Maggie makes her SDA apartment a home

Maggie has turned her home into a beautiful oasis.

Maggie has turned her Summer Housing SDA property in Sydney’s Olympic Park, which is managed by Home in Place, into a beautiful oasis.

She had to leave the home she was sharing with her best friend and her friend’s brother. In a relatively short space of time, a very relieved and excited Maggie was given the keys to her new apartment in December 2019.

Since moving in, Maggie has made the apartment a home and improved its functionality. There’s a plant filled balcony with a soothing solar powered fountain. Inside, Maggie has cleverly used low-cost items to get more use out of storage spaces and make accessing day to day items easier.

SDA apartment now a tranquil oasis

What was once a bare concrete balcony is now a tranquil, plant filled oasis. Inexpensive, clip lock wooden tiles, peppered with artificial grass tiles make the space much warmer and more inviting.

In the corner of the balcony is a soothing solar powered fountain. Loads of potted plants, some artificial, compliment the greenery of her location.

“I’m a nature lover and I have that feeling on my balcony now. I’m bringing the outside into my home.”

Handy storage and accessibility solutions

Maggie, who is in a wheelchair, has used clever, inexpensive storage solutions to make her SDA home more practical and functional.

Mesh roller drawers now sit in cupboards in the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms that previously just had shelves. A narrow 10 draw filing cabinet allows easier access to and more secure storage of items in her bedroom wardrobe.

In the bathroom stick on dispensers mean shampoo and other items are not on the floor and easy to reach. There’s stick on holders on the walls around the home, even one near the toilet, to make placing and charging a mobile phone easier. Her desk is on the wall too, rather than sitting on the ground.

“I got these items from Bunnings, K Mart and Ikea. They didn’t cost a lot of money and were easy to install.”

Olympic Park a great location for SDA housing

The location of SDA housing is important. Maggie says Olympic Park is very wheelchair accessible and close to everything she needs.

“I am close to transport and services. You feel like you are in the middle of everything but not in the middle of everything at the same time.”

Summer Housing simplified the process of obtaining an SDA home

When Maggie knew she had to move out of the home she was sharing with friends she didn’t know where to turn. A call to Summer Housing was all she needed to be on her way to having an appropriate and safe roof over her head.

“They helped me to fast track the application and administration required to gain SDA housing. Within three months I had the keys to my apartment.”

“They showed me another apartment in Westmead but I fell in love with the Olympic Park apartment.”

The Summer Housing and the Home in Place staff are really good. They are very supportive and approachable. When you deal with them, they are personable, and they listen to you.”

Maggie’s tips for residents moving into SDA housing

There are lots of things to consider as you move into an SDA home. Maggie says it is important for people with a disability and their carers and supports to be assertive to ensure that the property works for them.

She shared a couple of handy tips for other residents moving into an SDA apartment.

  • If the property is an apartment, one that has a knowledgeable concierge is essential.
  • Make sure any assistive technology is working properly before moving in.
  • Ensure benches and key pieces of equipment are at the right height.
  • Make sure the blinds are electric or able to be fitted – some blinds don’t have room for the motor to be installed.
  • Ask for a dampener to be put on the front door of the apartment if you are worried about the noise of wide heavy doors, so you can be a considerate neighbour.

Maggie has an emergency guide on her fridge to help carers and others help her in case of an emergency. It is a reality that you don’t always have the same person providing Independent Supported Living and other support. The guide has

  • her support provider’s details and emergency contacts
  • her list of medications and GP details
  • assisted technology details and emergency breakdown contacts
  • details of the ambulance pick up point for the building and the cross street to assist people making an emergency call.

Maggie is very happy in her SDA apartment and living life to its fullest. She can’t see herself moving out any time soon.