Disability Archives - Afea Care Services

Our Supported Independent Living home has a new resident

This month we welcomed our newest resident into our Supported Independent Living home. We marked the occasion with balloons, gifts, cake and a little get together with the client’s Support Coordinator, Afea Care Manager Raju, Afea Carer Annette, and our Supported Independent Living House Manager, Sri.

Celebrating the newest resident of The Oxley Park Supported Independent Living home

What can our newest resident expect on their supported independent journey?

Our new resident has just begun a journey of growth as they learn to live independently with the help of our staff. They have moved into one of our three recently refurbished Oxley Park townhouses. These homes have private backyards, lots of natural light and have open plan living, dining and kitchen areas.

Our main Supported Independent Living Carer, Annette, has been working in the accommodation since it opened. She sees everyone making huge strides and she’s seen big improvements in the residents’ lives.

How are our Independent Living residents supported?

Annette supports our residents in many ways. She helps them get ready in the morning and has been showing them how to cook delicious meals. She teaches the residents how to budget their money and spend wisely when they go on shopping outings (which have become a weekly highlight!)

Supported Independent Living House Manager, Sri sees the progress residents makes each day. He says: “It’s really heart-warming to see our residents’ lives transform for the better. You wouldn’t believe how far they’ve come with the right support and a stable home.”

We hope our new resident will love their supported independent life and will enjoy getting to know their Afea Carers and fellow housemates. Welcome!

Find out more about the benefits of Supported Independent Living here.

NDIS funds can now be used to pay for PPE

The NDIA has announced another update to the Price Guide to offer more flexibility and protection to its participants. From now until September, participants can claim up to $50 from their Core Supports funds to pay for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

NDIS participants in NSW and Victoria who receive an average minimum of one hour per day of face-to-face Daily Living supports may be eligible for the new item.

PPE that may be claimed includes face masks, face shields, and gloves however they may only be used within their face-to-face supports. Hand sanitiser and protective equipment for the use of participants outside of their homes and services are considered to be a personal expense and will not be reimbursed by the NDIS.

What this means for participants

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 breakout, many NDIS participants have put their non-essential services on hold to avoid risk of infection. Even ‘non-essential’ services have an impact on people with a disability. Clients should feel safe getting the supports they’ve previously received.

People who have services on hold may find themselves with surplus funding. Unfortunately, this could result in a reduction in the amount of funds they’re approved for in their next plan.

This PPE funding update not only provides participants with extra protection and reassurance during tough times. It also allows them to receive the supports they need and continue to do so in their next plans.

How to claim PPE expenses

Plan and Agency Managed participants

These participants must buy their PPE from registered NDIS providers, such as: Bright Sky and Confidence Club. Participants will need to give the details of their Plan Manager, or the NDIS Portal to the PPE provider so they can receive payment for the goods.

Self-Managed Participants

Participants with Self-Managed plans can buy PPE from any provider and claim the cost (up to $50) against their Core Funding. The process is the same with any other service or goods being claimed whereby they record the transaction and claim reimbursement from the NDIS Portal themselves.

It is important for Self-Managed participants to ensure they have adequate funding to claim costs against.

For more information about the update, visit the NDIS website here.

Updates to the NDIS Price Guide

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has published the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue for 2020-21. The new Price Guide has been updated as a result of the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2019‒20. The latest Price Guide, effective from 1 July 2020 and can be accessed here.

In accordance with your Services Agreement, Afea will be charging as per the price limits specified under the amended NDIS Price Guide 2020-21. Your plan funds have been automatically indexed as of 1 July 2020 to offset the annual indexation. An NDIS systems update is expected to occur on 11 July 2020 and new funds balance should reflect on PRODA once updated. There will be no impact to the services you currently receive.

There is also no action required from you to seek a plan review to access additional funds.

The NDIA has removed COVID-19 pricing where a 10% temporary increase was applied in March 2020, which means you will be able to get more service hours in line with your NDIS Plan funding. Other temporary arrangements introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic such as late cancellation notice (from 10 business days’) and its charges have also changed. 

As per the new NDIS Price Guide, clients will be required to give 2 clear business days’ notice of cancellation for supports that is less than 8 hours of continuous duration with an agreed total price of less than $1000, or 5 clear business days’ notice for any other supports.

Whilst the NDIA is recommending 2 or 5 clear business days’ notice of cancellation, Afea will keep our cancellation policy unchanged where you can continue to provide 24 hours’ notice if you wish to cancel a service.

If you have any questions relating to the changes, please feel free to contact our helpful Afea Care Coordinators at 1300 65 11 33 (option 1).

Disability Accommodation Vacancies!

We are looking for housemates for this recently refurbished home, perfect for NDIS participants who have low to standard needs with a diagnosed mental health disorder or intellectual disability.

