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At Lifeways, we understand the importance of families. Choosing the right support for a family member can be a stressful time, and we are committed to making the process as straightforward and clear as possible so people feel they are able to make an informed choice.

Families can face this decision at various points in their life; we support a lot of young people with their transition to independent living, and conversely we have also seen an increase in the number of older people requiring support. Many of them are have been looked after by their parents their whole lives, and elderly parents are now looking to the future and planning care for their son or daughter for when they are no longer able to do so.

An Age Concern Research Briefing published back in 2004 states that there are an estimated 29,000 people with a learning disability who are living with a parent aged 70 or above. Often they have never lived away from the family home. Parents caring for their children well into old age face considerable challenges; often they may develop health problems of their own or require help themselves and as a consequence are no longer able to provide the level of support required. Whilst aware of the need to plan the care arrangements for their children, older parents are often reluctant to seek help until it becomes a real necessity; the risk being that circumstances may reach a crisis point before any future care planning can take place.

At Lifeways, when planning support, we pride ourselves on clear communication from the start, and will support families throughout, meeting regularly with them and all the people involved in the care of their loved one. We understand that parents often feel like nobody can care for their children like they can, and they are worried that they won’t be involved any more. That’s why we make sure that the intimate knowledge and understanding that parents have is fully respected and taken on board, tailoring our support plans to meet each person’s individual needs and wishes, providing that all important peace of mind. We make sure that the support needs of each person are properly understood, recorded and acted upon.

Seeing a loved one settled and happy can bring real peace of mind. We spoke to the family of Gillian who recently moved into her own home for the first time.

Gillian suffers with cerebral palsy and severe learning difficulties. Up until early 2018 she lived with both her parents in the family home and attended a local day centre. Sadly, Gillian has since lost both her parents and moved in with her brother and his family, who felt that Gillian might actually be happier in her own home.

We asked her sister in law about her experience with Lifeways. “In a word – brilliant! After family discussions we realised we wanted to give Gillian the chance to live more independently in her own home for the first time in her life.

We took a lot of time looking and researching for somewhere close to us. From the start the local Lifeways service appeared to be the perfect place. The Manager spent so much time with us and Gillian, ensuring that every need and concern was considered.

Recently we celebrated Gillian’s 60th and I had the pleasure of seeing her with residents and staff socialising in her new home. I could not be happier! As a family we are so grateful for all the help we have had from every member of Lifeways. All the staff at Gillian’s service are an absolute credit to the organisation. Staff go above and beyond here and we are eternally grateful.”

We also helped Sam to move into his own home for the first time, with the help of his sister Lynne. Sam had never lived on his own before, and when Lynne’s health meant she could no longer look after him, Sam made the move to his own apartment where he is now settled and happy. You can watch their story here.

To find out how Lifeways can help your family, email referrals@lifeways.co.uk or give us a call on 0333 321 4881.

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