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Our Life in Freedom Housing

Freedom Housing allows us to enjoy the presence of family and friends in our daily life.
 
We are comforted by the knowledge that we are not a burden on our loved ones. We know that they are free to come and go to reach their own potential in life. This consideration is an important contributor to our sound mental health. It also contributes to the cohesion and therefore to the happiness of our family.
 
Freedom Housing may facilitate our career development. We may move from one location to another: from Freedom Key home to another in order to pursue our career opportunities and those of other family members. We do not have to constantly undertake building renovations to suit our disability with every new home. 
 
This freedom unleashes our economic and social potential. We feel good knowing that we are giving back to the society which is supporting us. 
 
Freedom Housing is able to cater to our disability care needs through every phase of our life:
  1. As young children, we live with our parents in a Freedom Key house.
  2. When we reach adulthood we move into a Freedom Key apartment with housemates: they don't have to have disabilities.
  3. We meet our life partner.
  4. We move into a Freedom Key house with our partner.
  5. We have children.
  6. Our children grow up and move out.
  7. We continue to receive care.
  8. We receive end-of-life care.
Even though we have disabilities, with Freedom Housing we retain our authenticity as free agents, empowered to make choices and to see those choices carried out. 
 
The opportunity to self-govern, to be creative, to use our imagination, to find our place within our family and in our community, and to live close to our friends and with those we love, are precious elements of a happy and fulfilled life.
 
 
 
 
 
Better Than a Nursing Home
 
We receive better care and we are happier in a Freedom Key home than we would be in a nursing home, or in a group accommodation home. Our family and friends provide companionship and support. We are able to take part in family occasions. Our friends may stay over on visits, or they can live with us.

Nursing homes and group accommodation homes lack privacy. For that reason, our family and our friends tend to avoid visiting us there. Freedom Housing is private housing. We own the house or we rent it. We call the shots.

Living with our loved ones or friends in Freedom Housing is therapeutic and comforting. This is what we prefer. Removing us from our family and friends may adversely affect our physical and mental health.
 
The absence of family surveillance in a nursing home and in group accommodation homes places us in a potentially risky environment. We are vulnerable. We are less likely to suffer abuse or neglect in Freedom Housing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our Happy Family
 
Freedom Housing allows our family to function just like any other family. We do not rely solely on our family for care, so there is no build-up of resentment toward us. Our family’s prospect of functioning well, and staying together is therefore sustained. 

All family members are free to take employment, to travel, and to develop careers to their full potential. None is tied to our care. By being free they are happier and more productive. They have the freedom to do what they want to do and so do we. 

Our Freedom Housing household may comprise our family or it may be constituted by friends and housemates.
 
The important element is that there is a presence of familiar persons - ones chosen by us - and the ability to live together with them in a supportive private home setting.
 
 
 
 
 
Our Helpful Homemakers
 
Many carers and nurses don't enjoy working in nursing homes. They want to do more for the residents, but they can't in what is often a cost-cutting or profit-driven environment.

The private domestic setting of personal care in Freedom Housing privileges effective and timely care, recreation, and safety, rather than speed, operational uniformity, or profit.
 
Freedom Housing promotes humane, supportive, and positive outcomes. We call the shots, and not the supervisor at the head office of a care provider organisation.

The working conditions for carers and nurses in Freedom Housing are excellent. They work in a natural domestic environment: one that is constantly surveyed by those who love us. Our carers go shopping with us, attend functions, go to cafe's, and accompany us to our social activities. 

Freedom Housing carers are
 homemakers, not just personal carers. Their duties extend beyond personal care. They undertake tasks around the house that we would have undertaken ourselves if we did not have our disabilities. They make up for what our disabilities have taken from us in that sense. 
 
Our homemakers possess the following skills:
  1. High standard personal care
  2. Childminding 
  3. Food handling and preparation
  4. Home duties
  5. Clerical
  6. Gardening
  7. Cultural awareness
  8. Motorcar driving
Our homemakers do not wear uniforms. They blend in with our household and act like a helpful member of our family. They quietly and efficiently go about their important work in assisting us and the household generally.
 
