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#25stories – a long road to home

A parent’s love for their child is all-encompassing, even when that child grows up. This blog shows how great support can make the world of difference. Thank you Chris for being so open about Rupert’s journey in this blog.

Before Rupert moved to his supported living home in Oxfordshire, I used to get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I drove him home after a day out. Rupert didn’t want to return to the place he was living at the time. It wasn’t really a home, just a place to live, quite institutional, and we had little interaction from the management or the frequently changing staff. That is what makes Rupert's home so different, and why we were delighted when he moved there.

The supported living home in Oxfordshire isn’t a care home, it’s someone’s home; it’s Rupert’s home. Rupert is enabled to do what he wants to and not what anyone else thinks is best for him. He gets to choose what he does, what he eats, what to wear, when he does things, who he does them with.

The people living there all have profound learning disabilities and complex needs and require the support of staff in their day-to-day lives. They need people that are truly caring, warm-hearted, and enabling.

Brandon does this. For example, Rupert is supported in pursuing his interests including swimming, bowling, music, going to the cinema, local community club, horse riding and much more.

It’s so reassuring that Rupert actively conveys his delight in living there, supported by people – many of whom have been there for years – who know him, care about him and know what he does and doesn’t like. This often provides us with a reminder that, although we are his parents, he has a life of his own which we have to fit into. Now, I always phone before I visit, since Rupert might be out or doing something in the house. In the past, it sometimes felt like more time was spent by staff on admin than activities.

It’s a big relief for us and for other parents, to know that we can be involved in Rupert’s life in a meaningful way, without feeling like we’ve got to keep checking up on things. I’m confident he has the support he needs to do the things he wants to do, to make choices for himself.

So much of the worry and responsibility that we as parents had to take on, has gone. For us, and parents like us, it’s a simple fact; if our children are happy, supported by staff who know them and truly care about them, what more can we ask?

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