I’m, ahem, late 30’s and I cannot even begin to think that this beautiful house in which I am lucky enough to live could be a ‘home for life’. I’d like a bigger garden, windows in the bathrooms and a utility room to name but a few of my requirements.
The term is completely alien to me so why do I hear it so often when discussing the needs of people with a learning disability? I fear that this notion is one that was part of a movement towards people having a say about where they live. It had its merits but it’s time now to leave it in the past.
People are often limited by the expectations of those around them. It is up to us to help them aspire to exceed those expectations. People need to be taught about the real options that are available to them and be encouraged to explore them. Flux is part of life and life is for the living. Telling an individual that their Shared Living accommodation is their ‘home for life’ is self limiting. I went through numerous tenancies and, let me tell you, I’ve experienced a fair few disagreements, toilet roll hiding being a common outcome of many of these. If someone had told me that the inconsiderate, up all night partying, boys that I shared with in my early 20’s were in my home for life, you’d better believe that I would be displaying ‘behaviour that challenges’.
Not only that, but surely the ‘home for life’ option is the most costly to the public purse? It’s a bit like a parent never giving any freedom or life skills to their offspring. They are likely to either completely rebel or they will just become so reliant on the parent that they never move on. As providers we have the same duty of care to guide people, to give them the life skills that they need and, most of all, let them go when it is time.
written by: Charlie Crabtree, Development Manager
Charlie has been working as a Development Manager at KeyRing for the past 8 years. She loves asking questions that challenge people’s preconceived notions of what individuals can achieve. She is partial to Netflix as well as regularly attending the gym and is an active member of her local Timebank