Five things to look out for when choosing the right supported living service for a family member with a physical disability or acquired brain injury
If you have a loved one who lives with a physical disability or acquired brain injury and is looking to move towards a more independent way of life, supported living can be a great option. It’s important that each individual feels comfortable and championed to live independently, and our supported living services can help them do exactly that.
Making the move to a supported living service can feel like a big decision, but people like Simon have been able to see the benefits of supported living from the start.
“I like the fact that I can get out on my own, and be more independent, which I couldn’t do when I lived at my mum’s,” he said. “Sometimes I need a bit more support for food ideas. I enjoy cooking my meals and going out shopping.”
Choosing the right type of accommodation
Whether it’s a shared house, or a self-contained apartment within a communal complex, there are a number of accommodation options when it comes to supported living. Those living with limited mobility due to a physical disability or acquired brain injury can find comfort and connection by choosing supported living, especially within a shared property, which ensures there’s always someone around for a chat. Living with others is a great opportunity to meet new people and spend time with those who may share the same interests.
At Lifeways, we see lovely connections grow in our shared services by making sure to match housemates with like-minded people. We often see the people we support enjoying time together both at home and out in the community. Some have organised day trips away and holidays together - a testament to the strong friendships that form as a result of living together.
For those looking for more time to themselves, or a greater level of privacy, independent apartments might be a more suitable choice. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for socialising, as at Lifeways, our apartments often have communal spaces and/or garden spaces where people enjoy getting together and spending time in.
Supported living options can include homes with adaptations and assistive technology, ensuring that individuals feel comfortable and safe in their own home. Michelle has found confidence and rekindled friendships after being supported with a move into a specially adapted bungalow. And she’s never felt more positive about the future.
She enjoys the space of her bungalow and the fact she can reach her light switches as they are set at the right level for her to use. These small adaptations make a world of difference to helping her feel confident and independent in her own home.
Five things to look out for when finding the right supported living service
We’ve shared our top five things to consider when starting your search for the right supported living location.
1. Accessible kitchen areas
For some people living with physical disabilities or acquired brain injuries, lower countertops or assistive technology in the kitchen is an absolute must. Supported living accommodation can include lower sinks or greater floor space to allow for easy movement and accessibility. Larger kickboards can provide ample room for those using a wheelchair, and contrasting features such as hand grips are helpful for those who are visually impaired.
2. Adapted wet rooms
Wet rooms are quickly becoming the first choice for providing safe washing and toilet facilities in private homes, thanks to their versatility and accessibility, and are something that many of Lifeways’ supported living locations offer.
3. Voice activated controls
Many of our locations are specially adapted to support people to live as independently as they can, and voice activated controls can be an addition to the home for those with physical disabilities or acquired brain injuries. Some appliances can be controlled by voice, and thanks to the increasing number of voice activated devices, things such as televisions, heating systems and even door locks can be voice activated.
4. Flexible care based on specific needs
At Lifeways, we ensure our support plans are only created once we have a clear understanding of a person’s individual wants and needs, to make sure that everything we do is completely personalised. When talking to supported living providers, it’s important that you feel your loved one is being treated as an individual and is being heard and understood.
5. Video-entry systems
Automatic and video door entry systems are designed to make life easier - and are a great addition to homes for those living with physical disabilities or acquired brain injuries. Allowing individuals to see and speak to visitors without needing to unlock the door adds security and peace of mind for anyone who is new to living independently. They’re also a great function in the home for those who are looking forward to welcoming friends and family, without needing additional support to do so.
There’s plenty of choice and flexibility throughout our Lifeways locations, however certain adaptations are based on location and availability.
How Lifeways can help
We partner with a number of housing associations across the UK to ensure that we can find suitable and affordable places for people to live. At Lifeways, we know that everyone deserves somewhere to call their own, and we’ll be on hand to help sort out tenancy agreements, provide individuals with the security of their own homes, and answer any questions along the way.
We also know that it's really important to have the right support network beside you, so we make sure to carefully match our support team with each person, considering our team's skills, knowledge and specialism, along with personality traits, hobbies and interests to make sure that we nurture friendly and rewarding relationships.