Hft | Stories and case studies | Living independently - Joanne

Anyone who has shared their home will know that it has its challenges as well as its benefits. For some people we support, living as part of a group can be a source of great anxiety.

This was the case for Joanne, who we have supported for over 17 years. Despite receiving lots of support from staff, she found it hard to settle in shared tenancies and often felt upset and uncomfortable. She would shout loudly or run out in the road if she was stressed, and developed eating habits which had serious consequences for her diabetes. Joanne also hit out at staff if her routine was altered in any way.

Realising that she would be far more comfortable in her own space, the team began the process of finding a private flat for Joanne and helping her to prepare for independent living.

Now that Joanne lives in her own home in a location she likes, she is much happier. Her support team, who she helped to recruit, have put structured goals and risk assessments in place so that she can use public transport independently. A mapping exercise enabled her to access her local community and begin to build friendships at college and the local pub.

Because Joanne found changes to routine challenging, Hft staff made sure that an alternative activity was always available, making sure Joanne had a say in decisions. They also gradually introduced her to small social groups, so that she could begin to overcome her anxiety and form friendships with people who shared something in common.

Joanne has now built up a strong network of friends, who she socialises with on a regular basis. She has a boyfriend, and uses public transport to get out and about independently. Through their personalised support and gentle encouragement, Joanne’s support team have helped her to manage her behaviours and develop a greater sense of independence and wellbeing.