Caragh’s ILO Story
Hi my name is Caragh. I love art and paper, soccer and seeing all my family. I love living in my own home!
“My support team works with me to be as independent as possible”
Hi my name is Caragh. I love art and paper, soccer and seeing all my family. I love living in my own home! I have my family visit me and we have dinner together. I can show them my photo board, I can listen to the music I like and watch soccer anytime I want. My support team works with me to be as independent as possible, from doing some of my own laundry and the housework, to cooking and sharing laughs with my neighbours!
Caragh’s Mum shared Caragh’s ILO journey with us:
“We began thinking about Caragh’s living arrangements around 2011, when she turned 20. Caragh’s journey into an ILO began in 2013, when she and “Caragh’s Crew” (mum, dad, siblings, extended family and friends and people who knew Caragh) began a series of facilitated futures-planning discussions to develop a vision around what a good life and home meant for Caragh. This included mapping out what Caragh wanted for her future, and the paid and unpaid supports she needed to make the vison a reality.
This process took about two years and in February 2015 Caragh got the keys to her place! Her family and friends spent time setting up her home as she wanted it. This time also included a period of transition where living arrangements supports were trialed. There were many mixed emotions including fear and excitement! Caragh moved into her own home permanently in July 2015 and has been living in her ILO since then.
Caragh’s support team is made up of a stable team of support workers as well as a ‘network advisor,’ and together they resolve issues as they arise, provide assistance around daily living and liaising with allied health and other supports, as well as maintaining regular contact with us, her parents. They support Caragh to have family over for visits, as well as supporting her to get ready to stay with her family over weekends.
As a family we have seen Caragh become more independent and use her voice to make choices around her own home and what she does in the community.
If you should choose to go down the exciting path of developing an ILO, my top 4 tips to keep in mind would be:
- Do not rush the process – take time to discover what is a good home situation for your family member. Initially in Caragh’s journey, we wanted one support person living with her all the time. That changed as we discussed what a good and typical life was for Caragh. We now have a team of people who support her.
- Plan out a transition period once you have a property/home rented or purchased. We spent 5 months of deliberate transition from moving out of Mum’s home into her own home, so we planned drives to and from Caragh’s new home to show her it was only 15 minutes from Mum’s place. We had picnics on the living room floor. We had days of setting up furniture, filling cupboards and hanging up family photos.
- Understand that ongoing monitoring and reviewing the ILO is essential. New opportunities arise, people change, circumstances change, and support workers come and go. You want to be able to be proactive at those times to minimize the impact of change for your family member.
- Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Be open to family, friends and supporters helping in this period of transition and thereafter. This helped me a parent as well as Caragh get used to the idea of her moving out of the family home and adjusting to the changes. It has been a challenging but ultimately rewarding journey!
Need Support With ILO?
NACBO have dedicated staff available across Australia who can assist you through the various stages of this process.
Click ‘Get Support’ to find your nearest contact.