In early 2021, the OnSide team were on a mission to move seven OnSide customers, all young people in residential aged care (YPIRAC), out of a closing Residential Aged Care (RAC) facility just north of Melbourne and into new accommodation.
It was not an easy task, but the results were outstanding: through the dedicated work of our team, all customers found a new home. It is a brilliant example of the value that an independent Support Coordinator truly brings.
Who are young people in residential aged care (YPIRAC)?
People under the age of 65 who have complex or high support needs often end up in aged care facilities as there are not appropriate accommodation options available. Young people don’t belong in aged care facilities and this movement, known as young people in residential aged care or YPIRAC, has lobbied the government to create an action plan to move young people out of aged care and into homes in their local community.
A tight timeline with obstacles and challenges
In mid-March OnSide were notified by the NDIS that the residential aged care facility would be closing in eight weeks. Following this we needed to support seven of our customers to transition to a new home. OnSide had newly engaged with these customers and we were still in the early stages of getting to know each person. With time ticking, we had to work fast and support these customers to find a new home. It was then that a small team of Support Coordinators was formed to support each other, and the customers, to relocate successfully.
Step 1. Research and customer profiles
While we had some handover notes from the previous Support Coordinator, they did not paint a clear picture of the person, their likes, dislikes, and goals in life. There was a lot of missing information, so our first task was to create a profile of each person, learn who the key people were in each customer’s lives and the level of support around them.
Step 2. Relationship building
Over the next few weeks, our Support Coordinators spent time with the customers to learn from them the kind of accommodation they wanted, and what support was required to enable them to move to a suitable home. While this was happening, lots of discussions with NDIS and early NDIS plan reviews were taking place, as well as supporting the customers on visits to potential new homes of their choice.
Step 3. The big move
Once each customer had chosen, and been accepted in their new accommodation, our team continued to assist and support them and the residential aged care staff with the big moves. We organised movers, arranged for belongings to be packed up and collected, and even accompanied customers who required transport. Our Support Coordinators went above and beyond to support these individuals to move home in a very short timeline. The last of the 7 customers moved out with only a few days to spare before the closure.
While the obstacles and barriers were great and the timeline was a challenge, here are a few key learnings we will take away to apply to future projects:
- Prepare detailed handover notes: This is useful for everyone involved and assists in the transition going smoothly.
- Communicate: At times, it was difficult to get a hold of the right people, including customer’s family contacts. Communication is the key to making a smooth transition.
- Get extra support: This project was go, go, go, so the team sought support when needed from our Access Team, and each other to ensure nothing was missed in the transition and no one fell through the gaps.
- Keep an open mind: What appears on paper as straight forward may turn out not to be. Stay flexible and keep an open mind.
- Meet regularly to check in: We held weekly team meetings to discuss issues, progress, and brainstorm ideas. The key to doing this was supporting each SC and to utilize skills of the team to ensure our customers got the best support they could.
Are you looking for unbiased, dedicated Support Coordination?
Contact us at OnSide if you or someone you care about has an NDIS plan and needs support navigating the system. Our team works as a family and we’re here to make sure anyone with a disability can live the life they want and be as independent as possible.