Once you have identified a housing opportunity and how to fund it, the next question that arises is what supports does he/she need in order to be successful. This could range from live-in help and assistive technology to a community around them that provides socialization. There are many programs out there to help. Again, having a waiver opens up a variety of options in terms of having care attendants and other support services.
1) DARS and Personal Assistance Services
DARS provides a variety of services to support individuals in everything from employment and life skills to personal care attendants. The Centers for Independent Living provide independent living skills training which is instruction to develop or improve an individual’s ability to function independently on a daily basis in areas such as personal care/hygiene, coping/social skills, financial management, and household management. This also includes education and training necessary for participating fully in community life and activities.
2) Assistive Technology
Under DARS is the Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS). A multi-disciplinary team is put together to evaluate an individual and determine what devices and services might help that to enjoy their optimal level of independence and to live in the least restrictive environment.
There are also private companies that provide devices and services. One of our partners, SafeinHome, does this. They are a trusted provider of Remote Supports, Assistive and Sensor Technologies for people with disabilities to live independent and self-directed lives.
3) Our Stomping Ground Programming
At Our Stomping Ground we believe moving into independent living is just the first step. In order to be truly successful there needs to be a community that the individual can become a part of for support, companionship and fun. At each of our locations we provide a variety of programs that residents and other adults with disabilities living in the area can participate in. These include activities such as book clubs, walking clubs, environmental clubs, physical fitness and art classes. We continue to expand the offerings all the time. Be sure to explore our Events Calendar.
Roommates are another great source of support. Often living with another person who also has a disability allows for understanding and mutual help. It also provides for companionship. In some instances the two have different levels of ability whose strength and weaknesses complement each other. The last model is when an individual with a disability will live with a non-disabled individual who acts as a mentor and caregiver.
There are services that help individuals find roommates and will bring together compatible people. Virginia Housing and Supportive Services offers such a program called I-Match. For those who are a Friend of Our Stomping Ground, you can set up a profile and look for a roommate who also wants to live in an OSG community.