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Feb 09, 2024

Enriching quality of lives through moving homes

Housing News

The challenges

For David, there were two main challenges. Firstly, due to the weakening of his knee joints, David needed better support while walking. He also had limited social interaction with the other residents at home as one of his housemates had restricted mobility (and was being moved to another house with a higher level of support) and his other housemate, Chris, worked 5 days a week.

“David ended up participating in an arts and craft day program 4 days a week to meet his social needs. He is 60 years old and it was about time that David started experiencing social outings to enjoy and relax rather than learn and create,” says Alan, David’s brother.

For Chris, his main challenge was that the layout of this home did not give opportunity to socialise with other residents as it had minimal common areas.

The solution

Around that time one of the customers living at Anne Street, Oatlands SIL housing lost their battle with cancer leaving only two customers (Guy and Graeme) in a five-bedroom purpose-built facility. This presented an opportunity for David and Chris to move into a property that was a suitable for them both and would enable them to live as independently as possible and experience a socially abundant life.

“Not only are Guy and Graeme of similar ages to David and Chris but they also have similar social needs such as engaging in smaller group outings rather than centre based programs. Also, the wall rail system built around the house was a great solution to keep David more mobile while living as independently as possible. Finally, this home has a separate section with two rooms and a common area that would allow David and Chris their own space within the larger home. But a significant amount of work was to be done to ensure that this change was for the better future of everyone” says Alys, Service Coordinator at Anne St Oatlands.

The transition

Alys started liaising with all the stakeholders. This involved a consultation process with the families of the customers that highlighted the benefits of the move. Once all families were comfortable with the move, David and Chris regularly visited the Oatlands house to help them feel comfortable and develop relationships with their new housemates.

In September 2022, David and Chris finally moved to their new home.

“For the move itself, the staff set up David and Chris’s rooms to help make the transition more comfortable. Also, on the day of the move we planned a picnic to further develop the dynamics between the housemates. It was an epic day for everyone,” adds Alys.

Positive outcomes for all

This move has been a win-win solution for all. David and Chris, are now in a newer purpose-built home that better meets their needs, with closer proximity to shops, the local pharmacy, and access to transport. However, moving within the same postcode has allowed them to retain their doctors and keep their commitments.

It’s great how despite the move, I have been able to keep my life going – my doctors, my work, my favourite restaurants.


“In my opinion, the most important benefit of this move is an enriched quality of life for all residents. The group community access and social interactions for all residents have increased. Since their needs and goals match each other’s, all four of them can enjoy the outdoors by visiting Sydney’s surrounds rather than participating in centre-based programs. Also, this move has brought two teams together and by doing that, we have created a new team who know their jobs and their customers and is bigger, better and more dedicated” adds Alys.

“Change can be daunting and challenging but ultimately, this change has delivered great outcomes for everyone. I am extremely happy with the staff at Northcott and am confident that my brother is well taken care of,” said Alan, David’s brother.

Chris and David’s old housemate Kim has also experienced a positive relocation from the Carlingford property. Kim developed higher medical needs requiring 24/7 medical support. Northcott have supported Kim to remain in a home of his own while best meeting his medical needs in an SSL property in Kellyville, which Kim is reportedly settling into nicely.

It’s great to hear all that went on behind the scenes so that David and Chris are in a home that meets their unique individual needs and goals that have changed over time.


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