As you grow older, you may start to want to live more independently and choose to move out of your family home. You could choose to live on your own, with your friends, with others of a similar age or others of a similar disability.
It's up to you what you want to do, but we advise that you talk with family, friends or a trusted adult before choosing.
Paying for your home
To be able to move out and into your own home, you need to be able to pay to live there. This means that you will need to pay bills for your:
- weekly or monthly rent or a repayment of a mortgage
- Council Tax
- electricity and heating
- weekly food shop
- TV subscription.
To pay your bills, you could use money from:
- your wages from your job
- housing benefit
- income support
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independent Payment (PIP).
You may also need to buy for your home:
- bedroom items, for example, bedding, duvets and pillows
- kitchen items, for example, kettles, microwave, knives and forks, pots and pans
- living room items, for example, sofa, chairs, a tv.
Types of homes
Once you have worked out whether you can afford to move out, the next step is to decide what type of home you want to move into. In Kent you could choose to live in one of the following homes:
A council house or flat is owned by your local borough or district council. If you choose to live in a council house or flat, the rent you pay to live there will be less than other homes.
You can usually stay there for a long time, as long as you keep up with your payments.
To apply for a council house or flat, you need to contact your local borough or district council. To find out who they are enter your postcode into the government's website.
For extra support, you can:
A private flat or a house can either be rented or bought.
If you choose to rent privately, this means that you will pay a landlord money every 4 weeks. Usually renting is for up to one year, however it can be for longer if you choose to.
It is owned by the landlord and often not fitted with special adaptations to support your needs.
If you choose to buy a home, you will need a mortgage. HOLD (Home Ownership for people with Long-Term Disabilities) is a government scheme which gives people with long-term disabilities an opportunity to purchase a Shared Ownership home and live independently.
For extra support you can:
- read a guide to your rights when renting a property (easy read)
- visit Scope's website to find out how to ask your landlord for changes to your home.
A residential care home provides accommodation together with personal care. A person with a learning disability will have a room in a building shared with a number of other people. 24 hour care will be provided on site and meals will be included. Most residential care homes house between 4 and 8 people.
They will generally provide personal care and support such as help with washing, dressing and giving medication. Further assistance can be given, such as helping to eat meals and promoting mobility to keep agile. Some care homes are registered to meet a specific care need such as dementia or terminal illness and end of life care.
For extra support you can:
- read a guide to choosing the right care home (easy read)
- read a guide to the government's change for how to pay for care homes (easy read)
- visit the NHS website to learn about care homes.
- learning disabilities
- physical disabilities
- sensory impairments.
Shared Lives lets you share a home with another person, a couple or a family. You become part of the local community and can always be sure of having company and opportunities to make new friends, while keeping your independence.
Changing your home to suit your needs
You may need to have equipment put in your home to help you stay independent. This could be:
- hoists or transfer aids
- walking or bathing aids
- adjustable beds
- a ramp for your wheelchair
- installing a Kara video device
- grab rails.
AskSARA Kent provides impartial advice about equipment to help make daily living easier. This website asks simple questions to identify which equipment may be able to help you and will then provide you with some suggestions and link you to where you can purchase it.
Watch this video to find out how others have chosen to change their home to suit their needs.
You have every right to request accessible changes to your home, to find out more you can:
Getting the right support for you
If you feel that you are still not getting the right support in your new home and you feel that you're not being listened to, the Advocacy Team can help you. They will support you to make sure that your views are heard and respected, and can help you with big decisions.
Looking after your home
It is important that you look after your home. To do this, you will need to:
- learn to cook
- wash your clothes
- making your bed
- hoover and dust
- wash the dishes
- clean the bathroom
- change your bedsheets.
If you feel that you need help to look after your help, contact the Kent Pathways Service.
Learning to cook
Whether you choose to live alone or live with someone else, it's really important to be able to cook and learn a new life skill. Cooking allows you to find what foods you like and don't like and it should be fun!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions to maintain a healthy body weight.
Watch these great accessible videos to help you to learn to cook simple and healthy meals:
- scrambled eggs
- cottage pie
- chilli con carne
- mac and cheese
- toad in the hole
- spaghetti bolognese
- fish pie
- chicken korma
- chow mein.