Main Office: 01206 866 252
Domiciliary Care Office: 01206 583 743

What’s the Difference Between Supported Living and Residential Care?

13 June 2023

If someone close to you is living with a disability, illness or age-related issues, you may be wondering what route to take when it comes to care. There are lots of different options available but if your loved one requires a high level of care, you may want to consider supported living or residential care.

In this article we will explore the differences between supported living and residential care and help you decide which one would be more suitable for your loved one’s individual needs.

What is supported living?

Supported living (also know as "supportive living") is ideal for people who are living with a disability or illness but are able to live independently and can manage most daily tasks by themselves, despite still needing regular care. These daily tasks might include:

  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Basic food preparation and cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Support individuals to access the community and health appointments
  • Supported living often serves as a stepping stone towards independence

Benefits of supported living

For a person living with an illness or disability, supported living comes with many benefits to add value to their life such as:

  • Confidence. Knowing that care is on-hand whenever they need it gives adults residing in supported living the confidence to live life to the fullest and do the things they want to do.
  • Care. An individual care plan will be created for every adult in our supported living accommodation. Whilst we encourage independent living, we are always here to provide the care required.
  • Independence. Many adults want to live independently despite having a serious medical condition or disability. We encourage people to live as independently as possible whilst still providing the care that they need.
  • Companionship. When living in supported living accommodation, there is the option to have a shared tenancy or a single-person occupancy. For many people, meeting like-minded people with whom they share many common interests, struggles and goals, can be a real asset to their lives.

What is residential care?

Residential care (also known as a “care home”) is for those who require round-the-clock care to manage their illness or disability and cannot complete daily tasks without assistance. The level of care that people in residential homes require means that they cannot live independently and so a residential home feels safe, reassuring and meets their every need.

Benefits of residential care

When a loved one reaches a stage where they require 24/7 care it can be a worrying time. We are here to make the transition into residential care as seamless and stress-free as possible so that you and your loved one can enjoy the benefits that it brings. These include but are not limited to:

  • Round-the-clock care. Our fully trained carers work 24-hours a day to provide an excellent standard of care to every single person they look after. From administering medication to having a chat, every need is met at any time of the day or night.
  • Reassurance. We want all of our clients to feel safe and comfortable and for their loved ones to know they are cared for in the best place possible.
  • Companionship. We actively encourage all of our residents to socialise and take part in activities where possible.
  • Home comforts. Our care homes are exactly as the name suggests; homes. We want people to feel as relaxed and safe as possible and we all know there is no place like home. Friends and family can drop in whenever they please and our cosy lounges are the perfect communal space for a catch-up.

Key differences between supported living and residential care

The main difference between supported living and residential care is the level of care provided. If your loved one is able to live independently and would like to continue to do so despite requiring a moderate level of care, then supported living would be perfect.

However, if they require round-the-clock care and are unable to complete daily tasks for themselves then you may want to consider a residential home.

To help you decide if supported living is right for your family member, we have compiled a list of questions for you to consider:

  • Is your loved one able to complete simple daily tasks such as washing, dressing and basic food preparation despite their care needs?
  • Do they enjoy living independently?
  • Are they able to be left for short periods of time without care being provided?
  • Would living independently boost their independence and confidence?
  • Would your loved one benefit from friendships with like-minded people?

If you have answered yes to the majority of these questions then we would love to have a chat with you about our supported living services. We own and operate several supported living homes across Essex and currently have availability at two off-site supported living premises in Colchester, and an off-site 4-bedroom bungalow and on-site annex in Braintree.

If you are wondering if residential care would provide the right level of care for your loved one, here are some helpful questions to assist you:

  • Is your loved one unable to perform basic tasks such as washing and dressing without assistance?
  • Are they unable to be left alone for any period of time?
  • Do they require round-the-clock care?
  • Would they benefit from an active social life with like-minded people whilst still receiving the care they need?

If you have answered yes to most of these questions, please get in touch with us to discuss our care home services. We currently have residential care homes in four locations around Essex including Colchester, Braintree, Alresford and Walton-on-the-Naze.

Talk to us

We are more than happy to speak to you regarding any of our services or for some general advice.
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Head Office:
Butterfly's Care Homes Ltd
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Main Office:
01206 866 252

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01206 583 743

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