Living independently and kicking goals at Woods Cottage

February 13, 2023

When you first set foot into Woods Cottage – whoever you are – you are treated like an old friend. Part of CatholicCare’s Supported Independent Living Program, Woods Cottage provides individualised, in-home support to adults living with a disability. Alison, Susie, Jo, and Kay reside at Woods Cottage, and they couldn’t be prouder of their home.

CatholicCare’s Supported Independent Living Program provides 24/7 individualised support to clients in an in-home setting and helps them build capacity with everyday life skills. We assist with personal care activities, support the implementation of support plans, assist with community access, and provide support, supervision, and safety to people with a disability.  

According to a recent NDIA research report (2021) the dominant model of accommodation for people with a disability historically has been the institutional model.  Remaining in the care of the family in the family home is also common for many people with a disability, in some cases without the preferences of the individual being considered. Alex Jelodev, General Manager, CatholicCare Disability Futures echoes this, saying “in the past, people with disabilities were institutionalised and segregated. Now they can enjoy the parts of life that others get to, and rightfully so.”  

Alison has been living at Woods Cottage since 2011 and she enjoys a full and busy life. “I work at the Sydney Adventist Hospital two days a week, and I’m very social – I go on lots of outings.” During her time at Woods Cottage, Alison has thrived, largely thanks to the staff who have helped her build her independence.

CatholicCare’s approach to Supported Independent Living prioritises choice, control, and autonomous decision making for clients. Studies show how important it is for adults with an intellectual disability to have autonomy over their daily activities and decisions. Being supported to live independently has been proven to increase self-reliance, safety, and security. 

Kay, who has been living at Woods Cottage for 11 years, says it has been a great place to enjoy her retirement. “Before coming to Woods Cottage, I lived in Lane Cove with a friend but unfortunately she died. Most of my family have passed so Woods Cottage is like my family.” For Kay, she thrives on the busyness and activity at Woods Cottage. “There is always lots happening, and I like going out for lunch and shopping and banking on Mondays.” Kay explains that she has learnt to be resourceful at Woods Cottage, “At the moment I’m learning how to use an air fryer!”  

The ladies are Woods Cottage have become very independent and much of their current support focuses on achieving goals, personal care, and seeing family and friends. “They want to engage more with the community, and we support them to do that”,  says Alex. “They really benefit from cohabiting with housemates and the structure and guidance that we provide here at Woods Cottage.”  

Each resident at Woods Cottage is treated as an individual with unique talents, interests, and goals. Staff are there to draw out these unique qualities and to support the clients to live a rich, full, and meaningful life.  

We are excited to be expanded its work within the Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Special Disability Accommodation (SDA) environment.

Our team provides the support and supervision of daily tasks to develop the skills of an individual, so they can live as independently as possible. These supports are provided to an NDIS participant in Supported Independent Living (SIL) arrangements and Special Disability Accommodations (SDA) and include:

  • 24/7 support and supervision with an individualised approach
  • Help with personal care activities, provided with dignity, compassion and respect
  • Support with daily living skills with tasks such as preparing meals, cooking and cleaning
  • Assistance with medication management and administration
  • Help with household tasks
  • Support with activities to develop social skills
  • Support with supervision, personal safety and security
  • Help for medical appointments including transportation
  • Assistance with behaviour support plans
  • Community access support (eg. shopping, meeting with family, social outings) … and more.

CatholicCare currently provides SIL services to residents at Woods Cottage (Lindfield) and Kokoda House (Wahroonga). Manly House is an SDA property and we will open additional SDA properties in Toukley & Wyoming later this year. Register your interest now!

For more information about CatholicCare’s SIL program, please call us on 1800 324 924 or visit


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