FAQs About Home and Living with Barkuma

14th November, 2023

Barkuma offers a range of accommodation and disability support services tailored to individual needs. We collaborate closely with you, your family, and your support network to provide personalised assistance, ensuring that you can develop your skills, achieve your goals, and maintain your independence. We understand that circumstances may change, and we work together to optimise your NDIS funding. Our services encompass everyday tasks, self-care, skill development and adapt to your evolving needs. We aim to help you participate in community and social activities, maintain your health and well-being, and foster new connections, ultimately boosting your confidence and self-esteem.

Joe Capozza, Barkuma’s Executive Manager – Accommodation Programs and Outcomes, explains, “Our accommodation philosophy is providing customers with opportunities to live in their own space and create their own home environment. We’re giving supports and we’re assisting clients and working with them, rather than for them.”

Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about Supported Independent Living.

What services does Supported Independent Living include?

Supported Independent Living (SIL) encompasses a variety of services that support individuals with disabilities live independently.

It includes daily living assistance such as:

  • meal preparation
  • housekeeping
  • personal care support for tasks like bathing and dressing
  • assistance with community engagement
  • medication management
  • life skills development
  • support to arrange and attend healthcare appointments
  • social and recreational involvement
  • meal planning
  • home maintenance
  • emotional support
  • technology assistance

These services are tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual, aiming to enhance their independence and quality of life while living in a home of their choice.

Why should I choose Barkuma for Supported Independent Living?

With over 30 years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, Joe has a keen insight into what sets Barkuma apart:

“Barkuma is highly client-focused … it really is about creating independence for the client. The strength of the organisation’s culture is that we’re doing it together with the client; the team is very focused on that. We offer quality homes, maintenance is monitored regularly, and safety is a top priority.”

Can my family come and visit me? Can I go home to visit them?

Karen Negus is Barkuma’s Accommodation & Respite Manager. The number one question that families ask her is whether they can visit their loved one in SIL accommodation.

“That’s something that is really high on their agenda. And of course, it’s home. So absolutely they can come and visit.

Karen continues, “We would not only encourage visits, but we would enable that to happen. We need families to visit and be involved so that we can provide the best support possible. We love to see families catching up, enjoying activities together, and filling the freezer with favourite meals.”

Will you let my family know if there is a problem?

Karen advises that families are informed if somebody’s unwell or if somebody stays home from work or other activities. This depends upon how involved each family wants to be, “but if they want to be completely involved, then absolutely we encourage that and would make sure that happened.”

Can I personalise my home?

At Barkuma, we recognise that this is your home. You have the freedom to decorate your space, bring in personal items and make it your own. Whether it’s choosing furnishings or incorporating sentimental items, we want you to feel comfortable and at home.

For big changes that include painting and hanging pictures on the wall, you will need to speak with the property manager.

Is NDIS accommodation cheap housing?

Barkuma fields several enquiries each week from people who are not eligible for supported independent living support (SIL), rather they are looking for inexpensive rental accommodation.

Karen explains why this service is not available to everyone.

“SIL accommodation is supported accommodation. A person has to be eligible for funding under the NDIS and the support element is key – housing is secondary. In fact, SIL is much more than just a place a person lives – it exists to provide a range of services to support people to live independently.”

Clients do need to pay their rent out of their own pocket, this is not covered by NDIS. As part of Barkuma’s accommodation philosophy, we currently charge less than standard market rates to ensure that clients are not living below the poverty line.

Do I have to share a house with other people?

You don’t have to share a house with others, but it’s possible that if our only available vacancy is in a shared living situation, you might have to consider that option.

Currently, we are offering individual units, but we also have some houses where residents live together.

If there is an individual unit available and your funding is sufficient for it, we would certainly offer that as an option if it aligns with your preference.

Ultimately, you have the freedom to choose and have control over your living arrangement.

What are my rights and responsibilities?

Karen explains, “It’s important to know that you have the right to feel safe. You have a right to be heard and to be involved in your own life and decision-making.”

“It’s also important to note that you have a responsibility to make sure that you are a good tenant, a good neighbour and that you share any concerns that you have so they can be addressed.”

How does SIL enhance quality of life and foster independence? 

SIL, with its person-centred approach, places a strong emphasis on individual empowerment and involvement. It ensures that decisions directly affecting you are made collaboratively with your active participation, adhering to the principle of “nothing about me without me.” Barkuma uses a developmental approach to build capacity and confidence.

SIL strives to empower you to live your best life by offering the necessary support. In cases where complete independence may not yet be attainable, it focuses on skill development to maximise your independence while providing the essential support needed to help you move towards living your best life.

How do I find out more about Barkuma’s Support Independent Living services?

Do you have questions or want to know more? We’d love to hear from you.

Contact Barkuma on (08) 8414 7100 or fill in the online enquiry form.