Matt’s ILO Story

My name is Matt and I am 45 years old. I have lived in my own home in Perth since 2012

Image description: Matt baking a cake in his kitchen

“We knew we wanted Matt to live as independently as possible and to have a good life, just like his siblings did”

My name is Matt and I am 45 years old. I have lived in my own home in Perth since 2012. I pay the rent. I love music, watching soccer matches, bike riding, cooking and baking and nature walks. I volunteer and work in my local tree nursery. I see my family regularly and enjoy it when they visit me in my home. I have a team of support workers who provide in-home supports with my routines and accessing my community. I love living in my own home and my parents will now tell you a bit more about my ILO.

“Matt’s and our ILO journey started over 12 years ago…

He was living at home with us and due to our age, we began thinking about Matt’s living arrangements longer term. We felt overwhelmed and uncertain about “where to start?”. We knew we wanted Matt to live as independently as possible and to have a good life, just like his siblings did. Our local WA disability service invited us to futures and person-centred planning workshops. From there we gathered our family, friends and Matt’s Microboard and together developed Matt’s vision for his future life. This was the beginning of developing a vision with Matt around living independently, in his own home, in his local community and with the supports that he needed.

Matt’s first step into independent living included moving into a railway carriage on our property, with its own en-suite, so he could have his own space, and as our other children had done previously. This transitional step provided Matt with an opportunity to develop his independence skills and have a space to see how he found this experience. He loved it!

In time, Matt moved into a property we had had for many years. After some DIY renovations Matt moved in. We lived with Matt initially until he was used to the duplex and how it worked for Matt. Eventually a living arrangement comprising of a home-sharer and then co-resident, with a supplementary host arrangement for weekends was created. This ILO arrangement lasted about eight years, and the arrangement then changed due to Matt’s co-resident moving away. Matt had to adapt to this change and has been living on his own, with drop-in and overnight supports ever since.

Developing the ILO took time and for it to work we had to go slowly, ensuring Matt’s needs were met and to try out creative ways of making the arrangement work. Matt’s supports include a mix of paid and unpaid supports. These have changed and evolved over time as his needs and circumstances have changed. We are currently self-managing Matt’s NDIS funding. In the past we had a mix of self-managed and agency managed.

Matt’s paid support team includes a ‘team leader’ who liaises with the support team including allied health teams and resolves issues as they arise. The team leader also ensures routines and systems set up are followed to meet Matt’s needs. We as parents are still very involved in the day to day running of the home. In time the position will need to be a ‘facilitator’. Safeguarding was a big concern so we’ve implemented the use of a personalised app to communicate daily and accessed assistive technology where we can.

We have strongly encouraged connection and building networks over time, to provide another layer of safeguarding and now Matt is part of his local community. This has also been useful in recruiting new support workers when we needed to. Matt also has the support of a good neighbour, who touches base with Matt daily.

Seeing Matt living in his ILO, I am regularly reminded that people thrive when they are given opportunities! We would say that it is an on-going process, continuously adapting to changes as they arise. It is a process that takes time and energy but well worth it as we see Matt living life as he wants to, where he wants and with the people he chooses”.

In conversation with Matt and his family, they recommended keeping the following in mind:

  • Know that following the ILO pathway takes time, energy and is a long-term process. It will need regular monitoring and adjusting as needs and circumstances change. It’s not a “set up and step away” arrangement!
  • There are many ways of creating home and ILO is just one of them. The feelings of overwhelm can be enormous when trying to work out what to do, it’s hard to know where to start. Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself – you can ask yourself “who is around me that can help me, or I can talk to?” and go from there. There are many websites, services, organisations, podcasts available, and your own networks, who can provide supports and ideas.
  • Start working on building independence skills as early as possible, at what-ever stage you are at, no matter how small the step seems. Small steps add up into huge steps given the opportunity. You can’t know how everything will turn out before your loved one moves into the ILO. Having independence skills already in place will make the transition into the ILO arrangements smoother
  • Build connections and networks around the person as soon as you can and over time– friendships, mentors, circles of support and microboards are examples of this. People keep people safe, and both your loved one and the community will benefit from this connection!
  • It took time! And lots of planning!

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.

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