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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How we came to be a work family, not a work place

I started my business when I was 24 and overnight I fell into a leadership role with no real management experience. With no mentors by my side and no guidance on how it be a great coach, I learnt the hard way, making many mistakes along the way. What I was doing was following the textbooks to develop my teams, but I had freedom from reporting my performance to anyone else. 

I came into work with a really standard mindset and approach which is the textbook stuff. Staff perform – fantastic, retain them. When staff don’t perform, put them into a performance management plan. Whether it was our employment lawyers or the business textbooks, the advice did not take into consideration that we are interacting and engaging on a human level. We are so much more complex, and the black and white suggestions for driving performance are just that, too black and white with no shades. One of my realisations as the business grew and we continued to have a diverse workforce is that every person has this ‘work mask’. That mask can sometimes be thicker depending on the environment. I continued to wonder, how do I get people to relax and as much as possible and come to work in their most authentic self?

I knew that we all have the potential to be really creative and give our best only when we don’t hold layers of limitations on ourselves. I also understood that these limitations are only imposed when we feel judged.

I knew this because I have experienced having those times where I felt so judged I felt my mask becoming thicker. In those very times I felt it to be most challenging to be creative and add any value. 

What has helped me realise my potential as a leader is that I never worked long enough in any other business to know that there are subtle ‘workplace behaviours’ that everyone mutually agrees to and conforms to in the workplace. I never learnt how to differentiate between my work and personal life. There isn’t a line that I can draw between these aspects of me and overtime I have become incredibly comfortable with that.

As my comfort levels grew and I loved being myself at work so much, I loved that I would be bringing all aspects of me into the workplace. I have no baggage and constraints on how much I choose to give of myself. I wanted everyone to experience this and feel the joy that comes when we can truly be ourselves, our whole selves. All those aspects, that are playful, spontaneous, passionate and purposeful. I also came to experience that the more playful I allowed myself to be at work, the easier it was for me to retain focus when I needed it. If we give ourselves permission to allow the variety of expressions it will come through in our work, which is exactly the quality of work we need. Our work outputs also benefit from shades.

People that work in our business soon come to realise that they can be whoever they are at home, here. They can have days when they are feeling off and not be penalised. They can have times of the year when performance deflates, and they won’t be punished or performance managed. They are supported instead.

I think having the carrot and stick approach only creates fear. Fear is a great motivator in the short term. However, this is non-lasting and not sustainable. Acceptance, tolerance, compassion… all of these virtues in leadership are much more lasting ways to support our thriving workplaces and gives permission for people to bring more of themselves into work.

What Does a Successful 2020 Look Like?

Another silly season has wrapped up and society is starting to get back into their normal routine. As always, there is a lot of talk around new year, new me, but what does the new year mean to you? What did 2019 mean for you? We thought we would share this reflection and goal setting exercise with you to encourage you to make the most out of 2020. No new you needed!

Instead of getting to December 2020 and asking “where did the year go?”, we want you to proclaim “what a year of accomplishment!”. Ask yourself the following questions and see check in from time-to-time to see how you are progressing.

What made 2019 unforgettable?

This can be anything, whether it be positive, negative, or simply something that impacted you. This will help you think about what you value most and therefore what to prioritise this year.

What was my biggest win in 2019?

What are you most proud of? Think not just about the best outcomes you achieved, but also when you felt you worked particularly hard for something.

How did I grow / what did I learn?

Think about areas in which you may have matured, lessons learned, or areas in your life that evolved because of the actions you took.  

How will I use my talents in 2020?

Think about how to put your skills to use. This may be to help yourself, others or to progress in your professional life. Thinking about this will help you frame your next answer.

How do I want to grow / what do I want to learn in 2020?

Are there any skills that would benefit your day-to-day life? Is there any natural talent you would like to refine? This might be learning a new language, taking up art / dance classes or learning skills that may help you enhance your career.

What does a successful 2020 look like?

This may take a little more time than the others. Really think about it, and don’t hold back. When setting goals, it is best to be realistic yes, but throw something in there that may seem a little idealistic now, that may push you to actually achieve it. An example might be saving up for a big holiday, being promoted or reading 40 books in the year.

You don’t need to change yourself to be better, and you don’t need to stress about what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You only need to know what you want, and little planning goes a long way.

Give Presence, not Presents

We all have things. Most of us have a lot of things, way more than we need. Do we really need more? Coming into the festive season, we encourage you to reconsider what giving means. Presents have a price tag, but your time and attention are priceless. Instead of giving presents, we recommend being generous with your presence these holidays.

For some, the holiday period is a time of loneliness and isolation, sometimes even a reminder of lost loved ones. Human connection is for most an invaluable source of belonging, comfort and meaning. Knowing someone cared enough to drop in, pick up the phone or even send a heart-felt card can have a significant impact.

