Accommodation Help and Tips

What is Short Term Accommodation?

Article by Craig Windon - Cerebral Palsy Alliance

We invited Cerebral Palsy Alliance to contribute to the Nest Blog on a topic of their choice. Aimed at helping you to learn more about your accommodation options, this is the first in a series of blog posts by providers on Nest.

Short Term Accommodation offers the chance for a person with disability to enjoy a stay away from their family home, increase their independence, meet new peers and gain new skills, all while having their disability support needs met. Cerebral Palsy Alliance's (CPA) Short Term Accommodation service is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by disability support professionals.

Short Term Accommodation is great for a whole bunch of reasons. Planned regular stays can help someone increase their independence as they transition to Support Independent Living. They can also give a person somewhere to stay if their primary carer is unable to care for them for a short period of time. We understand that some people with disability want to remain living in the family home for as long as they can. In fact, we have one person accessing Short Term Accommodation who is well into their 60s. Short Term Accommodation allows these people to get a regular taste of living independently before returning to the family home after their stay.

Short Term Accommodation is also great for families. As carers age, they are more likely to have health issues of their own. Short Term Accommodation allows them to put their caring responsibilities to the back of their mind when or if they need to go to hospital or take some time out to recover.

Short Term Accommodation versus Respite: What's the difference? Is it just a new name?

While the service CPA delivers under “Short Term Accommodation” is much the same as what we delivered under “Respite”, some of the goals we set as a service have changed. Historically, Respite focussed on the break that the primary carer got as a result of the stay. The focus has now shifted to how a person with disability benefits from staying in Short Term Accommodation. Improving life skills, increasing independence, achieving NDIS plan goals and meeting new peers with similar interests are all key outcomes of a Short Term Accommodation stay for the people who use CPA's service.

Capacity building is another key pillar of the NDIS, and Short Term Accommodation is a good opportunity for us to support this in people with disability, their families and carers.

Who qualifies?

CPA offers Short Term Accommodation to children between the ages of 8 and 18 and adults with a wide range of support needs.

The majority of people that access our Short Term Accommodation service are funded via the “Core Supports” component of their NDIS plan, but we also work with other funding sources.

For those accessing Short Term Accommodation through an NDIS plan, they need to make sure they identify the need for Short Term Accommodation in their planning conversations and outline what they will achieve from it. These planning conversations are a good opportunity to look at all aspects of a person’s life and how Short Term Accommodation can help them build capacity and achieve their goals.

With a long history of supporting people with Cerebral Palsy, our services and staff are experienced and well equipped to support to people with vulnerable health. We have also inherited a number of ex-Family and Community Services (FACS)/Ageing, Disability & Home Care (ADHC) services, so our organisation is well equipped to work with people who have more challenging behaviour and support needs.

What can someone expect when they use CPA Short Term Accommodation?

People can expect a quality service, where the care they receive is of the same high standard as that provided by the families and carers who know them best. They can also expect to have a good time, whether that’s chilling out and watching Netflix, making new friends and peers, or learning new skills like cooking. CPA has a dedicated Short Term Accommodation management team who meet with people who may want to access the service. This allows us to have a clear understanding of their expectations and what we need to do to meet them. As people are all so uniquely different, these pre-access conversations let us truly capture the person and their support needs. They allow us to identify when other parts of our organisation such as our Health team may need to be involved to support the person’s stay, or if we need to link to other supports such as the person’s school or community based health supports to ensure we capture everything they need.

Does CPA have any Short Term Accommodation vacancies in NSW?

Short Term Accommodation vacancies are always available when bookings are made in advance. We usually do this in a quarterly allocation cycle. Some vacancies are available at short notice, but weekends are generally pretty popular at most of our Short Term Accommodation sites.

Currently CPA has 10 Short Term Accommodation programs across Northern Sydney, and in Chester Hill. These are in:

• Dee Why (Children)

• Dee Why (Children and Adults)

• Forestville (Adults)

• Belrose (Adults)

• Hornsby (Adults)

• Thornleigh (Children)

• Roseville (Adults)

• St Ives (Adults)

• Ryde (Adults)

• Chester Hill (Adults)

The team at CPA also help families access Short Term Accommodation by preparing quotes and other important documentation for a person’s NDIS planning meeting to ensure the plan best meets their needs. Check out CPA's Short Term Accommodation listings on Nest and get in touch.

Craig Windon is Senior Manager Operations – Accommodation & Respite at Cerebral Palsy Alliance

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