Support | What is the “support” in supported living?
Many Zetetick tenants used to live in residential care homes where they were locked up for long periods each day. Supported living – that is, the provision of a real home with support suited to the needs of the individual – enables tenants to lead fulfilling, active lives.
Attitudes towards learning disability are slowly changing for the better as more people leave hospital or care homes and live in the community, but as Caroline Stevens, CEO of The National Autistic society, said recently in an interview with The Guardian, we need to ensure that “services are tailored to meet autistic people’s needs. What autistic people desperately need are more community-based services… Being stuck at home with nothing to do and no one to see will impact on a person’s wellbeing”.
Get a (social) life!
What this change in attitudes means is that the “support” in supported living should not just mean help with personal care or support with running a home, but support to have a social life – to go out, meet with friends, do sports, take part in arts events, and have a choice about what that means. Without this people become marginalised and are more prone to experience loneliness and mental health problems.
Stay Up Late is a Sussex charity set up to ensure people with a learning disability can do just that and have more choice about what events they are able to attend. As well as running their Gig Buddies project, they have recently launched the No Bedtimes campaign, working with individuals and support providers on how to ensure that people with a learning disability can enjoy a full social life and not have to leave an event before the end.
Empowering choice – delivering dignity
We want to ensure social inclusion for people in supported living. Having a good social life and being part of a community makes a huge difference to quality of life and can maximise the opportunities people have.
Help us to empower choice and deliver dignity. Donate, volunteer, sign up to our newsletter, spread the word.