Supported living usually describes the arrangement where someone who already has their own tenancy or own home in the community and alongside this has help from a “Care and Support” provider to enable them to live as independently and safely as possible. Ordinarily people will receive support and help with any aspects that are required to live an ordinary life as possible, this could be help with:
- Managing bills and money
- Cooking and healthy eating
- Getting a job
- Learning new skills for independence
- Personal care and well-being
- Managing medication
- Accessing employment, sports and social activities
People who live in supported living arrangements can live in a variety of different settings for example:
- With another person or others that they have chosen to live with in shared accommodation e.g. a shared house in which they all contribute to the bills and upkeep of communal areas.
- On their own in flat/house or bungalow etc
- Support provided in ranges from 24/7 to just a few hours a day – depending on the needs of the tenant
Remember – supported living is a journey!
It can feel a little overwhelming when you start thinking about supported living. It might be helpful to think of moving into supported living as a journey. Just as every person with Down’s syndrome and their family is different, so is everyone’s journey towards supported living and there may be bumps along the road. That doesn’t mean your relative won’t get there in the end.
Don’t panic if you experience setbacks or your relative does not settle into his or her new home straight away. The road to independence is not a straight one and there may be times when your relative needs more support or experiences a problem. The important thing is to ensure that you and your relative are getting enough support.
This flow chart explains the supported living process:
|Initial information gathering|
|Find out as much information as you can. Suggested places to look are:|
|Looking at housing options||
Looking at areas where the person needs support
|Housing options you can look at include:
Ask your local authority about housing options in your area.
|Come up with a list of tasks a person needs support with in daily life. This could include:
Remember, help can include prompting and reminding.
|Find the right property||Assessment|
If you plan to rent via the council or a housing association, get on the housing register as soon as possible.
if you are privately renting or buying, make a list of your specific requirements before you start searching.
A social worker should come and assess the person face to face.
You can attend the assessment if the person gives permission.
The assessment should look at what they need support with and what would happen if they didn’t get that support.
Have a list of tasks the person needs support with.
|Paying for housing||Arranging support|
If the person is renting, you can apply for housing benefit. Ask your local council for a form.
Housing benefit will depend on the type of housing.
If purchasing, they may be eligible for support with the mortgage.
Call our benefits adviser for more information about housing benefit and how to apply.
The local authority will decide if the person is eligible for support based on the assessment and national eligibility criteria.
The person will have a financial assessment to assess their ability to pay for support. This is based on the person who needs care’s ability to pay, not their parents or carer’s.
The local authority must create a care plan telling you what support they will provide.
You can ask for support as direct payments to you or the person to directly arrange the care yourself.
You can also choose for the local authority to arrange support for you. This can be easier but gives you less choice.
If the person is renting, they will need to sign a tenancy agreement.
If the person is unable to sign the agreement, a best interests decision making process will need to be followed.
Call the DSA for more information.