Cappy has been an important part of Sylvanvale, ever since his mum, Betty, brought him here for the very first time as a baby. He went to Sylvanvale school and has been a much-valued member of our Property & Maintenance Team for over 20 years.
In May this year, Cappy and his mum took another big step when he moved into Sylvanvale’s new Supported Independent Living site in Loftus. Until then, Cappy had spent his life living with his mum and dad – so it was an enormous change for them all.
This was, in fact, the first time that any of the five housemates had lived anywhere other than home.
Planning for the Big Move
The journey of transitioning Cappy and his four housemates into their new place was one of careful planning, precision, and care.
At the very start, the team at Sylvanvale spent lots of time working out the type of people who would be a good fit for the home and with one another.
Cappy and Betty met with Sylvanvale’s Service Planning team to talk about his needs and interests. They toured the home, making sure it was somewhere he would like to live.
Once the new housemates were worked out, the team at Sylvanvale focused on selecting the right staff. They chose employees who had previously supported some of the housemates, so were familiar with them. The staff completed a detailed induction and routines were carefully worked out.
Sylvanvale wanted to ensure the new home provided as welcoming an environment as possible, so laid new flooring throughout the house and had the kitchen fully renovated.
The Period Just Prior to Moving In
In the period prior to moving in, the housemates and their families did walkthroughs and chose their rooms, which everyone was given the chance to decorate.
On the Friday before the house formally opened, everyone gathered together for a barbecue where they could get to know one another.
Although everyone was excited, they were also apprehensive about how it was all going to go. Moving out of home for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience for anyone. When the move involves people with disability, the anxiety can mount even more – particularly when you have been living at home for a long time.
Everyone was given flexibility around the way they would move in. Some housemates chose a staged approach, where they would spend some nights at their parents’ place and some at the home in Loftus – to get used to the idea of living somewhere new. Cappy and his mum decided he should try moving in straight away.
The Big Move
On Tuesday 2 May 2023, Cappy moved into his new home.
The move went without a hitch, and he has since settled in easily. Cappy is very proud of his new room, which he loves showing to people. He’s an active helper around the house, regularly helping with dinner and washing his clothes. And he’s been putting his maintenance skills to work – creating a new vegetable garden and often raking the yards.
Cappy and his housemates get on really well and have become quite tight knit. It’s not uncommon for them to prompt support staff when it’s time for pick-up from a day program or if someone has gone to their parents’ place nearby for the weekend. The housemates are also really enjoying their new-found independence. When you ask Cappy what he thinks of his new home, he tells you it’s “good.”
Cappy’s smooth transition has been a relief for Betty. “I was apprehensive about it,” she says, “but am pleased he’s settling in well.”
Cappy’s story shows how smoothly moving out of home for the first time can go – which is often the case.