Meeting the Minimum LHA or SDA Standard Doesn’t Work for HPS Eligible Participants (mostly)
We see so many completed properties where the owners want us to be their SDA Provider and we have to say no. They are approved and pass the standards, yet just aren’t suitable for the people who need High Physical Support.
Many of the standards are based off the minimum requirements for lightweight manual wheelchairs, not for a large power chair or a shower bed. Imagine driving your chair around a corner past your bed with 50mm clearance on each side, let alone if doing so with your chin. Now some people we have met are precision drivers, but you wouldn’t want to have be precision all the time in your house.
The SDA standard is a great improvement and is there to be a minimum. If you are looking at receiving the HPS funding then you need to well exceed the standards and spend significant money to make it work.
High Physical Support Properties Need Full Automation
If the property hasn’t got fully auto doors, lights, blinds and air conditioning at completion then it’s not suitable. NDIS funded modifications take too long.
1020 doors are too small. The minimum clearance beside the beds and at the foot of the bed are too small for people in big chairs.
Corners, Showers Next to Toilets, Ramps etc
Corners get destroyed, showers next to toilets are unusable for people who shower in chairs or beds. Ramps look like an afterthought.
Design AFTER Speaking to People Who Use Them (Not Managers or People Who Do)
Just like the new hospital wards that turn out to be completely unsuitable when the nurses finally get to see it (usually on the day they move in), many of the experts in this field don’t spend time with the support workers and participants who use them, they spend time with management or other experts.
There needs to be minimum standards to ensure a minimum, that doesn’t mean its fit for purpose. Speak to the people who live in them or those that support them.