, it was more that. As a father of a child with a disability, you know that eventually I’m going to be too old, or mum’s going to be too old to do this. It has to happen. We were both well aware that she was going to have to do this eventually.
Taryn had demonstrated the ability to be more independent. She started to do a lot more for herself, so we started to take steps, as part of our long term goals. There was clearly an untapped potential and she was ready to spread her wings.
I say, the sooner the better while we’re around. Next week Warren and I are going to be on a plane together and the plane could go down and that’s just a reality of life. So we’ve wanted Taryn to be settled as soon as possible so we could help her and support her. It’s been a big journey for me. My goal has always been to help her become independent. We both knew that she was ready and when the opportunity came up we would take it. Well, it came up, and we took it with both hands and haven’t looked back.
What would you like to say to other families considering supported accommodation?
Taryn (30) is loving her new independence.
Do it! If you have the opportunity and the place is right. Absolutely do it.
Your child deserves independence. They deserve their own life and their own home. It’s a normal healthy transition. Being disabled means you just need to take a different path. You shouldn’t feel guilty about giving them an opportunity to be themselves. Let em flap their wings! You shouldn’t feel guilty because you’re not caring for them anymore because you’re still there, the love is still there.
It’s been the best thing for both Taryn, and the rest of the family.
It’s just so good to see her thriving. It’s been transformational for everyone. Taryn is and always will be an important part of our lives, but she’s not the centre of them anymore. That’s the balance. It’s given Taryn the independence to be the young woman she is and can be, and it has also enabled us to be a couple again. I’m so proud of her, and she knows it.
I’m thinking about living more independently, what do I need to do?
- Set yourself a goal – Just like everything else under the NDIS, funding for Supported Independent Living (SIL) is connected to a goal. If it isn’t in your goals, then the funding won’t be in your plan.
- Find a support co-ordinator – A support co-ordinator can help you determine the level and type of support you need to live more independently and then help you find a suitable service provider. A word of warning, there is paperwork involved in this, e.g. an Occupational Therapist assessment which determines the support you need. So it really is worth your while getting a support co-ordinator to help you with this.
- Find a suitable provider – Your support co-ordinator will help you find a suitable provider, based on your unique needs.
Looking for supported independent living options?
We have a number of vacancies in our properties. Like any household, it’s important that people get along. We do our best to match housemates based on similar ages and interests.