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feature Living independently, next door to Mum The pioneering community Kemira at IRT William Beach Gardens provides homes for adults with intellectual disabilities and their parents. N change but it’s good to do your own stuff,” she said. “I really can’t imagine living anywhere else.” Kemira opened in 2006 and features 12 universally designed villas, a community centre, and a five- bed respite centre. IRT Communities CEO Stig arelle Harrington lives “As us carers age, the worry is next door to her mum what will happen to our children. It’s Christine in the specially taken a load off my mind – it’s been “It addresses a crucial gap designed community – and she the worry of my life, my daughter’s between aged care and disability couldn’t be happier. future,” Christine said. services, and is helping to keep Kemira, built and operated by Narelle, 37, said she likes Kemira IRT Communities, is located at because it’s safe and she always has Kanahooka, just south of Wollongong friends there to talk to. in New South Wales. Christine and Narelle live next door to each other in one-bedroom units. Andersen said the organisation was immensely proud of Kemira. families together as they age,” Mr Andersen said. “At Kemira, people with “I go out for dinner in the intellectual disability rent a home of community room, to watch DVDs their own and live with their primary or talk and giggle and laugh. It’s a carers within a supportive community as they age. “This ensures that people with disability can continue living at Kemira even if they become separated from their primary carers due to poor health or passing.” Kemira has been recognised internationally; it was recently commended for excellence in ageing services at the Global Ageing Network Awards in Switzerland. In 2016, it won Innovation of the Year for Service Implementation at the Fifth Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards in Singapore, and international delegations have visited Kemira to see how it works. www.irt.org.au Narelle Harrington and her mum Christine at Kemira. Photograph courtesy IRT Group. 42 accommodation linkonline.com.au