It was a dream that could not have been achieved without his family and support circle, working together to find solutions to support Will to live a safe and happy life.
William (Will) has lived in supported accommodation since childhood and a specific goal Will shared with us was his desire to live with independent support in his own home. In 2020, that goal became Will’s reality thanks to family, particularly his mum Deborah, and his support circle.
Deborah recently shared some of her reflections on the process to support Will to achieve this goal, and the importance of the relationships between Will and his support team at Life Without Barriers.
“Some of the staff have been with him for 18 years!” Said Deborah.
“It was amazing, because it contributed to giving him the continuity and stability he needed.”
Will’s preference to live independently really emerged in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many subsequent lockdowns that occurred.
Will is very communicative about taking ownership of his life choices. He likes a structured life with a variety of community activities he chooses to participate in. When COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, the team supporting Will started to see his sense of joy and confidence being impacted. Because of the lockdowns, Will was not able to do the things he liked to do every day, he was surrounded by housemates more often and this change in structure caused him distress.
Will began to express a desire to live life a different way. To help him on his journey, Life Without Barriers worked with Will, his mum Deborah and his support team. Will was initially transitioned to a short-term accommodation house whilst a long-term home was sought for him.
“He was so happy that he packed his things within five minutes, so I’ve been told,” said Deborah with a laugh.
“The change in his behaviour was nothing short of a miracle,” she said.
“He was happy and started doing co-active chores, menu planning, and daily household tasks.”
From this temporary arrangement, Will was able self-advocate by writing a letter to the NDIA and express his goal to continue to live by himself.
Will moved from the short-term home to an apartment with round the clock care from familiar Life Without Barriers staff while waiting to move into a home of his own, to live on his own.
“Thank you Life Without Barriers. You are an incredible organisation. What you have done for our son has been exceptional. You have turned around his life. I think this can be a template for the future, providing hope for other Williams out there that need life changing interventions that will help them lead their best possible lives.” Will’s Mum, Deborah.
Being a part of Will’s journey has been amazing and all of us at Life Without Barriers feel so happy to be trusted to be a part of Will’s life.
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