We are all guilty of taking things for granted. The word need in our culture is used excessively, and rarely genuinely; “I need a new outfit”, “I need that coffee table”, “I need a drink”. If we stopped and thought for a moment about all of the people in the world who have less than us, some next to nothing, would we still think we need these things? Does it add value to your life? What are our true needs? Other than shelter and sustenance what we need is company. Connections. Love.

How often do children open a present and immediately put it aside to open the next, or have already lost toy parts by dinnertime on Boxing Day. Don’t even get us started on the landfill we could prevent as a society if we all offered presence not presents!

We’re not suggesting you don’t enjoy yourself and spoil your loved ones with gifts if that’s what you want to do. Just that sparing a little time for someone who could use it would make you both feel good. As they say, time is precious.

If you have loved ones in another part of the world, give them or call, or if you feel a bit lonely yourself, how about volunteering to make friends and give something back? If you know someone else whose family is overseas, you could celebrate together. This is a great way to get to know people beyond the surface level that we often struggle to get passed.

Although the holidays are about giving, there’s room for some taking too. Take some time for yourself and be present in the moment. Treat each like it’s precious. Do something for yourself, reach out to an old friend, tick that persistent item off your to-do list. Appreciate what you have, and make it known that you are grateful for those who positively impact your life.

These holidays give the most precious gift of all, your time and company, (although, maybe a box of chocolates to share isn’t a bad idea).

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty, you can call Lifeline at any time on 13 11 14.

A Year in Reflection

2019 marks 11 years since the inception of Afea Care Services, when our CEO, Esha Oberoi overcame her own lived experiences of depression through helping others. We celebrated by getting together and enjoying some beautiful food, Bollywood dancing and recognition of star achievers. This year was one of our biggest yet in terms of growth, so before we bid farewell to 2019, we want to reflect on the last 12 months and how far we’ve come since the beginning. 

When Esha was 24, she had experienced a number of destabilising events which left her with a sense of hopelessness and low self-worth. It was at this time that she got a job in a nursing home and realised that helping others was also helping her own mental health. She related to some of the residents who were feeling a sense of isolation and realised that many of these people did not in fact need to be in a facility at all. That’s when she found purpose in life. She wanted to ensure that no one would feel lonely or forgotten, and that’s how Afea was born.

As a sole trader, she would be running the business and at the same time having to complete services as the demand for her care quickly grew, and nearly outgrew her resources. In 11 years Afea has grown from a sole trader to an employer of over 500 of the most passionate people in Sydney. 50 dedicated office staff and 450 of the best Carers in the industry.

It wasn’t easy though. The 2016 industry reforms meant that the business had to be completely cannibalised and a new model of direct care was introduced. Thanks to our good reputation and newly built, stronger systems and processes, we survived when many providers didn’t.

2019 has been a huge year of growth for us, we assisted more than 300 new families  which means we now assist over 750 families weekly in the community through both NDIS and Home Care Package services. Our Vision is to be the Most Trusted Care Provider, and we are honoured to see more people entrust us with looking after their loved ones than ever.

As we welcome more clients to the Afea family, we must of course grow our workforce to meet needs. This year we are proud to have hired nearly 300 more qualified Carers and welcomed them to the Afea tribe. They have already made some wonderful connections with the clients they are helping with day-to-day activities. It is not always an easy thing to invite a stranger into the home, but our clients have welcomed our Carers with open arms and, in many cases, have incorporated them into the family.

Our team in the office hit a milestone when we recently hired our 50th tribesperson! We know with sensitive living situations, people want personalised service, and not to have to explain their situation every time they call. Because of this we offer a dedicated Care Coordinator to each client. As a result, we have added to every team and promoted a number of team leaders to take on the responsibility of looking after their function to ensure we continue to offer the best service.

Congratulations to Aanchal our People and Culture Team Leader, Tanvi our Care Manager Team Leader, Maria our Alliances and Partnerships and Intake Team Leader, and Glayjo our second Care Coordination Team Leader! It has been a heart-warming experience to watch these passion-driven employees be rewarded for their hard work and go on to successfully add value and meaning to their teams and Afea as a whole.

Our biggest achievement this year is the approval of a number of new services. We are so excited to able to help more people in the community in different ways. After 11 years of providing trusted, loving Home and Community Care, we now also offer Support Coordination, Plan Management and Supported Independent Living. With a team of Afeans looking after each to ensure we maintain the high level of service that we are known for across all supports.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our Carers, Clients, Partners and Office Staff for allowing us to promote positive health and meaningful connections within the community.

The team at Afea would like to wish you and your family a love filled holiday and a happy new year!

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.