Supported living refers to services that are designed to help individuals, particularly those with disabilities or certain health conditions, to live as independently as possible. Local authorities or private organisations often provide these services and can include a range of support, depending on the individual’s needs.
The support provided can include help with:
• Daily tasks: This can include help with cooking, cleaning, shopping, and managing finances.
• Personal care: This might involve help with bathing, dressing, and taking medication.
• Social activities: Support workers can help individuals engage in social activities, hobbies, and community events, helping to reduce feelings of isolation.
• Health and wellbeing: This can include support with managing physical health conditions or mental health issues, as well as help to access other health services.
• Housing: Supported living can also involve help with finding suitable accommodation, whether that’s a shared house, a flat in a supported living complex, or an individual’s own home.
Supported living aims to enable individuals to have control and choice over their lives, promoting independence and inclusion in the community. It’s important to note that the level and type of support provided can be tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences and can be adjusted over time as these needs change.
Eligibility for supported living services is determined through an assessment by the local authority. This assessment will look at the individual’s needs and ability to manage them without support.
What is registered care?
Registered care services can include:
• Care homes: These are residential facilities where people live and receive care. This can include nursing homes, where residents also receive medical care from qualified nurses.• Home care agencies: These organisations provide care and support to people in their homes. This can include help with daily tasks, personal care, and health care.
• Hospices: These provide specialist care and support for people who are nearing the end of their life.
• Hospitals: This includes both NHS and private hospitals that provide treatment for physical and mental health conditions.
• Mental health services: This includes services that provide treatment and support for people with mental health conditions. This can include community mental health teams, psychiatric wards, and residential facilities.
• Community services: These provide care and support to people in the community. This can include district nursing, health visiting, and school nursing.
• Dental services: This includes both NHS and private dental practices.
• Ambulance services: This includes emergency and non-emergency ambulance services.
The CQC inspects registered care services regularly to ensure they are meeting the required standards. They can take enforcement action against services that are not meeting these standards, including closing them down if necessary. The results of these inspections are published on the CQC’s website, so the public can see how well different services are performing.
What is the difference between supported living and residential care?
In England, both supported living and residential care are designed to assist individuals who need help with daily tasks due to disabilities, health conditions, or age. However, there are key differences between the two in terms of the level of independence, the living environment, and the type of support provided.
Level of Independence:
Supported Living: The main aim of supported living is to promote independence. Individuals are encouraged to make their own decisions and have control over their lives as much as possible. The support is tailored to the individual’s needs and can be adjusted over time.
Residential Care: In a residential care setting, individuals receive more comprehensive care and support. The level of independence can be lower as staff are on hand 24/7 to provide care and assistance.
Supported Living: Individuals in supported living usually have their own flat or house or share a house with others. They may live alone or with others, depending on their preferences and needs.
Residential Care: Individuals in residential care live in a care home with other residents. They have their room but share common areas like the dining room and lounge.
Type of Support:
Supported Living: Support can include help with daily tasks, personal care, social activities, managing health conditions, and finding suitable accommodation. The support is flexible and can be increased or decreased as the individual’s needs change.
Residential Care: Residential care provides a higher level of support, including help with personal care, medication management, meals, and social activities. There is also access to nursing care if needed.
In summary, the choice between supported living and residential care depends on the individual’s needs, preferences, and level of independence. It’s important to consider all these factors when deciding.
What are the advantages of supported living?
Supported living offers several advantages, particularly for individuals who require assistance but still want to maintain a level of independence. Here are some of the key benefits:
• Promotes Independence: Supported living encourages individuals to live as independently as possible. They have more control over their daily activities and decisions, which can enhance their self-esteem and confidence.
• Personalised Support: The support provided in supported living is tailored to the individual’s needs. This can include help with daily tasks, personal care, social activities, managing health conditions, and finding suitable accommodation. The support is flexible and can be increased or decreased as the individual’s needs change.
• Choice and Control: Individuals in supported living have the freedom to choose where they live and who they live with. They also have more control over the services they receive, which can lead to a better quality of life.
• Community Integration: Supported living allows individuals to live in the community, rather than in a residential care setting. This can provide opportunities for social interaction, community involvement, and the development of social skills.
• Maintaining Relationships: As individuals live in their own homes or share a house with others, they can maintain relationships with friends and family more easily. They can have visitors whenever they want and can also keep pets, which may not be possible in a residential care setting.
• Cost-Effective: In some cases, supported living can be more cost-effective than residential care. This is because individuals only pay for the support they need, rather than a fixed cost for residential care.
• Security: Supported living arrangements often come with security measures in place, providing a safe environment for individuals to live in.
What are the disadvantages of supported living?
While supported living offers many benefits, it also has some potential disadvantages that should be considered. Here are some of the key drawbacks:
• Potential Isolation: Although supported living promotes independence, it can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, especially if the individual lives alone or has limited social interactions.
• Variable Quality of Support: The quality of support can vary depending on the service provider. Some individuals may receive excellent support, while others may not, which can impact their quality of life.
• Responsibility: With increased independence comes increased responsibility. Individuals in supported living may need to manage their finances, shopping, cooking, and other daily tasks, which can be challenging for some.
• Lack of 24/7 Support: Unlike residential care homes, supported living may not offer round-the-clock support. This could be a problem for individuals who require constant care or assistance.
• Costs: While supported living can be more cost-effective than residential care in some cases, it can also be expensive if the individual requires a lot of support. The costs of rent, utilities, and other living expenses can add up.
• Change in Support Needs: If an individual’s support needs change, it may take time to adjust the level of support provided in a supported living arrangement. This could potentially leave the individual without the necessary support for a period.
• Security Concerns: While many supported living arrangements have security measures in place, living in one’s own home or a shared house can potentially present more security risks than living in a residential care home.
It’s important to weigh these potential disadvantages against the benefits when considering supported living. Everyone’s needs and circumstances are unique, so what works well for one person may not work as well for another.