Ross McDonald B.Comm (Hons), CA, MBA, is the founder of Capital Guardians, a ‘paypal’ for aged care and disability offering personal payment service for individuals in supported environments.
Choice, control, empowerment and autonomy
Choice, control, empowerment and autonomy is the new standard when it comes to Australian government support to individuals in our community.
These statements may sound somewhat new-age, but are now being entrenched in law for both the NDIS and aged care with demonstrable evidence-based positive outcomes.
The move towards consumer-directed care in Australia, should set the global standard for new innovations in disability and aged care. A shift to empowering individual’s to create their own future is, however, bringing challenges where the future vision is not clear and subsequent financial funding is not optimised.
With NDIS, it’s up to you!
Under the old system people with disabilities were not fostered with choice or control. This is now changing, and individually owned plans need to be created. But don’t rely on the government or organisation doing the plan, it needs to be created from the “inside”, by the individual and their support network. This is a “Life Plan”.
The benefits of a Life Plan are enormous. It unites everyone in the care process, as it sets a future vision and delegates actions and roles accordingly to make that vision happen. Obtaining money from NDIS can then be directed to where it’s most needed and valued, and empowers the circle of friends and carers of their roles. The plan gives structure and goals.
NDIS Funding structure and methodology is around the vision and goals. Implementing SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based) enables goals to be realistically set with more successful outcomes when implementing an NDIS plan. It is also the framework for empowerment and autonomy for individuals and their support network managing their life.
Creating a life plan
All plans need must consider these clear themes:
- Where are you now? (current situation)
- Where you are going? (vision / dream / goal)
- How are you going to get there? (implementation)
Do not focus on money
In both life and business, money is an outcome of a good plan, not an implementable vision or goal.
Businesses need to find their own value and purpose and become self-sustaining.
Individuals find their own role in society, and with clear goals and vision, NDIS offers financial help to become self-sustaining.
Ownership of the vision matters
Consultants do not build a successful business, nor do institutions build a successful individual. Ownership of the vision must rest with the individual, and the structure and support around them to achieve the vision. A well devised plan and vision will bring immense value to an individual’s well-being, and maximise the value of targeted funding.
Now imagine an NDIS planning meeting, armed with a well formulated life plan. The NDIS are not only legally obliged to buy in to visions that due to a defined disability need financial help to be sustained, they will want to. In addition a good plan will foster better outcomes for the individual in the long term and make the most of funding and resources made available to them.
Creating a life plan is no different to business plan in many aspects.
- “If you don’t know where you are going, you could end up anywhere”
The importance of a clear vision, and SMART goals
- ‘’Great businesses are not built by consultants, like happy individuals are not built by institutions, they are built by people who care.”
No longer relying on the government to provide care, but choice in who provides that care to assist better self-actualisation.
- “A budget is not a plan, it’s a set of directionless numbers. A plan is a vision with simple goals.” The most powerful visions are clear and concise. “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”- Mark Twain
- “Great plans are simple, quality over quantity. The “journey” of creating a plan is an important part of having the plan. The journey needs to be owned and given clear direction and relevance.”
A life plan sets the framework for achieving goals within a set means. It is the result of understanding what is valued, and a clear articulation of the goals towards a vision and necessary resources, of which some include the financial budget.
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