Our Independent life

Learning disability care and spina bifada care – Helena and June’s story

Helena and June share a Helping Hands live-in carer. Two vibrant young ladies, Helena has learning difficulties and June has Spina Bifida. They took the decision to have young adult support and embrace their independence whilst enjoying the cost efficiencies of sharing one Helping Hands carer between them. In their words, they share their thoughts on live-in care and how it makes a difference to their lives.

June and Helena1. What made you decide on live-in care?

“I wanted to live in my own home as I have never had my own house. I was in residential housing before and when that shut they moved me again. A social worker came to see me and explained that I could get a house and a live in carer. Helena came too. We argue sometimes but it’s better than being back in a home.”

2. Tell me about your carer

“I love Stella. I loved her from the first day. She is my best friend, she does everything for me.”

“Stella is nice, she is helpful. She cooks special teas for me because I have high cholesterol. She is smashing, she keeps me safe. Stella is the best – she looks after me.”

3. What do you do with your carer? Tell me about your holiday.

“We go out during the day and go shopping because I like shopping. Stella takes me to all my appointments. When we were on holiday we went to the beach everyday and we went out at night to the pub and to a night club just like everyone else.”

“ The hotel was nice. I enjoyed having a cocktail and getting dressed up and going out at night. We went to the Market one day and I bought June a bracelet and me a fan and a shawl and June bought me flower clips for my hair. I had ice cream everyday and we went to the beach and had our lunch in a restaurant. ”

4. What is the most important factor in receiving live in care?

“You can live in your own house and do what you want. Even though I have to rely on someone else the whole time it’s still my house.”

“Having Stella to look after us and be at home and my boyfriend John being able to come and visit and have some tea, Stella doesn’t mind making John some tea.”

5. What would you say to someone considering sharing a carer between 2 people

“It works for us because Helena doesn’t need a lot of looking after.”

“I don’t need looking after. I am independent but Stella is smashing and I do need her for some things but I don’t mind that Stella has to spend more time with June because I can go out to my clubs and shopping with John.”

Innovative thinking for young adults – cost efficienciesSarah Brown

“We all know that public funding for care at home is limited especially when it comes to younger adults. With more and more day centres and activity schemes being closed a lot of younger adults have no option but to live in a residential setting with little or no access to the outside world.

Having a live in carer enables younger adults with a disability to have the independence they crave.

Initially the cost of funding for independent living for a single person was too high and could not be met by the Local Authority. By pairing two individuals with differing needs and housing them together with one Helping Hands carer reduced the monetary cost. This enabled funding to be provided by the local authority.

Helping Hands prides itself on finding solutions. June and Helena are an excellent example of Live-in Care at its best and it is my pleasure to be a part of that.”

Local Care Service Manager Sarah Brown

Stella, June and Helena’s Live-in Carer tells us:

“I really enjoy caring for June and Helena, they are both very different people with very different needs. Helena is very independent and goes out a lot during the day, but June needs lots of help because of her disability.

We recently went on holiday to Benidorm and June and Helena enjoyed this very much. If they were in a residential home I do not think they would have been able to do this.”

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