What is Supported Living?
Supported living services enable individuals with a disability to live independently in their own home, with appropriate support to help them manage their own tenancy and achieve greater freedom and control in their lives. Support can be provided in a person’s own house, their flat or in a shared living environment.
Support services can range from occasional visits from a support worker, flexible support during the day or in the evening, overnight and/or at weekends, right through to 24 hours a day care.
Some of those living in their own home share support, while others have individual support. With supported living, people have greater choice over many aspects of their lives, they flourish and can become more active in their local community.
Being a Support Worker
Peter is a support worker; he is part of a team of permanent and bank staff supporting four people with complex needs.
Why did you become a support worker?
I wanted a change of career and liked the sound of being a support worker. I wasn’t sure how I’d find it but liked it pretty quickly and got into the flo
I used to work in a stationery shop but found it monotonous after a bit. After being there a few years, I wanted a change. My mum works in social care so I started applying for jobs like that.
What does your work involve?
As well as the fun aspects like day trips, I make sure all health needs and appointments are met. There’s paperwork to be done, and I support people with medication.
I work in shifts, including some overnight shifts – ‘waking nights’, which means that some of the people we work with may need support during the night.
With some of the people I support, their needs can change, for instance due to illness. However, they often bounce back from a bad phase, ready for their normal routines or new experiences.
What do you enjoy most?
My role is different all the time. Going out with the people I support is great. We do that most days. This includes things like personal shopping, music therapy and karaoke. But I’ve also gone on boat rides, train trips, and to the cinema – helping people do things they appreciate and enjoy.
What would you say to someone considering a career as a support worker?
To someone considering becoming a support worker, I’d say it’s great for patient people who want to assist and benefit people in little or big ways. It’s nice to feel you’re enabling people to do things, and it’s also nice for them to have familiar, friendly people to support them.