Each guest is unique and will have different support requirements.
Part of our pre-stay process is getting a full picture of guests’ needs so they can receive adequate care and support throughout the experience and you feel confident while hosting.
Your role as a host isn’t simply to “take care of” the people who stay with you, but rather give them a hand when needed to enhance their independence and confidence. Offering companionship and emotional support – as well as helping your guests achieve their goals – is just as much a focus in the Disability Homestay Network program. If a high level of assistance is required, the guest may travel with a support worker or carer.
Examples of how you might support your guest:
Breakaway Connect (overnight homestay, minimum 3 nights)
- Preparing their meals so they are easier to consume, chopping food into bite-sized pieces or adding thickener to their drinks for example
- Helping them in and out of bed
- Self-care routines like getting dressed or brushing their hair
- Avoiding stressors such as excess noise or clutter
- Providing friendship and emotional connection
- Creating opportunities for them to achieve their goals
Breakaway for a Day (day support program)
- Providing companionship
- Assistance in completing daily tasks if requested e.g. looking at movie session times and buying a ticket
- Accompanying them to chosen activities
- Introducing them to your friends and other members in the community
- Giving them access to art supplies / books / music in your home depending on their interests
- Prompting them to drink water throughout
Each guest is unique so will require differing levels of support, such as:
Lower support needs
(no behavioural plans and ambulatory)
Assistance required – Routines, safety, meals, medication, transport to access the community, assistance with activities, e.g. electronics, games, gardening, cooking, hydration, turning on taps, cleaning, making the bed, tidying up, packing.
View more information about Lower Support Needs
Medium support needs
(no behavioural plans and ambulatory)
Assistance required – Routines, safety, medication, eating, drinking, personal care, speech, hearing, vision, socializing, transport to access the community, higher level or complete assistance with activities, e.g. electronics, games, gardening, cooking, hydration, turning on taps, cleaning, making the bed, tidying up, packing.
View more information about Medium Support Needs.
High support needs
Assistance required – High levels of support for all activities and functions. Guest may have a behaviour support plan in place or be non-ambulatory. Host must have completed advanced training and hold a valid first aid and CPR certificate. Assistance with medication and manual handling may be required.
View more information about High Support Needs.
Our partners at Breakaway Retreats will assess the requirements of each individual participant during the booking process. We will advise potential hosts if additional support will be provided during the stay to assist guests with High support needs.
Please ensure that someone is home to greet your guest when they arrive.
Guests will either be brought to your house using pre-arranged transport or you may need to pick them up from a local transport hub such as a bus depot or train station. We will provide you with an approximate timeframe of when the guest will arrive, but ask that you understand delays may occur. Please call us if your guest has not arrived or contacted you within three hours of their expected arrival time.
Welcome and Orientation
The following will help your guests settle in and enjoy their experience.
- Give your guest a warm welcome and introduce them to the family (or tell them when they will be home) – don’t forget to include your pets if you have any.
- Take a mini tour around the home focusing on key areas like the living room, bathroom and their bedroom.
- Talk about the activities you will be doing together or ones the guest has booked in. Ask your guest if there is anything in particular that they would like to do.
- Explain how they can access the internet and use certain appliances (gaming consoles, air conditioning, etc.). Do this gradually, as this will help your guest to not feel overwhelmed.
- Encourage everyone in the household to give plenty of friendly smiles and take the time to get to know your guest.
- Go over your Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) (see the Host Resources page for a template) to ensure they understand what to do in an emergency.
- Ask your guest if there’s anything you can do to help them settle in and feel more comfortable.
For overnight stays:
- Encourage your guest to contact their parents/carer to let them know they have arrived safely.
- Give your guest some time to unpack and get used to your home. Offer to move furniture if it will make them more comfortable.
- Have a chat about what meals are planned.
Essentials for Overnight Stays
- Private furnished bedroom with a bed, wardrobe/drawers, good lighting, heating and cooling
- Linen/sheets and a towel
- Access to household facilities and living areas e.g. bathroom, kitchen, TV room
Meals, Transport and Activities
Hosts must provide their guests up to 2 “at home” meals per day by arrangement (guests will also have their own meal allowance for their stay). This may just include snacks for the day support program (Breakaway for a Day). You should share mealtimes with your guest where possible. We will notify you of meal preferences as well as any special dietary requirements, food allergies or requests guests may have prior to a booking being confirmed.
The cost of providing local transport and activities is also included in your host reimbursement. You may be required to pick up / drop off your guest at the airport or bus depot for example, or take them to an outside location for an activity.
Further information can be found on the Meals, Transport and Activities page.