In recent years, in-home disability care has transformed remarkably, evolving from basic assistance to a comprehensive support system that fosters independence and personal growth.

Daniel Stubbs, the Victorian Disability Worker Commissioner, sheds light on this evolution, highlighting how modern disability care services empower individuals to live fulfilling lives within their communities.

Evolution of In-Home Disability Care

The journey of in-home disability care began with the deinstitutionalization movement, which aimed to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society. "The growth in inclusion and the shift away from exclusion have been significant milestones," Stubbs explains. In the 1980s and 1990s, many individuals transitioned from large institutions to smaller, community-based settings, often referred to as share homes. This shift laid the groundwork for today's in-home care services.

Initially, support was provided through programs like the Home and Community Care Services (HACC). Over time, the introduction of schemes such as My Aged Care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has transformed the landscape of disability care. "These changes sought to recognise the importance of empowering people to live where they want to live, rather than being confined to institutions," Stubbs says.

Key Benefits of In-Home Care

One of the most profound benefits of receiving care at home is the enhanced quality of life it offers. "It becomes more normal and natural for a person to be part of a community," Stubbs notes. Integrating people with disabilities into everyday activities enriches not only their lives but also the community. "Communities increasingly need to see people with disabilities in daily life—whether it be kids with disabilities in schools or adults on public transport, at work, or participating in local clubs and activities."

This integration fosters a sense of belonging and normalcy. Stubbs emphasises, ‘I want non-disabled people to wonder why there are no people with disabilities in their workplace or at their local clubs." By supporting individuals to live in their own homes and engage with their communities, in-home care allows for meaningful participation, which can be as simple as having a neighbour over for tea or attending a local event.

Supporting Independence

In-home disability care is highly individualised, catering to the unique needs and goals of each person. "For some, it might be just leaving their bedroom to watch sports on TV. For others, it could be walking to the end of the street or going to the shop," Stubbs explains. The role of caregivers is to gently encourage and support these small steps towards greater independence.

Stubbs highlights the importance of creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable and confident. "Support can enable someone to study at home, work from home, or even just have easy access to their phone or computer," he says. This support extends to encouraging social interactions, which are crucial for overall well-being. "It’s about putting the person with a disability in control and asking them what they need to improve their quality of life."

Respecting autonomy is a fundamental aspect of in-home care. "It’s essential to ensure that we are not the only contact people have," Stubbs asserts. Caregivers must use their imagination and creativity to help individuals connect with others, whether it’s through family visits or joining community groups.

Achieving Personal Goals

The ultimate goal of in-home disability care is to support individuals in achieving their personal goals, no matter how small they may seem. "Small steps along this journey are so important," Stubbs emphasises. Each achievement, whether it’s making a new friend or participating in a community event, contributes to a person’s sense of accomplishment and independence.

In-home care is about more than just meeting basic needs; it’s about fostering an environment where individuals can thrive. By encouraging participation and respecting autonomy, caregivers can help people with disabilities live fulfilling lives within their communities. As Stubbs puts it, "The more someone participates in society, the better their quality of life and the safer they will be."

Quality Disability Support services so that you can thrive at home and in your local community

 At Just Better Care our support is designed to fit with you and your lifestyle. Simply tell us where, when, and how you would like assistance, and we can customise a care package that works for you. Contact your local Just Better Care office to get started today