Supported Independent Living, Short Term Accommodation and Medium Term Accommodation are all available in this beautiful home.

About the home

  • Secure garden
  • New fridge and TV
  • Furnished shared living spaces
  • Central location in Western Sydney
  • Garage with internal access to house
  • Accessible by bus and close to train stations
  • Active daily assistance and overnight assistance
  • Assistance from property manager 5 days a week

We will offer 24/7 support from our qualified and experienced Afea Carers to help residents maintain independence

Contact us today for more information 1300 65 11 33

Updates to transport funding in the NDIS Price Guide

As you’ve probably heard, the guidelines around transport in NDIS plans have once again been updated. Participants now have the ability to use core support funding to cover additional non-labour costs associated with transporting them to and from NDIS funded community-based activities. There is also more flexibility in accessing transport funding in within plans. The changes were brought about in response to feedback from clients and providers asking for a fair and consistent solution to claiming non-labour transport costs to ensure participants can continue to access supports in their community – worry free. In this update, we provide you with an explanation of what has changed and what that means for Afea’s NDIS Clients.

The changes explained

In a nutshell, the NDIA now allows participants to claim the non-labour costs associated with transport from their core support funding. These costs, on top of the Carer’s time, are at a per kilometre rate, and are charged separately to the service they are receiving. Prior to this, the participant was required to claim funds from their transport funding and/or contribute out of their own pocket. This offered little flexibility to participants as the transport budget is determined at the beginning of a plan and is often a limited amount.

The other significant change is that participants need not contribute themselves for other costs relating to transportation, such as road tolls, parking and transport fares.

The NDIA has laid out a guide for what providers can charge their participants for costs associated with travel. Now, providers can claim:

  • A mileage cost per kilometre that is agreed upon by the provider and participant
  • Up to the full amount for other costs (including road tolls, parking and public transport fares)

What it means for participants

NDIS participants and their providers must agree on the amount that is to be charged. This is in the form of the service agreement which participants would have signed at the beginning of their plan (or review). In other words, the participant and provider must agree to have the amount deducted from core supports using the correct support item.

Participants and their providers will need to consider the costs of transportation when creating a budget and schedule so as not to run out of funds too early.

And for Afea’s NDIS Clients?

Afea Clients will be charged at $1.10 per kilometre (GST exempt) for transport in their scheduled services. Our transportation is often as a part of another service by a Carer. In which case, the travel costs will be charged from core supports under the correct line item as part of the supports to help the client participate more in the community.

If you have any transport or other NDIS-related questions, reach out to our experts now! 1300 65 11 33

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Tips for Independent Living

Moving into a new home is a huge step towards gaining independence. Having a safe and stable home provides a solid foundation for other aspects of life. But living independently can be a little daunting at times, so it helps to have a few routines and strategies in place to stay on top of everything. In honour of our newly refurbished Supported Independent Living Home in Oxley Park, we put together these handy tips for living independently

  1. Build a support network

It is important to have a steady support network before you move out. This might include professional help such as Support Coordinators, Counsellors, Social Workers and Carers, as well as informal support such as friends, family and community groups. Be honest and open with them about what your goals are and how you will go about achieving them. It is ok to lean on this network if you feel you could use some extra help or some advice.

  • Have a mental health plan

Mental health is a buzz term that is thrown around a lot these days. Nevertheless, it is worth having some maintenance strategies to encourage mental and emotional stability. Knowing your triggers and who you can turn to in times of crisis are small steps to take to give yourself the best chance in life. Undertaking small activities that keep you organised and make you happy go a long way in overall mental health whilst. Of course, these strategies will need to go hand in hand with any professional help you are receiving. Keeping a list of contacts and emergency numbers you can call by the phone is a good idea in case you find yourself in need of immediate help.

  • Set achievable goals and check in on them

Before you access Supported Independent Living funding you will need to have a think about what goals you wish to achieve. This, along with your needs will determine the budget for your care plan. Make it work for you by really thinking about what you can achieve and let your Carers and other professionals help you reach these goals.

  • Involve yourself in social or fun activities

Getting involved in local community groups can help keep you active, social and happy. Think about some activities you might be interested and see if there are any groups you can be a part of, such as walking groups, sports teams or even classes. Councils are often a good place to look, and your Support Coordinator or someone in your network may be able to help you access them.

  • Rome wasn’t built in a day

Perhaps most importantly – try not to sweat the small stuff! Focusing your energy on making small improvements can often make more of a difference than trying to first tackle the big things, which have a higher risk of delay or failure. A good place to start is to try to make positive behaviours habits, like learning to prepare simple meals, brushing your teeth twice a day or going for a walk every Saturday morning.

If you want to hear more advice about Supported Independent Living or would like to enquire about our recently refurbished Home in Oxley Park, call us today on 1300 65 11 33.