3 minute read

Living Unlimited: A Guide to High Physical Support Homes in SDA

Adam Wyatt
Updated On
June 18, 2024

Wouldn’t it be amazing to live in a home that seamlessly anticipates your needs? A space where every nook and cranny promotes independence, empowering you to live life the way you want to.  

If all this sounds too good to be true, think again. This is the vision behind High Physical Support (HPS) homes within the NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) program.  

If you’re new to the concept of HPS accommodation and wondering if it’s the right solution for you, you’re in the right place. This blog will guide you through the world of HPS – its design features, the support it offers, who it’s best suited to, and how it can transform your life.

What is High Physical Support (HPS) in SDA?

HPS falls under the NDIS SDA umbrella, aimed at supporting people living with severe physical limitations or extremely high support needs.  

HPS homes are meticulously designed to remove environmental barriers, ensuring maximum accessibility and promoting a sense of autonomy. This entails wide-open spaces for effortless movement, strategically placed grab bars for unwavering support, and assistive technologies seamlessly integrated into your daily routine.  

An HPS home isn't just a place to live; it' an empowering extension of you and your ideal lifestyle.

HPS Design Features and Their Benefits

But what does an HPS home look like in practice? To paint a more detailed picture of what HPS living is like, here’s a simple breakdown of the material design features and their practical benefits:

Open Plan Spaces

Stepping into an HPS home, you'll be greeted by a sense of openness. Wide doorways and hallways, free from clutter, create ample room for maneuvering wheelchairs and other mobility aids. Where applicable, there might also be ramped access. Here, the aim is to ensure you can navigate your home with ease, eliminating the frustration and limitation of cramped spaces.  

Accessible Bathrooms

This open plan design extends to bathrooms, featuring roll-in showers with grab bars, adjustable showerheads, and vanities tailored for easy access. Every detail is carefully considered to empower you to perform daily activities independently or with minimal assistance.

Strategic Grab Bars

HPS goes beyond spatial considerations. Strategically placed grab bars throughout the house, from hallways to bathrooms, provide unwavering support for transfers and daily activities. Think of grabbing a bar for stability as you move around the house, increasing your confidence and reducing the risk of falls.  

Furthermore, slip-resistant flooring becomes an essential safety feature, giving you peace of mind that you’re moving around in a safe environment.

HPS Homes & Future-Proof Design  

HPS homes are built with the future in mind. Reinforced walls provide structural support for potential ceiling hoist systems. These electronic systems, strategically installed throughout the house, ensure safe and efficient transfers between bed, bathroom, and other areas, eliminating the need for manual transfers and empowering you to move around the house independently.

Technology plays a starring role in HPS design. Smart home features like automated doors, lights, blinds, and temperature control add an extra layer of comfort and independence.  

The modification of a HPS home with cutting-edge tech means you can effortlessly control your environment with a simple voice command or a touch of a button. This not only facilitates a sense of control but also reduces the need for physical exertion, allowing you to focus your energy on your daily activities and all life’s other fun stuff! Additionally, assistive communication devices can bridge any communication gaps, ensuring your voice is always heard, even when communicating is difficult.

HPS: Designed for Specific Disabilities

While HPS caters to a broad spectrum of people, here are some specific disability types that can benefit from HPS immensely:

  • Spinal cord injuries: The accessible design features and assistive technologies in HPS homes directly address the challenges faced by individuals with spinal cord injuries, promoting independence and improving overall well-being.
  • Muscular dystrophy: HPS homes provide a safe and supportive environment for people with muscular dystrophy, where strategically placed grab bars, accessible bathroom features, and potential for ceiling hoist systems empower daily living.
  • Multiple sclerosis: The unpredictable nature of multiple sclerosis can be effectively managed in an HPS home. Features like wide doorways, easy-to-reach controls, and assistive technologies can significantly improve daily life for individuals with MS.
  • Amputations: Amputations can drastically impact mobility. HPS homes address these challenges with open floor plans, grab bars, and potentially even smart-home features that can be customised for individual needs.
  • Neurological conditions impacting mobility: HPS homes are designed to adapt to various mobility limitations caused by neurological conditions. The combination of accessible features, assistive technologies, and the potential for future modifications creates a truly adaptable living environment.

Beyond Accessibility: The Lifestyle Benefits of HPS

HPS homes are more than just functional spaces; they are designed to empower your wellbeing. They enable you to maneuver around your home with confidence and perform daily tasks independently, while giving you a worry-free environment that’s safe and secure.  

Furthermore, these homes can be springboards for social interaction. The open design and accessible features can make entertaining friends and family effortless, creating a much stronger sense of community.

Factoring all this in, HPS promotes a sense of control, independence, safety and freedom, allowing you to live your best life.

What Other SDA Design Categories Does the NDIS Offer?

It's important to note that HPS is one of several design categories within SDA. Each one has been devised by the NDIS to address a different set of needs,  

The Four Categories of SDA Homes

To clarify the key differences between the four SDA design categories, it's useful to compare them all side-by-side:

1. Improved Liveability

This category is designed with thoughtful features to enhance accessibility and to meet sensory, intellectual, or cognitive needs. Think wider doorways, clear signage, and adjustable lighting.

2. Fully Accessible

This category offers the highest level of physical access for residents with functional impairment and significant mobility limitations. Features may include ceiling hoists, wider doorways, and accessible bathrooms.

3. Robust

This category is built with extra durability and strong materials to minimise the risk of damage and create a safe environment for residents who might require additional support with managing behaviours.

4. High Physical Support

This category is designed for individuals with very high physical needs. Features may include home automation systems, backup power supplies, and specialist equipment like hoists.

Searching for High Physical Support Accommodation?

At Vertika, we understand that navigating the NDIS and finding the right SDA home can feel overwhelming. Perhaps you're unsure of the different design categories or which one best fits your needs. Vertika is here to be your guide.  

With our specialist property expertise and deep understanding of living with disabilities, Vertika strives to match every participant with the perfect home every time.  

Talk to a friendly member of our team today and discover the Vertika difference:  

Adam Wyatt
Updated On
June 18, 2024
Adam Wyatt is a content writer at Vertika and is a subject matter expert of the NDIS space. He holds a doctorate in media and film studies and is an advocate for human centred content that makes a difference in people’s lives.
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