I moved to my own flat, from support living, in London in 2012 as I wanted to get more independence.
Supported living (which often involves living with other people in a shared house) is great for people who love company, and for people who need more frequent support.
When I was in supported living I had roommates, but now I have my own space and I see friends when I’m out. When I lived in supported housing, I felt at times as though I didn’t get enough space. I was sometimes pestered by the other tenants like I was a support worker myself, which was sometimes stressful. I think just because I have a learning disability, it doesn’t mean I have to be or live with people with similar disabilities.
I now prefer living independently and have someone come in to support me when I need them. I still get support for things like filling in forms, cooking, cleaning and shopping. I know not everyone is able to have this choice, so I feel glad to have had the opportunity.
The reason I decided to live on my own was to get more independence and live my own life. When my mother suggested it 6 years ago, I wasn’t keen on it, but if I you don’t try, you’ll I never know, so I tried and it and it worked! I got my flat in the spring of 2012, the same year as the Olympics and Paralympics in London, which was also about people achieving goals to reach the best of their ability.
Living independently is important to me as It means I can open and close the door on the world as I want. I am an independent woman in London, and living independently means I have complete control over my life and make sure that people don't interfere in my affairs.
The best thing about living alone is that I have plenty of peace and quiet, and the worst thing is that if I need something mended, I have to wait a few days for someone to come around to fix it.
If someone with a learning disability wanted to have their own flat, and is able, I would say "go for it!" to them and their families. People should make sure they can get support with extra tasks if needed, like using a washing machine, an oven and managing money.
All in all it’s been a great success for me to live independently!
Find out more
If you like to find out more about living and housing options for people with a learning disability, visit our Housing section.
Also, why not take a look at FamilyHub? This is our online community, where parents and carers of people with a learning disability can share advice and support about a range of different topics, including housing options.