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Feb 16, 2024

Monique moves out of her family home

Housing News

Meet Monique

Twenty-eight-year-old Monique has a lovable, inquisitive personality that draws everyone in around her. For most of her life, Monique has been cared for by her mother Deb, father Nicholas and other family members.

“Monique has NEXMIF disorder which is a chromosomal disorder and presents with autism, Tourettes, a lack of speech and other behavioural issues. She was only diagnosed a few years ago and she has accessed occupational therapy and life skills services with Northcott since then,” says Deb.

Worries about Monique’s future

While Monique was happy living at home, her parents worried about her future and what the next phase of her life would look when they were no longer around.

“Several families in our lives lost a parent and it made us realised we are not getting any younger,” says Deb. Deb was also keenly aware of the lack of modern, robust, single occupancy disability accommodation options around the Riverina region.

At the same time Deb was having these concerns, Northcott announced plans for new purpose-built accommodation with specialist disability housing provider Casa Capace in Gobbagombalin, a suburb of Wagga Wagga.

When Monique and her family attended an information session with Northcott about the new properties, it piqued Deb’s interest. It was the first time Deb felt confident about her daughter moving into a place that would be right for her to truly call home.

Planning for the move

The first stage of supporting Monique to move into the home was the hardest. This involved applying for and securing the right type of funding.

“Applying for funding is a long process in general and when we first applied, the funding we got was for shared living”, says Sam Terzi, Northcott Service Manager. This was not what Monique’s family wanted for her; they wanted her to live independently.

Together with Monique’s family and the Regional Disability Advocacy Service, the Northcott team went to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and advocated for more funds to allow Monique to be in the right type of accommodation for her.

The team was instrumental in gathering the information needed to prove a single occupancy home was most suitable for Monique.

“The wait for the result was again long and tense, but in the end, we got the result we were after!” says Sam.

“I am so pleased for Monique to be able work towards being more independent and really happy for her family as well.”

Northcott supported Monique to move into her new home in early 2023.

Monique today

When Monique first moved in, she showed significant behavioural issues like banging her head on the wall and having emotional outbursts. She was only able to spend a few hours at the new house before returning to her parents. After a period of transition with tailored support, Monique has now settled in well and lives full time in the Gobbagombalin property. Monique and her family couldn’t be happier.

Will, one of Monique’s support workers, works with her almost every day. Before Monique moved into Northcott’s property, Will and other members of her support team spent time with Deb to learn about Monique’s different communication cues and be able to clearly understand what she needs.

I absolutely love working with Monique. She is a very smart girl. We know when Monique rubs her hands a certain way that means she wants to have a barbeque on Friday and boy does Monique love her barbeque.

Will, Support Worker

Monique loves to cook, and her team are currently working towards a future goal of Monique being able to cook meals for herself as independently as possible.

With Monique now living independently, life has also changed for Deb. No longer Monique’s primary carer, she says she is enjoying spending time as mother and daughter. “I still go to all of Monique’s appointments with her and visit several times a week, but I’ve definitely noticed she is more affectionate with me now.”


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