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Learning disability support

200 new families choose us every month. 28 years of experience counts.

Learning disability support in your own home

For the thousands of people in the UK who are living with a learning disability, their daily lives are affected in a variety of ways. Many of them rely on their family for support. But with a fully trained and dedicated live-in carer, we make it possible for you or your loved one to live as independently as possible. 

Around 1% of the British population live with an autistic spectrum condition and many of those people will have a learning disability. Around 1 in 1,000 people in the UK live with down syndrome, some of whom will also have learning difficulties.

Support for people with learning disabilities

Parents or carers of people with learning disabilities can feel overwhelmed, especially as a child grows into a young adult. Your child may develop at a slower rate than others, and need extra health check-ups – but there is support available if you should need it.

Helping Hands’ carers are fully trained and experienced when it comes to caring for someone with a learning disability. If your family is unsure of how to best cope during transition to adult services a carer from Helping Hands can support you with your loved ones health. When a young person lives with a learning disability, a carer from Helping Hands can support them with their development, their social and communication skills and any other issues that may arise as a result of their learning disability.

I believe this is an excellent model of support and one that should seriously be considered for anyone with a learning disability needing support. Having ‘live-in’ carers means that people have a choice in how they live and who they live with. Too often people are forced to live with others in group or residential settings.

Jenny Pitts, Learning Disability Consultant for In Control


Our approach to learning disability care

A learning disability is always unique to the person, and in every case we concentrate on people’s gifts and strengths. At Helping Hands we understand how to support someone with a learning disability. 20% of our younger clients have a learning disability, many of whom have been receiving live-in support from us for a number of years.

Supporting a loved one with autism

If you are caring for someone with autism, you may need support when communicating with them. Often people with autism can find items in their surroundings hostile, when other people wouldn’t. It’s important to communicate clearly with an autistic person as they will sometimes misinterpret what you say. Our carers can help you to communicate effectively with your loved one, and introduce you to techniques to aid communication, and to identify what causes their frustrations.

Support for someone with down syndrome

If you live with down syndrome or care for someone who does, you may find you need extra support. A Helping Hands carer can support you and your family and help with the development of someone who has down syndrome. Perhaps you’ve found that your loved one needs extra support with language and clear speech. Your carer can work with local speech therapists to ensure that your loved one is receiving the developmental support required to improve their speech.

Support which enables independence

You may also find that your loved one requires extra help with their social development, getting out and about and meeting new people. The Helping Hands team are not just available for your loved one’s physical development but for their emotional development too. They can be a friend who will listen to your worries, and a companion to share your interests with.
We aim to support people with learning disabilities to live independently as part of their local community, close to existing networks and family if possible. Having live-in support means that the person can exercise choice and control over their life in ways that would not usually be possible, if living in structured environments such as residential care or group living.

Alison’s story: living independently at home

Alison has been receiving live-in support from Helping Hands since 2005. It’s a solution that allows her to live close to, but independently from, her parents in her own home.

With the support of Ursula, her live-in support worker, she leads an extraordinarily active life.

Ursula describes how their time is spent. “Routine is very important to Ali – she likes to know what is happening every day, either at home or at the day centre, so we plan each week together,” she says. “Ali likes to go out and visit places of interest, maybe the cinema or a picnic in the park. She also loves to dance, so we go out dancing together two evenings a week. Another evening is spent meeting friends at the local club.

“Ali is involved in her own housekeeping,” adds Ursula, “and at least one evening a week is spent at home where she helps to prepare dinner and which often turns into a social occasion. Weekends sometimes see Ali staying with her parents as she enjoys having quality time with her family. It’s a balance that really works for everyone.”

Respite care – Help for carers from Helping Hands

As a carer of someone who has a learning disability, your commitments can become overwhelming. We understand that you may need time to look after yourself as well as your loved one. That’s why we can offer you a respite care service. This means that a Helping Hands carer will be there to support your loved one, round the clock if necessary, so that you can take the time to look after yourself as well. We recognise that this can be difficult, especially if you are a primary carer for your loved one, but we want to help you as well as the loved one you care for.


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