I live in my own bungalow with 24-7 support. I moved in here in 2001 and it has changed my life completely; I used to live in a residential home. If you are frighten by the thought of ‘supported living’ for you or someone you love, please just read on.
Of course you want the very best for your children or the people you are caring for. There must be questions going through your mind about ‘supported living’. “Who will be there when I am gone? Will they have 24hour support? Who will sit with them when they are not well in the middle of the night?”
For some of you, not all, you may feel guilty because your son or daughter is disabled; the only thing you can see or know is the problem. It has been one long battle to do your very best for your child, you are worn out and don’t see the real person who needs to feel important and to be valued and respected as an adult. They have always been like they are, so they don’t feel disabled. Their impairment is not a problem to them. It is normal for them to be like this and they love life and want to be treated just like anyone else.
Living in a residential home has its good points and bad points. There is someone always there to help you and you are protected from the world. There is always food around and someone to talk to.
But beyond the safe and warm environment, there is an atmosphere that makes you feel not human and not a whole person. You feel like an animal in a zoo just waiting to be fed and done. It feels like all your rights as an individual are taken away and if you rebel, you are an outcast. Every move that you make is talked about or recorded. Some of the staff are very caring and committed to you and some are there simply for the money.
So for me, this was all there was to life. I could not trust anyone to get me out to live the life everyone deserves. Then I found a person who listened and encouraged me to get my own home with my own front door. Some good friends encouraged me too. They didn’t do it for me but they were there. Six years I waited on the housing list. I was told that I had a home already so I was at the bottom of the housing list. So I wrote to my MP and within a week a new bungalow was ready for me. The keys were given to me but I couldn’t move in, without the money for my care and support. It took me three months to get this money.
Now I employ PA’s 24hours a day to support me in living the life I want to live. I can do what I want when I want, get up when I want, have a shower, eat what time I want, go out when I want, all the normal things of life. I haven’t got any restrictions, I just lead a normal everyday life.