Starting out in supported living: new beginnings and new friendships

Moving out of the family home is a big moment for any young adult. It’s an exciting step towards greater independence, but it can also be daunting. Tim was no exception. He was 21 years old when he moved into one of our supported living houses earlier this year.

This was the first time Tim had lived away from his family home. It was also the first time that Tim had lived with anyone who was not from his immediate family. He joined two other people at the house, Mahmood and Patricia. Patricia had been living there for more than four years, and Mahmood for almost a year, so it was going to be a big change for them, too.

At Yarrow we work hard and put lots of planning in place to make big life transitions as smooth as possible. After meeting with Tim and his family, we knew that routine is very important to him, so we focused on making his new routine as familiar as possible. He also appreciates consistent rules and guidelines, so we focused on those too.

We have been so impressed with how well Tim has settled in. He has built a lovely relationship with his keyworker, Lydienne – he really misses her when she is on leave! He loves baking with her and Patricia at the weekends. Tim has got involved in lots of different activities and keeps very busy. He continues to go to college during the week and also really enjoys music sessions, yoga, going to the Lyric theatre, singing in the choir and going to the cinema.

He’s already learnt a lot of new basic skills, including cooking and cleaning, which have given him a great sense of achievement and developed his independence. His mother has been really supportive and is very pleased at how well he has settled in. His family home is only a short distance away which means family can visit regularly.

When we asked Tim how he feels about living at the house he told us he likes it and “it feels nicer” – which is great news! Tim is really thriving here and is a really important part of our happy household.

But one of the best things has been seeing how he and Patricia get along. Patricia is in her sixties, but despite the age gap, they really enjoy one another’s company. They love eating together and go to yoga together, too. Patricia has taken Tim under her wing as he has settled in. There has been the occasional difference of opinion on what to watch on TV – but then that’s no different to any other home in the country!

Patricia and Tim at a Christmas Ball

Patricia has also come a long way over the five years since she has moved into the house. One of her biggest personal achievements has been to give up smoking. She also loves baking and has donated cakes to a local homeless charity, the local church and our community arts centre, The Gate. As well as Yoga, Patricia also enjoys Zumba and massage, and is much more settled and less anxious than when she first joined us.

Patricia and Tim really benefit from one another’s company and it’s great to see their friendship develop.

Previous posts