Preparing for adulthood – how can we help

Independent living - supported living

Supported living is a term used to describe the range of services that enable vulnerable people with additional needs to live as independently as possible in their local community. While supported living is often for people with learning difficulties, it can also help people with mental health problems or physical disabilities.

The approach to supported living is largely concerned with designing services round the particular needs and wishes of vulnerable people, which is less likely to result in housing and support arranged around traditional residential living. Department of Health research has shown that supported living is associated with people having greater choice about the support they receive along with involvement in a wider range of community activities.

Supported Living can be provided in either purpose-built or small-scale ordinary housing situations, and can comprise of support to:

  • develop daily living skills such as cooking or budget management
  • take up and sustain training or employment opportunities
  • participate in social and community activities such as swimming, volunteering or local clubs or groups

Supported living can also include the provision of:

  • home adaptations
  • security
  • emergency call centres
  • natural support (e.g. family, friends, local community support)
  • community meals
  • assistive technology
  • mobility equipment

There are currently six supported living service providers offering services across 13 locations in Central Bedfordshire. Access to supported living is on a referral basis following an assessment of care and support needs by the Adult Disability Team.

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