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Mencap publishes new research


 Mencap research says people with learning disability may be forced to live with ageing parents

Many more adults with a learning disability may continue living with their parents into their adult lives, rather than being supported to live independently, according to new research published by Mencap.

 The interim findings from a report into the provision of housing for people with a learning disability found that while demand for services is rising, local authorities are increasingly struggling to meet this need.

The study which was conducted by Cordis Bright Consulting, shows that 89% of local authorities agree there has been an increase in the number of people with a learning disablility requiring housing support in the last three years. While 82% of the local authorities surveyed agree there is a shortage of housing for adults with learning disability, 94% agree with the view that more needs to be done to meet their housing needs.

The research comes as the govenment's flagship Welfore Reform Bill, which outlines changes to housing benefit and social housing, makes its way through the House of Lords. All of the local authorities surveyed for the research agree that the biggest challenge at the moment is financial, leading to greater pressures on their housing services.

According to the report, the most common housing arrangements for adults with learning disability are currently living with family and friends, in registered care homes  and in supported living.

Based on current accommodation trends and population growth, the research estimates that there will need to be 19,860 new registered care places and at least 14,222 extra supported accommodation places in England and Wales over the next 15 years.

Mencap national campaigns manager Dan Scorer said, 'People with a learning disability have the right to lead their lives like anyone else, this must include being able to live as independently as possible, close to freinds and family and a support network. However, as this research shows the propsed Government changes to housing benefit and supported housing are putting additional pressure on the ability of loacl authorities to find effective solutions to the housing needs of people with a learning disability as well as leaving people uncertain about their future. It is essential that they do not loose out in theses reforms.


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What are the benefits of short breaks for people with learning disabilities?

A short break offers the opportunity to make life less stressful for those invloced in the routine of community care.

It can benefit carers by allowing them to "recharge batteries" whilst responsibility for a loved family member who has learning difficulties continues to be provided

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