New management for Lebenshilfe residential building in Steyr

New management for Lebenshilfe residential building in Steyr
Markus Forster still finds his job rewarding after 25 years.
Image: private

The Lebenshilfe residential building has a new manager, Markus Forster. After the long-time residential building manager Andreas Kraync retired in February, Forster, a long-time Lebenshilfe employee, also took over the management. Forster and his team of 29 employees support 34 people with intellectual disabilities. Forster came to Lebenshilfe through community service – and stayed: He has been working in the Lebenshilfe residential building in Steyr since 1997. “Working with people with intellectual disabilities is still enriching for me, even after more than 25 years. It’s incredibly nice to experience something together with our residents,” says Forster. The father of two is a qualified social worker and educator for the disabled, a football fan and table tennis player.

34 people with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 30 and 80 as well as the cat Ludwig live in the Lebenshilfe Oberösterreich residential building. Markus Forster says: “Due to the longer life expectancy, we already support 15 pensioners in our living groups. This means that topics such as barrier-free living, age-appropriate leisure activities and increased care needs are becoming increasingly important for our work.”

The house itself consists of three interconnected individual houses and is located in the Steyr-Gleink district. You can imagine living together like in a shared apartment; the residents have their own room with a sanitary area. In addition, each of the three living groups in their house uses a kitchen and a living room as common areas, and there is a spacious garden for everyone.

Choice, self-determination and participation are practiced in the residential building. For example, in the ballroom there are regular group meetings of the elected speakers at which they consider what could be changed or improved.

Some residents like to do sports in their free time and often take part in competitions, including the Special Olympics Summer Games. However, the Olympic idea in the Steyr residential building does not only refer to sporting activities. The residents are also well integrated into local life. A highlight is the fire brigade ball.

In 2024 there will be several reasons to celebrate in the Steyr residential building: The residential building was opened 30 years ago. In April 2024, the groundbreaking ceremony will take place for the barrier-free construction of another Lebenshilfe residential building on Ferdinand-Hanusch-Straße.

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