Independent living

Seven physically disabled people formed a service group. Each of us is living in his/her own appartment. Our appartments are quite close to each other, greatest distance is 100m.

Each of us need help 24h/day but not constantly. We have arranged our help as follows. We have hired seven personal assistants. They are very nice people. city of helsinki pays the salary. At day time 3 of them are on duty, evenings 2. At nights we have one nurse.

When someone of us needs help she rings to assistant's mobile phone. In case of emergency the assistant comes in 7 minutes. Otherwise they come when they are free. their duties are cooking, cleaning, dressing, showers, visiting grocery, bank etc. In other words we can continue normal living in spite of severe physical disability. Three of us are working.

I have lived in this group since 1998 after my divorce. I have been pleased with this system. It is safe, flexible, pleasant way to live although my hands and legs are not working. I can type and eat slowly, but I need occasionally help also with these.

Aapo Halko, March 27, 2001