Our homemakers do not become the centre of attention. When we require privacy we ask them to assist others in the adjoining homes or they may retreat to the Key to carry out necessary but non-urgent tasks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our Doctors Come to Us
 
The Key Committee may contract the services of doctors and specialists who are willing to provide home visits. 
 
Since personal carers, nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and specialists come to us the healthcare skills are passed on to the members of our household. It's comforting to know that those around us know how to look after us.

Our family and our friends are able to closely monitor the quality of our care.
 
Deep bath therapy is available onsite when we need it. The physiotherapy room and physiotherapists are likewise available onsite. 
 

 
 
Government Efficiency
 
The Freedom Housing model has the capacity to almost eliminate the need for nursing homes and other traditional models of care and accommodation. There is nothing that a nursing home can provide that Freedom Housing cannot. 
 
The switch to Freedom Housing has enormous efficiency impacts on government expenditure. These savings may be directed to Individual Support Packages (ISP's) and the funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme  (NDIS).
 
Freedom Housing is a private housing development. It is financed privately and paid for with private funds. Owner-occupiers and property investors provide the development capital.
 
The sections of Freedom Housing which are built to serve our disability needs: the Freedom Key and the Key Rooms may be eligible for Special Disability Accomodation (SDA) government funding.
 

 
 
 
Hospital

Freedom Housing is able to provide us with a higher standard of personal care and physiotherapy care than is usually available in a standard recovery ward in a general hospital.

This has cost-saving implications for hospital bed demand, rehabilitation services, and associated other services. Freedom Housing frees up hospital capacity since we are admitted far less frequently.

Because of high-quality care in Freedom Housing, health issues are detected earlier and are quickly dealt with.

Freedom Housing is able to provide hospital-in-the-home services. We can be discharged from hospital earlier, thus avoiding the risk of hospital-acquired infections and the associated hospital costs.

There is no place like our own home.

 
 
 
Location of Our Choice
 
Since only four households are required to constitute a Freedom Housing nest Freedom Housing may be located in rural and remote communities. This has beneficial implications for community building and for social cohesion. Towns and villages are able to care for the elderly, and persons with disabilities locally.

A small town is able to use a Freedom Housing nest for a range of care and accommodation needs. It avoids having to build several separate purpose-built care-and-accommodation models: nursing home; respite facility; hospice; crisis accommodation; etc. All of these functions may be performed in Freedom Housing.

This mutes the drift of those with a disability - and the elderly - and their families to larger towns, where they would otherwise have to move to access the required care.
 
When we live in remote areas Freedom Housing enables us to stay with our family and in our community, rather than being sent to a major city for treatment or accommodation.

Freedom Housing has beneficial social and economic implications for rural Australians. Indigenous communities are able to care for persons with disabilities on their traditional lands, close to kin. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Community
 
Children see more of their grandparents and learn from their wisdom. Parents enjoy having their grandchildren or even their great-grandchildren close by.

As teenagers with disabilities, we have the chance to lead normal happy lives around our families and our friends.

As accident victims, we are able to undergo physiotherapy in our own homes without the need to travel. Our family stays together: we are not forced by our circumstances to split up our family.

Co-location with loved ones enables our families to network and to lobby for us. Our family and friends may live with us to provide love, care, and protection.
 

 

Our Career
 
In the case of traditional models of care and accommodation, family members are obliged to find work close by. Relocating to another part of the country is too difficult to contemplate. It would involve a very complex re-establishment of services.

The primary carers and other family members are - in the traditional models - unable to take up job opportunities in far away places. 

With Freedom Housing, the entire family is able to move easily from one Freedom Key home to another. Family members benefit by taking up that exciting new career opportunity, and the Nation benefits by making the most out of the skills available from its citizenry. All concerned are happier and better off financially.

Our careers, and the careers of our partners and other family member are supported through the versatility of Freedom Housing.

We can stay together and we are also able to pursue our own careers and projects in life.
 

