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Emma’s blog: Is supported living right for you?

5 March 2021

Emma Warren, an area service manager for Sanctuary Supported Living looks at the considerations around a potential move into supported housing for someone with learning or physical disabilities.


Everyone wants autonomy over their own life and decisions, and supported living opens the door to independence for many people in the disabled community. So, could supported living work for you or your loved one? 

Supported housing is available in many different forms, but it’s usually a place you can call your own, with a secure tenancy and the support or care you need. Sanctuary Supported Living offers a range of different housing options, including supported housing with support – with the addition of personalised care at some services – and residential and nursing homes.

At Sanctuary Supported Living we support different client groups including homeless families and individuals, people with mental health needs, physical and/or learning disabilities, young people and others with a range of complex needs. Our teams understand the importance of an individualised approach to support; empowering the individual to live the life they desire; with the assistance they want and need.

Increased independence

If you have a disability or someone you love has a disability, there are many reasons why you might be considering the move into supported housing, but craving more independence and wanting to achieve your own goals are usually the main ones. Living in a supported setting may open the door to new opportunities previously thought impossible and spending time with like-minded people can be inspirational.

Liz is a resident at Hilltop House in Bury St Edmunds, and she made the move because her mother was getting older and couldn’t offer her as much help anymore. It was her choice to move and since then, she’s experienced an increase in her independence.

Liz said; “Each person in the home is allowed to make their own choices, they never tell you what you can and can’t do. They enable me to go out, do the things that I want to do, see friends: the whole living experience is wonderful.”

Liz’s experience is similar to many other residents who have been able to improve their day to day life with the knowledge that support is there if it is required.

One resident previously spent all day in a recliner chair but was assisted with sourcing a wheelchair. It meant she was able to self-propel with her feet, and now she moves freely around the building popping into communal areas and is much more independent.

“Living in a supported setting may open the door to new opportunities previously thought impossible and spending time with like-minded people can be inspirational.”

Individual choice

Alongside the social benefits of supported living, it also offers the opportunity to tailor your support.

Care may include washing and dressing, eating and drinking, or support with medication with the team enabling the individual to be as independent and empowered as possible. Supported living providers work in collaboration with the individual and anyone else they would like involved to create a person-centred care and support plan which includes any specific goals or achievements. This could be anything from being able to wash the dishes with our adaptable kitchens, to having the confidence in the support staff to book and go on holiday abroad for the first time. This plan is then reviewed on a regular basis to see what needs tweaking to suit the person more, or what new goals they would like to work towards.

The plan is also tailored into the format that is best for the client whether in large print, with pictures or audio, or as an easy read version.

Making the best decision

Research into the different types of supported living can help reduce any pre-conceptions or concerns you might have and ensure you choose a new home that is perfect for you. Before committing to a particular provider or service, it’s important to ask questions to ensure it’s the right fit for your individual needs. Speak to someone who already lives there – they’ll know what it’s like as it’s their home. Don’t be scared to ask challenging questions as it’s your life and you need to feel comfortable and safe before you decide whether supported living is right for you.

Read more about how we support people with physical and/ or learning disabilities, or read our resident stories to read resident experiences.

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Sanctuary Supported Living is a trading name used within Sanctuary Group. © 2022 Sanctuary Group. All Rights Reserved. Images used on our website and literature may be representative and are for illustration purposes only.
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