When COVID-19 restrictions drove a wedge through the heart of IOE, cancelling all recreation programs and putting a stop to all group services, for the first time in our 35 year history, we collectively held our breaths and immediately considered the impact that would be felt across the agency. What would happen to our culture, to the connections and relationships formed over many years?  Would it jeopardise the progress that so many of our participants and families have made in skill building, independence and social development? Would it impact our staff? The answer to these questions is YES … and NO!
After the initial shock and a proverbial deer in the headlights moment, however brief, all IOE teams hit the ground running with new ideas, innovative approaches and a drive to ensure that progress could continue and families would still be supported during this challenging time. The first service to respond in spades was 1:1 support. IOE has monitored COVID-19 restrictions and advice meticulously over the previous months and has been able to implement a range of options for in-home and virtual support.
While we can’t explore op shops and playgrounds, museums and live music venues, we can find meaningful and creative ways to work towards NDIS goals while tailoring support to individuals and families.
  • Need help with remote schooling? We’ve got you!

  • Been thinking it might be finally time to start that outdoor project? Count us in!

  • Craving some respite? We can help with that!

  • Keen for some online fitness, socialising or skill building? Challenge accepted!

  • A home cooked dinner with leftovers in the freezer? Let’s make an afternoon of it!

Nic and Donna Jane

Nic was nervous about leaving the house for his shift at first. He’d heard about COVID-19 and put two and two together when he learnt about social distancing restrictions. But together with Nic’s mum, he and his support worker spoke about their options. In the end they decided to write a shopping list, head to the supermarket and come home and spend the afternoon cooking. Nic made mac and cheese from scratch and engaged so positively in the shift that his apprehension eased considerably.

Steph and Leonie

‘Today Steph and I spend the day together. We went for a walk, did an online yoga class and made dinner for the family. This was a huge help for mum and Steph was so happy to share her skills!’ Steph enjoyed the yoga so much that Leonie has been on the hunt for an online class that would be more suitable for Steph as a beginner yogi for their next shifts.

Ruby and Jess

Ruby is a social butterfly. Her sisters have been Facetiming their friends, why shouldn’t she? Ruby’s family has chosen not to have people outside of the family into the home during COVID-19 restrictions so Ruby has been receiving support online over Facetime. She and her support workers have done makeup and cooking sessions with great success!

Pete and Amelia

Amelia and Pete have been shooting hoops in the driveway and reading books. She said, ‘Reading is a great way to help understand different feelings and how to manage them. And the basketball gets us moving in the fresh air!’

Tim and Lydia

Tim and his support workers have been booking time to use IOE sites during their shifts to give Tim space to do activities and allow his family some respite at the same time. He cooked a BBQ lunch for himself and his Lydia (and some lucky IOE office staff!) out in the sunshine.

Sara and Aaron

Sara gave Aaron a haircut and a shave after Aaron expressed his frustration about missing his usual trip to the barbers. ‘The look on his face and his smile from ear to ear – he was one happy man! It’s been a pleasure supporting Aaron in his home these past few weeks.’

Interchange Outer East is offering 1:1 support in-home for our participants. Our team can construct engaging, meaningful, and fun support which meets NDIS goals. We are all about the individual, choices and having fun. Our coordinators and support workers can develop personalised support incorporating the activities of daily living which are engaging and fun. At IOE, we are mindful of the current social distancing restrictions and the paramount importance of protecting the health of everyone in our community. We are here for you, when arguably you may need us most.

Interchange Outer East 1:1 support is open to all IOE registered participants, even if your family has only used group-based services in the past. Keep our support workers at work and keep working towards your NDIS goals with IOE 1:1 supports. Depending on your location, get in touch with the Knox, Maroondah or Yarra Ranges Hub on 9758 5522 or email ioe@ioe.org.au