Moving into new housing designed for people with disability: preliminary evaluation of outcomes
Jacinta Douglas, Dianne Winkler, Stacey Oliver, Stephanie Liddicoat, Kate D'Cruz
PURPOSE: To assess the change in individual outcomes for people with disability and complex needs after moving into newly built, individualised apartments in the community. METHODS: People with disability (neurological disorder or cerebral palsy) and complex needs (n = 15, aged 18-65 years) completed quantitative self-report measures over two time-points (pre-move and 6-24 months post-move). Pre-move living arrangements included group homes, residential aged care, private rentals, and living
... h parents. Post-move living arrangements were individualised apartments built for people with disability. Health, wellbeing, community integration, and support needs were compared across pre- and post-move timepoints. RESULTS: Paired sample t-tests showed significant improvements consistent with large effects in wellbeing (p = 0.031, Eta2=0.29) and community integration (p = 0.008, Eta2=0.41), particularly home integration, and a trend towards improved health (p = 0.077, Eta2=0.21). A Wilcoxon signed rank test demonstrated a trend towards reduced support needs (z= -1.941, p = 0.052) consistent with a medium effect (r = 0.35) and an average decrease of 2.4 support hours per participant per day. CONCLUSIONS: Well-located housing with appropriate design, technology and support provision makes a positive contribution to wellbeing, community integration, and health for people with complex disability. Implications for rehabilitationPeople with disability who move into individualised apartments experience significant positive change in health, wellbeing, and participation.Findings highlight the benefits of housing that foster independence and enable personal choice and control.Evidence suggests that investment in appropriately designed and well-located housing has positive outcomes for people with disability.Evidence collected within this outcome framework has the potential to ensure models of housing and support that are responsive to the diverse and changing needs of people with disability.