Simon shares his home with two other tenants and has an ensuite room with a balcony. “It’s great, the staff are really nice,” he says.
Although the other tenants are two older women who are less mobile than Simon, this suits him. “I want to live somewhere that’s calm and peaceful,” he says. They are all friends and get on well, and have dinner together each evening to catch up and chat.
Choosing to live independently in a Reside house was a big step for Simon and one that he and his mum Karen approached with trepidation. “It’s been a massive change for both of us, especially as you’re handing over the trust to someone else to keep your loved one safe,” explains Karen. “It’s surprised us both how Simon has settled in and become so much more independent.”
The housing benefit application process has been managed by Reside so that Karen doesn’t have to worry about that – she pays a set amount to cover food and the internet. Repairs to the property have been swift, such as fixing the kitchen floor and lighting. “We can’t complain at all, I’m impressed at how the property is kept so well. Also the support provided is amazing with such capable people.”
Before moving into his Reside home, lockdown had an impact on Simon’s care provision. His usual support worker had to shield and the usual respite activities ceased, so the daycare fell to Karen. “Simon was coming into contact with lots of different support workers and it was becoming dangerous. He had to self-isolate twice towards the end of the year.” Simon is fairly stoic about lockdown though: “It’s been alright, I’ve just been chilling out.”
Thankfully, one of Simon’s PAs has returned and now that they are both vaccinated, normal activities should be able to resume post-lockdown. A local centre for independent living is helping Simon by recruiting another PA for shifts throughout the week. “He just wants a nice young man who’s kind and capable and fun to hang out with,” says Karen. “It’s important for him to socialise with people his age.” Simon loves the bowling group organised by the Special Olympics group and Boogie Nights discos with a local disability activities provider.
Apart from bowling and going to the cinema, Simon is into gaming: “I love Call of Duty and Mortal Kombat. My dream is to work in the Game shop!” he says.