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Pioneering Residential Community opens near Wollongong

disability support workerPioneering Kemira community provides homes for adults with intellectual disabilities and their parent carers. In the Kemira community, the person with an intellectual disability is the primary tenant and it’s their name on the lease. Carers are listed as co-residents. The goal is to encourage tenants to live as independently as possible.
In an Australian first, Kemira provides a home for adults with an intellectual disability and their parent carers. It aims to solve a difficult challenge: what to do when the parent can no longer look after their adult child with a disability.
All tenants complete a future planning document when they move in that sets out what happens if the parent carer can’t continue for any reason. The tenants can choose to stay for the rest of their lives if they wish.
The Kemira model is so new it’s not easy to categorise. It straddles three categories: aged care, independent living, and disability accommodation. There are 12 villas on site. Six have one bedroom each, allowing tenants and carers to live near but not with each other.
“It’s about teaching them to live in their own unit, teaching them everyday skills,” support coordinator Carrie Dickinson said. “They’re learning to cook and clean, and looking after themselves. But obviously, if they need help they’ve got their carer next door to support them.”
The residents at Kemira make their own arrangements with care providers who come to help tenants with a disability and take them out for group activities. But there is a support worker on site and a communal living space for socialising. Crucially, there’s also a respite centre to help provide relief for parent carers and their adult children on weekends.
Kemira has been recognised internationally. Kemira was recently commended for excellence in ageing services at Global Ageing Network Awards in Switzerland. Delegations from as far away as Hong Kong have visited to see how it works.
Kemira opened in 2016 after securing a $2.9 million grant from the New South Wales Government. IRT (The Management company) contributed $2 million.
Article contents sourced from ABC News, published Sunday 12/11/2017, written by Norman Hermant

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