Frequently Asked Questions about Independent Living

How does Leisure Networks Supported Independent Living differ from other providers? 

Leisure Networks’ Independent Living team provide a unique service that focuses on person centred supports within someone’s own home. Unlike traditional group style accommodation, we work with people who are seeking supports in a private rental or owned home, which may be for a single person or multiple housemates looking to live together. 

Our model allows for tailored supports that understand that no two homes are the same. We work with people to design a plan that best suits them and empowers the person/s to live their best life.  

How can Leisure Networks support me to prepare to move into my own home? 

Moving into your own home is one of the biggest changes you will have in your life, and we understand that preparing for this change can be just as important as the move itself. To make the transition as smooth as possible we will work closely with you and your team, people such as your Support Coordinator, Occupational Therapist, and informal supports. We will develop what we call a Thrive Living Plan, that includes how we can help you to build your confidence with living independently. You tell us how long you would like this transition plan to be and if you have the flexibility, we can make this shorter or longer based on how ready you feel.  

Your Thrive Living Plan may include things such as meeting and developing trust with the staff who will be working with you, doing some single and short-term overnight stays, and working with your team to find supports for skill building on things you might need help with such as money handling or meal preparation.  

I’m not quite ready to move out, but I’d like to build my skills so that I can one day, can Leisure Networks help me to do this? 

If living independently is a long-term goal for you, but you would like to start increasing your readiness now, we can support you with 1:1 or group-based activities focused on building specific skills you would like to work on.  

If spending time away from home overnight is also one of your goals, our Empower Escapes program may be for you. This program is a dedicated service that is designed to provide you with the opportunity to experience what it is like to live independently in the community for short periods of time, building skills with a small team of support staff that you trust. 

Information on all these options is available through our website, or you can contact our experienced Customer Service team to discuss which programs may be suited to your needs. 

Do I need to find my own accommodation? 

Our unique model is tailored for people who wish to live in their own privately rented or owned home. Unfortunately, Leisure Networks is unable to secure this accommodation for you, however if you need assistance there may be other people in your network who can help you. If you’re not sure who can help you to start the process, we would be happy to point you in the right direction.  

If you have already received approval for funding under the SDA model and require supports within this setting, we would still be happy to have a discussion with you to see if we are the right provider for you. 

Do I get a say in how the staff support me in my home, and who they will be? 

Our Independent Living team understand that your home is one of the most important parts of your life. It is a place where you can be yourself, feel safe and enjoy the company of your family and friends. We honour this and will support you to lead the direction of what your house looks like. This includes who supports you, when you are supported, how you are supported and what skills you would like to keep building on. 

As part of developing your Thrive Living Plan, we will sit down with you to work out your ideal team of staff that you wish to have support you in your home. If you have already been receiving supports from Leisure Networks, we will look at your existing team to assess if it is possible to include any of these staff as part of your house team. 

Can staff stay overnight if I need them to? And what do I need to provide for them? 

Yes. If you need someone to stay overnight to ensure your safety and wellbeing, you can request to the NDIA that your funding include overnight supports, which can be active (where staff stay awake) or inactive (where staff sleep but are available if needed). You may need to provide evidence to the NDIA that this meets their reasonable and necessary criteria for this type of funding to be included in your plan. Your Support Coordinator and allied health team can assist you with this. 

If you do have staff staying with you overnight, you will need to provide them with their own furnished bedroom and ideally their own bathroom.  Leisure Networks will provide the necessary equipment such as desks and computers for staff to work remotely.  

What funding do I need? 

Depending on your situation and supports needs there are multiple funding options that the NDIA may consider for your independent living journey. Leisure Networks works mostly with people who receive Supported Independent Living (SIL) funding.  

There are different eligibility criteria for each of the types of NDIS Home and Living supports. Further information is available via the NDIS website, or you can ask your Support Coordinator or LAC if you are unsure about what funding you may be eligible for. 

Are there any out-of-pocket costs I need to consider if I live independently? 

There are some out of pocket costs that any person needs to consider when they live independently. These are not covered as part of SIL funding from the NDIA and include but are not limited to: 

• Food and groceries  

• Rental or mortgage charges  

• Utility bills – gas, electricity, water, telephone, internet  

• Expenses related to holidays, including any travel costs  

• Entertainment and activity costs  

• Medical costs  

• Travel and transport – this will be invoiced separately either to the NDIA or directly to you depending on your NDIS funding. 

I already live independently; can I switch providers if I would like Leisure Networks to support me in the future? 

You have choice and control over who supports you in your life, which includes where and how you live, so you can choose to switch providers at any time. Depending on the circumstances of the change, the time it takes to transition to a new provider will differ. For instance, transition time will be different if you are staying in your current home vs moving to new accommodation. If you would like Leisure Networks to take over your independent living supports, we encourage you to talk to us about your individual needs to see if we are the right provider for you.  

Can I have a pet in my home? 

Bringing a pet into the home can be a great and rewarding experience, and Leisure Networks would be pleased to support housemates in building their skills in pet ownership. The ability to have a pet will depend on a few factors, such as the ownership status of the residence, the type of pet and an agreement between all housemates (if the home is shared).  

The decision and approval from any relevant authorities is the responsibility of the customer and their families and/or care team to confirm and inform Leisure Networks. Leisure Networks may request to meet with the housemates to discuss how the pet will be cared for, the responsibilities of each individual and the ways our staff can support the introduction and ongoing care of the pet. 

Can I have family and friends come and visit? 

Leisure Networks have the pleasure of working with you in your home, and this includes supporting you to stay connected with family and friends. We encourage you to have visitors and enjoy all the things that make your home life rich such as backyard barbeques, dinner parties or movie nights with your favourite people. 

If I want a housemate, can you help me to connect with someone? 

Leisure Networks has a network of people who may be looking to live with someone just like you. We are unable to facilitate negotiations between housemates, however we are more than happy to notify your networks if you have expressed an interest in living with someone, so that they can assist you to have these conversations. 

If two potential housemates would like to spend some time together in a neutral environment to get to know each other to see if you get along, we would be pleased to provide some supported activities such as coffee catch ups or a fun day out with a staff member that can facilitate getting to know you conversation.  

Our Empower Escapes program can also support two or more people who will be moving in together to experience overnight stays in the community prior to moving into their own home. We have found that this provides an opportunity for each housemate to become comfortable sharing their space with someone else and develops trust amongst the group which improves the overall transition process. 

Got more questions?

Contact our friendly team:

e: [email protected]

p: (03) 5222 3911

Leisure Networks respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia. We are committed to inclusive communities.