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Developing New Skills in Shared Living

Nia lives in one of Unisson’s shared living homes. Her usual routine includes attending day programs where she can enjoy a whole range of activities and learn new skills.

During the lengthy Sydney lockdowns last year, however, Nia was unable to fulfil her normal routine, so Unisson’s support workers developed alternative activities for her to enjoy.

Nia learnt some great skills during this time and was really proactive in terms of helping around her shared living home. Her support workers enjoyed getting to know her better as she worked happily alongside them.

Nia is non-verbal but has her own unique ways of communicating. She has identified the strengths of her support workers and helps drive that meaningful engagement with them. For example, when support worker Shirley comes on shift, Nia will head straight to the baking cupboard and pull out the ingredients for a baking activity. When support worker Sarah arrives at the home, Nia will head to the kitchen and gather all the ingredients to make spaghetti bolognese and they will make this together.

Nia has excelled with her culinary skills over the past few months and especially enjoyed baking in addition to regular meal preparation. She has also enjoyed helping out with other house chores.

It’s been great to see Nia initiating so many of these different activities and making clear choices about how she spends her time.

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