Earlier this year, Patrick moved into his brand-new home in Bangor.
Before Bangor, Patrick lived in a busy residential property that he shared with three other men. He found living with other people very stressful. According to his mum, Lisa: “He was terribly anxious in his home. It wasn’t the right environment for him.”
Patrick was thrilled to hear about the possibility of moving into a home of his own in Bangor. However, Patrick’s Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding was initially rejected, based on a decision that he would be better off living with others. Lisa appealed the decision with the support of Sylvanvale, an independent advocate and her support coordinator. Seven months later, the funding was approved.
To help make Patrick’s transition into his new home as smooth as possible, the Sylvanvale team worked closely with Patrick and his family. As part of the preparation, site manager Katina visited Patrick in his shared home to get to know him, and Patrick took a tour of the Bangor property to make sure he was happy with it.
In late April, a couple of days before his birthday, Patrick moved into his new home. It was a relatively low key affair. Patrick’s family helped him move in – along with his bird, bunny rabbit and fish.
“Miraculously it all worked, and went very, very well,” said Lisa. “It’s a beautiful place. I personally would love to live there myself. It really suits Patrick. It’s so bright and airy. When I see Patrick, I feel like he’s been there for years and years.”
Patrick’s new home is a one-bedroom villa in Sylvanvale’s spectacular, state-of-the art dwellings, which officially opened in 2022. The properties comprise six homes that accommodate eight people eligible for SDA under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Each villa follows universal design principles, whereby they have been constructed to adapt to each resident’s needs as they change over time.
“The property is incredible. It’s an amazing build. It’s very accessible and flat. There are no steps that Patrick could trip over. The backyard is little, so it’s not overwhelming,” said Lisa.
“Patrick is quite tall, and the benches are height adjustable; the same with the clothesline,” she continued.
He is also making the most of his new neighbourhood, which is close to public amenities and transport, and his Mum and Dad.
“He’s got so much opportunity. He loves walking to Menai Marketplace, Petbarn Menai and the Bangor shops, as well as exploring the neighbourhood. He sometimes walks for three hours a day. He recently caught the bus to Miranda and saw a movie,” said Lisa.
Patrick’s been bonding with the local community too. He likes to chat with people with dogs, and every Saturday, Patrick goes up the street to watch the soccer games and talks to the people there.
“He knows a lot of people at the local park. It’s become a real social event for him,” says Lisa.
Patrick has also developed connections with the other residents at the property and they often have gatherings together. But perhaps most importantly, Patrick has formed a strong bond with the staff. He has 24/7 access to Sylvanvale staff who are close at hand in an onsite office and receives regular one to one support.
“Patrick really likes the staff. They’re quite bubbly and talkative, and so is he. He’s built strong relationships with staff members. They are very invested in Pat and his interests.”
“He really enjoys the consistency of staffing. There are the same staff at the same time of day.”
The team has supported Patrick to do many things he’s never done before. A recent highlight was when he went to a local sports bar with some friends from his community college to watch the Matildas and have dinner and drinks. Staff have also taught him to do everyday things like hanging clothes on the line, folding laundry and mopping, which Patrick really enjoys as he loves routine.
The move has undoubtedly been lifechanging for Patrick, and Lisa believes he’s found his forever home.
“I feel Patrick has finally found his forever home for life. I can honestly say it was worth waiting for. Not everyone likes the idea of living on their own but for him it is perfect. It is the best possible outcome for him.”
“The opportunities he has now are worth every bit of the hard work we have had to do to get him to this happy place.”
“Patrick is living his best life, thanks to the support of Sylvanvale.”