‘Supported Living’ and ‘Residential Care’ are the two forms of support that are commonly offered to people with Autism, Learning Disabilities, Behaviours of concern, Physical Disabilities, Mental Health, Epilepsy, Complex Needs, and those requiring nursing care.
It can be confusing when first exploring a new home for someone who requires support with their daily living, and we often get asked questions about what Supported Living is, how it works as well as the differences between Supported Living and Residential Care.
Below we answer some of the most common questions.
What is Supported Living?
Supported living is a service designed to help people with a wide range of support needs retain their independence by being supported in their own home (either owned or as a tenant). There are different types of supported living. This can be sharing a house or flat where other people get the same help as you, having your own house or flat with the support you need there. The level of support that is required varies on a person-by-person basis and can range from a few hours a day to 24-hour care within their own home. Supported Living is usually funded through a Local or Health Authority, following a needs-based assessment carried out by a social worker/health professional.
The support that can be provided varies depending on individual needs but will range from personal care as well as other aspects of daily living such as looking after the home, accessing the community, attending appointments/activities and paying bills.
Who Is Supported Living for?
Supported Living can be accessed by anyone who needs support; including those with Autism, Learning Disabilities, Behaviours of concern, Physical Disabilities, Mental Health, Epilepsy, Complex Needs, and those who may require support with daily living or any other activity that allows them to maintain their quality of life and independent living.
Supported living and Domiciliary Care can often seem confusing and fall under the same regulated activity. Domiciliary care is defined as the range of services, often care, to support an individual in their own home. Domiciliary care is often accessed by older people and people who need support for timebound tasks/activities. This might be help with medication, personal care, or shopping.
Supported living means the person supported has their own tenancy or owns their home. Where someone has a tenancy the landlord and the support provider are not the same organisation. The person has an assessed need for support from health or social care services; this can be at any level. It is important that the person has choice and control over their home, who lives in the house and who supports them.
What are the benefits of Supported Living?
Supported living is about people having choice and control over their lives and home. An individual’s needs can vary greatly in the level of support required, some people may need little support, some more specialised support and some may require 24-hour care. In a supported living, individuals will be able to live independently, with specialist staff support on hand should it be needed.
Supported Living helps people to do more for themselves when they are able to. People can get help with things like:
- Choosing where to live
- Running of their home and things like paying bills
- Support with looking after money and benefits
- Getting washed and dressed and personal care
- Cooking, shopping and looking after the person’s home
- Going to college or doing courses
- Going to work and doing voluntary work
- Doing things with family/friends
How does Supported Living differ to Residential Care?
Supported Living enables people to remain in their own home with the support they need. People in supported living have their own tenancy and are responsible for their own bills and cost of living. In registered care (also known as residential care, or a care home) the person will have their room with shared living areas and both accommodation, utilities and personal care are provided by the care provider. A commitment to the principles of living a good life that focuses on high quality care, choice, Independence, and equal opportunity is integral to support whether this is within supported living or a residential care home.
When would Supported Living be recommended?
An assessment of needs will identify when Supported Living is suitable for individuals and can be beneficial at any point; whether it is for someone who is already living at home but needs some additional help, or for people who are moving from residential care or other settings into their own home for the first time.