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Empowering Choice - Delivering Dignity
zetetick independent living happy

Independent living happy

Independent living happy

 

We all want to be independent living happy in a home which is safe, secure and adapted to our own needs. Many of us might be looking for enough bedrooms for our growing family, a garden where children can play, or parking for the car we need to travel to work. Some of us might also be looking for living space without stairs to accommodate family who find them difficult, or for ground floor shower rooms. We can make lists of what we are looking for and spend time trying to work out which possible house or flat ticks most boxes.

 

Independent living happy with family

But what about those who may have difficulty deciding what independent living happy means for them? They may struggle putting what they want into words, before even getting to the stage of a list? Many thousands of adults with learning disabilities still face a situation where they have severely limited choice about where they live and little control over their own homes. Government statistics show that by far the largest proportion of working age adults with a learning disability still live with family or friends . This rather vague category includes flatshares (not supported living) but also those living ‘at home’ in their childhood home with parental care and support. This solution can be a way to be independent living happy – but it is always? These statistics are concerning because they can mask the extent to which lack of options is papered over by the efforts of informal social care networks – very often, family who despite aging themselves often continue in a parental role with their adult offspring who need support for independent living happy. Austerity and cuts to local government funding is arguably making this an even more common scenario, with funding for other options for supported living and residential care squeezed.

 

Moving on

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There’s a role here for advocacy, to ensure that the views of the adult with learning disabilities can be properly expressed and considered. Informal carers – be they parents, friends or other family – can help, but ultimately there is and should be a separation between their view and that of the person for whom they care. Someone may say they want to stay ‘at home’, but what do they mean by that? What does independent living happy mean for that person? If they want a safe, cosy family environment with support for social or other activities like going out with friends https://stayuplate.org/, could that be better provided elsewhere? And equally, if they want to live ‘in a flat with my friends’, how can that be achieved so that the person is safe and supported in independent living happy? There’s also a need to address a knowledge gap, through providing information about choices in an appropriate and accessible format. On a most basic level, has anyone explained what choices for independent living are available?

Solutions?

There aren’t any easy answers. But we must make sure we are asking the right questions and that choice and flexibility is available to adults with learning disabilities just as it is for others.  We need to look at providing person-centred and individual solutions, not an off the peg package where one size fits all and actually fits nobody. At Zetetick we can help people to be independent living happy –  if you need some help moving into supported living why not get in touch Contact Us? A tailored package of supported living can help make sure that everyone is able to live happy.

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