Before I moved into supported living 2 years ago, I had lots of questions and concerns. There were lots of people involved in the process, but nobody who’d actually been through it.
Having completed the move, I wanted to use my experiences to help people out there, who may not know where to turn for independent, ‘been there, seen it, worn the t-shirt’ advice.
And I’ll be honest - good, bad, ugly or other! Supported living might not be right for you but unless you speak to somebody that’s been through the process, you might never know!
Now I've taken the step into supported living, I love my life. In addition to my new found independence, I have lots of new friends, enjoy lots of days out and even go on holidays.
I have a ‘Toby Churchill’ which allows me to open doors, open and close the windows blinds, turn the lights on and off and also I can control my living room and bedroom television.
If you’re considering a move into supported or independent living, my advice is to speak to people about your concerns and talk them through.
Also, very importantly, make sure you have access to a good social worker. They will be able to resolve any queries you have about staff, support hours or anything else that arises.
This means you’ll have the best chance of enjoying life.
Before I moved into supporting living, I was at home with my parents and siblings while studying at college. I had a personal assistant that would come for 6 hours once a week and take me out to do the things I wanted to do, like go shopping or go to the cinema. I was happy living with my family but I wanted to get out and to do more stuff so I decided to go into supported living so I had greater independence.
My family has always been very supportive and they were all keen for me to have the independence I wanted. When it came to making the move however, they were worried at the beginning because they wanted me to be safe and well looked after.
When my parents came along with me to pull together a support plan with my care manager and it contained all of my favourite things to do – they really saw the benefits and they got as excited about the move as me.
I still see my family regularly. Best of all it’s all on my terms!
Just like you, I had the same idea of having my own apartment and lived with my parents up until two years ago. Then I moved to my own place and to be honest, it's the best thing ever. There is loads of support, Lifeways, who are the care providers at HB Villages developments, provide me with whatever support I need. Night or day, there are always staff on hand to help. Depending on your needs, each apartment is also fitted out with assistive technology from ATEL. This will help you communicate with night staff in the middle of the night if needed.
Where I live, it is just like living in your own home so you can invite your friends and family round any time you want. You have your own support staff and they can stay with you when people are visiting or leave – whatever you would prefer. It’s very flexible.
As you will be classed as living independently, you can make your own choices. This means if you want to you can have your own team of carers and you can keep the same social worker. It’s all about having the choice to decide what support you would like.