Going to university with live-in care for young adults: Ben’s story

Published: Wednesday 5th October 2022

Ben (23) lives with Cerebral Palsy. Since school he has dreamt of attending university. Last year, that dream became a reality thanks to live-in care for young adults.

Ben is supported by our live-in care service for younger adults (aged 18 and over). This means that a professional care worker lives with him in his own home, providing personal care, help with everyday tasks, and companionship 24-hours a day.


Live-in care for young adults

Live-in care is truly unique. It combines medical expertise with physical and emotional support from a single care worker. This is different to other types of care, such as in a care home, where the care worker may support multiple clients during their shift.

With a professional care worker providing one to one support, care can be tailored to people with a range of needs. That includes those living with Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, learning disabilities and autism.

Support is also available for those with complex needs through our Enable service.


Growing up with Cerebral Palsy

care for young adults
Ben (right) with his Mum, Rita

Ben was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects his mobility and coordination, but not his ability to communicate or learn. He also lives with type 1 diabetes which, due to his condition, he is unable to manage on his own.

But he has always had support. Even when his parents split up shortly after he was born. As a single parent, his Mum, Rita, had to learn to support her son not just as a mother, but a carer too.

When Ben was just four, Rita remarried. In time, Ben was joined by two younger sisters and found himself swimming in the affections of a large family. Rita explains,

Ben has two sisters and we are a large, supportive family so he has lots of cousins who all love him.

And for good reason. Ben is a bubbly character who loves to socialise. He enjoys time with his family and friends and is also a huge football fan. But, it is Maths that really sets him apart.

Ben is brilliant at it. A true Maths protégé in the making, having achieved A* results in his A-levels. His natural talent for numbers would see his idea of going to university become an insuppressible dream.

If only there wasn’t one hurdle. With the exception of some brief home care while at college, Ben had always been supported by his Mum. Unless she was to enrol on a course too, it seemed like Ben’s dream would have to remain just that.


Being a mother and a carer

Since birth Ben has been primarily cared for by his Mum. This meant juggling her role as a mother with that of a caregiver. But Rita, an independent, self-assured character, took it in her stride.

For me, being a Mum and being a carer were really the same thing. Ben is intelligent and a sociable character. I was just his arms and legs really.

Talking to Rita, that natural love for her son comes out in the wonderful display of verbal affirmations she uses to describe him. In being his arms and legs, the mother and son duo have a unique bond formed from a mutual dependence on one another.

Rita’s positive attitude towards her role as a caregiver is inspiring. And that attitude has encouraged Ben to chase his dreams, regardless of his disability.

I wanted to prepare Ben for the real world, disability or not. I always encouraged him to manage his own life and be as independent as he can.


Going to university with care for young adults

Care for young adults
Ben (left) with live-in care worker, Jeremy

The first chance at independence would reveal itself when Rita enquired into live-in care.

With hopes of going to university threatened by Ben’s reliance on 24-hour support, consistent, one to one care promised a solution.

Live-in care for young adults provides 24-hour support at home, wherever that home happens to be. In Ben’s case, this saw live-in care worker Jeremy, join him at university in a specially adapted apartment.

Jeremy (31) not only provided care, but that all important companionship to Ben during a significant change in his life. Having always lived at home, Ben needed far more than just a care worker. He needed a friend.

Fortunately, Jeremy was there to be exactly that. He accompanied him to lectures and social events; supporting him to settle in and make friends.


A companion that cares

As a young student living with a disability, fitting in was a constant worry for Ben. But Jeremy wouldn’t let that stop him.

From going to the pub to trips to the cinema, Ben certainly didn’t miss out on the fun of starting university. Describing how Jeremy’s empowering attitude supported her son during that time, Rita said,

Jeremy is amazing. It was Jeremy who encouraged Ben to go out when he first got to University. Now they go to the cinema, the park. They go to the pub together.

No matter what the day holds, Jeremy is by Ben’s side. Their relationship goes beyond just personal care; they are friends. No matter the trials of university, they share in it together.

With live-in care for young adults, Ben has gained independence. No longer does Jeremy sit with him in lectures. There is no need. Ben knows that he is on the end of the phone, always waiting for him. Whether it’s personal care, or just a friend to talk to, Jeremy is always on hand.

The biggest benefit of live-in care is definitely the one-to-one support. It’s the consistency of having one care worker every day that understands and who you can form a bond with.


Care for young adults

For many young adults, needing full time care can feel like a loss of independence and freedom. Live-in care changes that.

Receiving the right care and support can help them to not only achieve their dreams, but surpass them. For Ben, this meant finding independence at university.

If you or a loved one can relate to Ben’s story -whatever dream you are chasing- call our team today. Let’s discuss how live-in care for young adults can help.


Find out more about care for young adults and what we can offer

Or call us today on 0800 0121 247