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Supported living - young adults with a learning disability

When providing supported living to young adults with learning disabilities, we have the following basic principles and values that summarise everything we believe and guide everything we do:
  • Empowerment: A shift in the balance of power so that young adults with learning disabilities can make their own decisions and take control of their own lives
  • Choice: Having access to a wide range of options, deciding for yourself which ones suit you best and having your choice respected
  • Dignity: Recognising and valuing young adults with learning disabilities as equal human beings with the same rights as every other citizen
  • Individuality: Responding to and working with each person as an individual with his or her own unique personality, perspective and strengths
  • Privacy: Ensuring that everyone is treated at all times in a manner which safeguards their dignity and does not expose them to any situations which might humiliate or embarrass them or cause them personal or emotional discomfort

Our commitment

We are committed to supporting people with a learning disability to lead fulfilling lives with maximum independence. At the core of our service is the belief in developing local relationships, which enables us to react quickly to people’s changing needs.
 
The focus on local relationships also helps us recruit and retain experienced, passionate and committed staff who know the community they support.
 
Our support workers are there to help young adults achieve this aim and are trained to understand people’s needs and to listen to what people want in all areas of their lives including:
  • Personal care: assisting with bathing and dressing
  • Emotional support: reducing anxiety and helping to solve problems
  • Social inclusion: helping people to stay in touch with others Listening: ‘hearing’ what people are saying about how they want to organise their life
  • Information: helping people to make choices by getting them the right information
  • Life skills: helping people with the practicalities of everyday life such as menu planning, cleaning and budgeting
Our care workers understand the principles about supporting young adults with a learning disability and how learning disability relates to everyday living. People with learning disabilities will generally have some difficulty with some of the following:
  • Analysing information/instructions
  • Making judgements and decisions
  • Considering outcomes and consequences
  • Learning new skills
  • Initiating social contact
There are certain things that can greatly help young adults with a learning disability become and stay more independent:
  • Setting up routines
  • Using simple communication
  • Using pictures, calendars, charts and simple lists
  • Having the time to understand
  • Making changes one step at a time

Circles of support

Like anyone, people with a learning disability will have to a greater or lesser extent a circle of people whom they have developed strong supportive relationships with.
 
People who make the decision to live independently will be relying on these supporters to continue to be significant people in their lives; people who will continue to help them develop their skills and experience of independent living. These people may be:
  • Parents
  • Brothers or sisters
  • Other relatives
  • Family friends
  • Neighbours
  • Social workers
  • Advocacy workers
  • Volunteers
  • Paid carers
  • Friends
A large proportion of adults who have a learning disability are likely to live at home with their parents or other family members. It is common for people in their 40’s and 50’s to have lived all their adult lives with parents who have now become elderly.
 
The emotional ties between adults who have chosen to live independently and their parents, families and other members of their circle of support should never be underestimated. Our carers work alongside every person who forms a part of this ‘circle of support’.

Maintaining independence

We understand that good quality home care can be a deciding factor in enabling a young adult maintain independence and live in their own home. Through our home care provision we are able to provide:
 
  • More opportunities to meet friends at weekends & evenings
  • More opportunities & support to maintain friendships & social
  • More information on college courses
  • More information about what services are available
  • Inclusive activities
  • Greater information onn the use of direct payments
  • More supported social activities such as special interest groups
  • Responsive, flexible day services
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