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Independent Living

Independent Living Panel

The term Independent Living can apply to young people who may be thinking about what they want to do and where they want to live as they grow up.

It can also apply to people at different stages in their lives when they want to or need a change in how or where they are living.

Some people may need extra support to live in their own homes or with other people. Independent living can give you choices about and control over:

  • your life and the support you get
  • where and how you live, including supported living
  • what help you may need to make this happen

If you're thinking about moving out of the family home, you need to start planning for the future with your family or unpaid carers or friends. There are a lot of things to think about. It can take some time to put things in place so planning is very important, you will need help from family or other people to make this happen.

The No Place Like Home Guide (PDF) [870KB]  is a housing and support booklet to help people with learning disabilities find the housing choice right for them.

Getting ready to live independently

Before anyone moves from the family home, we all need to make sure we know how to look after ourselves safely. This can mean thinking about the skills we have and the skills we may need to learn.

You can ask your family to help you learn and practice these skills at home.

In addition to the information and advice below, Plymouth has an Early Help and SEND Advice Line. You can book a conversation with a Family Support Worker to discuss worries or questions.  Just call 01752 668000, or email


Keeping your home clean

It's important for you to keep your home clean if you want to be independent, whether or not you have a disability. This is because it can help you in many ways, such as staying healthy, making it easier to move around, allowing you to do things on your own, and making you feel comfortable.

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Managing your money

If you want to be independent, it's important to know how to manage your money. This means being able to save money for things you need, like education or a place to live. It also means making smart choices about how you spend your money, and not wasting it on things you don't really need.

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Travel and transport

If you want to be independent, it's important for you to have ways to travel. This could mean going to school or work, going to the doctor, or hanging out with your friends. You can apply for a bus pass for free travel if you have certain disabilities and this gives you free travel on most local bus services.

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Staying safe

Feeling safe means feeling good about yourself and in charge of your life. It's especially important for you if you have disabilities or are vulnerable to danger because you're more at risk of getting hurt or taken advantage of. When you feel safe, you can do what you want without being afraid.

View page (Go to Staying safe)

Housing options explained

There are different options available across the city that can offer people accommodation and care if they need it. If you do need to move because of a change in your personal circumstances there are housing choices that you can make. This includes social, sheltered and extra care housing as well as shared lived and homelessness.

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