 

Our Vacations
 
Freedom Housing style holiday accommodation enables our families to enjoy holidays just like other families.

We will encourage the building of Freedom Housing holiday accommodation in tourist destinations.

It is impractical to build nursing homes or respite facilities at holiday destinations. It is a far simpler matter to design and to build commercially viable Freedom Housing holiday accommodation which can also be used by all who seek accommodation, and not just those with disabilities.

Instead of being placed in respite care while our families go off on their vacation, we are able to join them and to enjoy our holidays together.
 

 
 
No Need for Respite Care

The need for respite care is almost eliminated with Freedom Housing.

There is no need for respite which involves taking us away from our Freedom Key homes. If our families choose to go on vacation without us, they simply do so.

Our family home is always connected to the Freedom Key so it instantly becomes respite accommodation, with the added benefit that we can enjoy the visitation and sleep-over of our friends and relatives when our family is away.

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Children with Disabilities

Our parents may live with us and receive aged care when they require it. If they predecease us we may arrange suitable co-tenants to move in. They will provide oversight of our care.

A reduced rent is offered to attract persons who will welcome the chance to do some good. They may also use this opportunity to save for their own home. A succession of such tenants may reside with us, and oversee our care. With such an arrangement, we do not have to move out of our family home.

Our elderly parents are able to enjoy their life now, knowing with some certainty that we will be looked after well in our own home after they have passed away.

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Responsive
 
Freedom Housing:
  1. Facilitates early intervention
  2. Provides up to 24/7 high-care
  3. Generates social connectivity and responsiveness
  4. Makes self-management and self-determination possible 
  5. Caters for every phase of life
  6. Allows for a seamless trans-generational succession of care
  7. Provides high-quality hospice capacity
  8. Promotes social cohesion
  9. Is the most affordable
  10. Is family-friendly
Carer entry to the houses is always via the Key and not the front door. Our privacy is preserved by ensuring that home carers observe strict protocols. These aim to minimise disruption to the household.
 
We may elect to maintain a high level of privacy, or we may become friends and acquaintances with the neighbours within the nest. The choice is entirely ours.
 
The hydrotherapy pool and the physiotherapy room give us - and others who reside with us - ready access to physiotherapy, as often as our condition requires it, without having to travel to special facilities. Each Key home may have private and exclusive use of the Key facilities in turn. 
 
We decide who cares for us, and the manner in which they do so.
 

 

Inclusive
 
Freedom Housing looks like conventional housing: that's because it is exactly that. This is deliberate. From the street, there is no way of telling that the house is a Freedom Key house. 

We do not want to live in accommodation which is identified as having a special purpose. Conventional housing is everyone's first preference. 

The house style is entirely up to us to decide. Each house may be of a different shape, size, and made of different fabric to the other three houses. It may be single or two storied and the land sizes may also differ.
 
Since the house is the family home, it may be configured for every householder's requirements and not for just for the primary occupant (person with disabilities).

Freedom Housing ensures that we can live in our chosen community and that we are included in all that our community does. It complies fully with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Objects and Principles of the NDIS Act (Australian Parliament).
 
We prefer to be close to where the action is so that we can access community facilities, entertainment venues, and shopping centres. Freedom Housing, therefore, works best close to activity centres and public transport.
 
Our personal care is provided relatively automatically, and so that aspect of our life is pushed to the background, rather than it being the main focus. 
 
Freedom Housing is a platform which allows us to get on with our lives as a first priority. It also frees those closest to us to do the same. 
 

 

Ethical
 
Professor Warwick Fox is an Australian professor of philosophy based in London, who is an expert in Environmental Ethics. He is the originator of General Ethics.
 
General Ethics is a single, integrated approach to ethics that encompasses the realms of interhuman ethics, the ethics of the natural environment, and the ethics of the human-constructed, or built, environment.
 
I have argued for some time that the most valuable examples of their kind, in any domain of interest at all, are those that exhibit a responsively cohesive form of organization.

