Future Planning: Care options for adult children with learning disabilities
When you have a child with additional needs, it’s natural to want to protect them, nurture them and offer them every opportunity you can. But as they grow older and get bigger, challenging behaviour, outbursts and communication issues can become more difficult to cope with.
Perhaps they’ve now left their education setting and you’re faced with acting as an unpaid carer full time. The physical and mental strain this causes can take its toll on you as the primary carer as well as others in the household, which is where the support of a live-in carer can make a huge difference. By allowing you to take a step back from being the primary carer whilst also putting long term plans in place for your child.
Should I choose residential care?
When you’re making future plans, the question of whether residential or live-in care is better for your special needs child, will be very much at the forefront of your mind. Be reassured though, no-one is saying this is easy, whatever choice you make, if it’s in the best interests of your family then it is the right decision for you.
There are many positives to residential care homes and the knowledgeable, experienced staff that work within them. Where there is a need for neurological or other medical care, specialists will be brought into the residential home to manage and monitor your loved one’s care plan.
Residents are encouraged to mix with one another often and to enjoy various activities and entertainment that is put on for them. There is no doubt this can lead to a good quality of life in a safe supportive environment.
And in the future, if your child’s condition allows, staff will be on hand to help them transition to more independent living, if and when it becomes possible. As well as helping them to access any adult social care services they may need in the community.
Ultimately, with residential care, you will have the peace of mind that should your son or daughter need help or support at any time of the day or night there will be someone they can call. And you’ll be welcome to visit them as much as you want to.
Is live-in care better for my adult child with additional needs?
While residential care can offer a safe, stimulating environment in which your adult child can thrive, for many people it simply doesn’t feel like the right thing for them. Particularly during those years of transition from teenager to adulthood.
And if that’s the case for you, it’s worth considering live-in care as an option.
While inviting someone into your home on a semi-permanent basis may feel strange to start with, there are many benefits to this kind of round-the-clock social care provision. Particularly if your child tends to become distressed by change or when they’re out of a familiar routine.
Live-in care allows them to stay in their own home environment, with you by their side. And it allows them to keep those familiar daily routines, hobbies or even family pets they’ve become accustomed to. Plus, if you have other children to consider, you may feel you don’t want to break up the family and reduce that sibling bond.
What are the benefits for my adult child?
With care in your home, you can make sure things are done how you want them to be. You don’t need to relinquish control to fit in with the routine of the care home you’ve chosen. Your carer will work with you to devise a daily plan that suits your wishes, supporting you with as many or as few of the household and personal tasks as you feel comfortable with. While they’ll be able to act as an advocate for you and your child when it comes to arranging appointments and passing on information to healthcare professionals too.
And don’t forget the positive impacts a live-in carer can have on your own mental health too. From companionship – caring can be a lonely place to be – to the acknowledgment that it’s just really exhausting and hard to parent a disabled adult with developmental disabilities. You will find that the support your carer gives will allow you to enjoy spending quality time with your loved one, without having to think about all the chores that aren’t getting done.
There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to which care support service you choose, but we hope seeing the options together like this helps bring clarity around the different services available to support you in making the best decision for your family.
If you’d like to know anything about our live-in care services get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk to you about your options.