This means that they can be characterized as holding together by virtue of the mutual responsiveness of their elements, or salient features, rather than as holding together in some other, non-mutually responsive way (which I refer to as fixed cohesion) or not holding together either very well or at all (which I refer to as 
discohesion).
 
Now, Christos Iliopoulos’s concept of Freedom Housing strikes me as an admirable example of responsive cohesion in the social realm: it represents a way of holding a small community together [family/household] in a way that is responsive to the varying needs and desires for care, connection, and privacy, of the people with disabilities, and those to whom they are most closely connected.  
 
In contrast, the traditional forms of institutionalized care, for all their good intentions and good work, can too often seem by their very nature to impose a fixed formula kind of regime upon people with widely different needs and, by separating them off from their home contexts, to disconnect people with disabilities from the kinds of day-to-day interaction with those to whom they are most connected, despite the fact that these forms of interaction are fundamental to the well-being of all concerned.
 
Thus, these traditional forms of institutionalised care can represent a combination, to varying degrees, of both fixedly cohesive and discohesive elements.

If I had disabilities to the extent that I needed daily care from others, or if I was closely connected to a person with disabilities, then I know which kind of caring and living context I would choose – providing, of course, that the responsively cohesive option of Freedom Housing were available!
 

 

 

Versatile
Disabilities which may be accommodated in Freedom Housing include:
  1. Multiple Sclerosis
  2. Cerebral Palsy
  3. Spina Bifida
  4. Motor Neuron Disease
  5. Autism
  6. Alzheimer's disease
  7. Down's Syndrome
  8. Intellectual Disability
  9. Acquired Brain Injury
  10. Stroke
  11. Non-violent mental disability
  12. Accident-acquired disability
Aged-care is also provided.  This list is not exhaustive. Other uses are also possible. Contact us for further information. 
 

 

Retire with Friends
Freedom Housing is a great way to avoid moving into a nursing home. Ask a group of friends to agree to retire to a Freedom Housing nest. You can have your own house or apartment, or you can share.
 
You will access much better care 24/7 and you'll have the company and support of your friends.
 
If you buy, you will retain control of your property asset by title, just like you would any other property.
 

 

Hypothetical Example


FREEDOM 1
FREEDOM 2
FREEDOM 3
FREEDOM 4

Ben is 40 and has multiple sclerosis. He is paraplegic, and also has limited movement in his arms.

He is divorced. His two young children live with their mother. He does not see them very often, as they do not like coming into the group accommodation facility where Ben lives with five other persons.

There is no privacy, little to do, and the children don’t like the others listening to them when they talk to their dad.
Robert is 15 and has significant physical disabilities. These confine him to a wheelchair. He lives with Sarah his mum - who is divorced - in a two-bedroom home. 

His mother is an academic and her work takes her away from home. She is with him most other times. She finds herself rushing home to Robert all the time.
 
Robert’s mum feels trapped, and this is causing stress and ill health.

Robert does not like being left on his own but also feels awful that his mum does not have freedom like other mums.
Jan is 55 and has intellectual disabilities. She lives with her elderly retired parents, who are her principal carers.

Her parents are finding it increasingly difficult to look after her as they get older (78 and 79).

They are also concerned about what will happen to Jan after they die, or when they no longer have the capability to look after her.
Choy Ming is 26 and has a Masters in Engineering. She works from home.

She is a paraplegic following an accident. She lives with her parents but she would like to start a relationship and move out of the home.

She would prefer her own private place where she could pursue a relationship and eventually raise a family.
 
Choy Ming’s parents are sad that their daughter’s dreams cannot be realized.

Ben moves into a Freedom Key home with his sister. The children often stay with Ben and their aunt and undertake a wide range of activities together.

Ben is now enjoying his time with family and friends, and the children love having a private space in which to be with their dad and to play games with him. 
They can also live with him.
Robert and his mum Sarah move into a Freedom Key home. Robert has access to 24/7 care. At times he helps the carers prepare his lunch or chats with Ben and the others in the Freedom Key.
 
Robert can stay in his own home too if he wishes. The care will come to him.
 
Sarah can now go shopping, or she can go away for the weekend with her new partner without feeling guilty.
 
She asks friends to stay with Robert. They don’t mind doing that now because in a Freedom Key home they do not have to provide personal care. The Freedom Key carers do that.
Jan and her parents move into a Freedom Key home. The second bedroom is leased to a young couple for reduced rent, in exchange for their involvement in overseeing Jan’s care. The young couple is saving to buy their own home.
 
Jan has 24/7 care and her parents are now freed from the ever-present burden of caring for their daughter. Legal arrangements have been drawn up to ensure Jan remains in the Freedom Key home with a succession of tenant guardians until she passes away.
 
Jan’s parents can now enjoy their remaining years comforted by the knowledge that Jan will be well cared for after they pass away.
Choy Ming moves into a Freedom Key home with friends. This allows her to live in a 'share-house' type setting like her able-bodied friends can do, and it provides the privacy and opportunity to develop a relationship. Her housemates pay rent to her. This helps with Choy Ming's expenses.
 
When she gets married, she will ask her housemates to move out. She and her partner will remain in the Freedom Key home to raise their children.
 
When her partner secures a job offer interstate, the family will move to another Freedom Key home there.

Ben is elected Chairperson of the Key Committee Robert’s mother is elected Treasurer Jan’s father is elected Secretary Choy Ming is elected Key Manager (honorary)

Ben is now able to live his life the way he chooses, to watch his children grow, and to be a part of their life. 
Sarah’s stress levels have dropped. Her new partner has proposed marriage because he can see that they can live a full life, as well as being able to look after Robert. Jan’s mother and father are very relieved.
 
Jan is able to live a more interesting and enjoyable life.
Choy Ming has been able to live her dream of having a family. Her parents are able to apply themselves more rigorously to their business and to earn the income to help Choy Ming.

Ben has purchased the Freedom Key home with his sister. Sarah has leased her Freedom Key House. The rent from her existing family home is paying for most of the rent. Jan’s mother and father have purchased the Freedom Key home. They are leasing out their family home and receive rental income from that. Choy Ming has been able to live her dream of having a family. Her parents are able to apply themselves more rigorously to their business and to earn the income to help Choy Ming.

Ben knows that he can receive palliative care in his Freedom Key home. He will never have to be admitted to a nursing home. Robert continues to live in the Freedom Key house after Sarah passes away. A succession of guardian tenants will live with Robert until he passes away. Jan’s mum and dad will pass away, but Jan will have her guardian tenants to supervise her care until she passes away. Relatives and friends may wish to live with Jan from time to time. Choy Ming and her family will also live in the Freedom Key home. She may invite her parents to move in when her own children have moved out and when her parents are very old. They will receive aged care from the Freedom Key.

Freedom Key Pty Ltd provides ongoing training and support to the Key Committee, enabling it to successfully govern, manage, and advocate.


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Broad Advantages

  1. Improves how our society provides care, through de-institutionalising it, and bringing it back to its natural and traditional setting.
  2. Allows government funds to go further, enabling more resources to be diverted from capital spending to spending on care.
  3. Reduces the demand for nursing homes, respite care, day care, hospices, and hospital beds.
  4. Improves job satisfaction for those in the personal care industry, and creates careers based on high-quality care. 
  5. Increases hospital capacity and efficiency by facilitating the timely exit of patients from hospital to care in Freedom Housing.
  6. Devolves health-preserving and personal care skills from institutions to private homes, where more people will benefit from them.
  7. Promotes authenticity, community, and freedom of choice, for persons with disabilities and the elderly, as well as for their families and friends.
  8. Promotes social cohesion, and thereby reduces the need for otherwise costly support and social intervention services.
  9. Makes our society fairer, and it increases economic output.
  10. Substantially increases happiness, and radically reduces misery and psychological trauma, including for carers. 
  11. Enables the sentiments, values and rights of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to become a reality.
  12. Enables Australia to be amongst the first nations to fully meet its obligations as a signatory to the Convention.