It can be very difficult to think about moving away from the person you care for. Trying to balance looking after somebody else with the need to move forward in your own life can seem impossible - but many carers, both young and old, find a way through it.
Talk to people
- One of the most useful things you can do is start talking to the key people involved. You’re not on your own (even if it may feel that way sometimes).
- Talk to other family members
- Look into what support is available from your local social services if you haven’t already,
- Get advice from your local Carers’ Centre and any disability-related organisations that might be relevant,
- Remember to involve the person you care for too. It’s all about preparing both you and them for the positive changes ahead, both practically and emotionally.
Dannie (aged 19) says it’s helpful to “have an idea of a support plan for my family when I can't be there 24/7 for them. I’ve had to think about if I want a break from caring or if I really do want to move out and be 100% independent.
Start thinking about the finances involved too.
- If you’re thinking about rented accommodation, it may or may not include things like furniture, kitchen equipment, or even carpets and curtains. As well as paying a month’s rent in advance, you’ll probably also need to pay a deposit up front (and if it’s from a letting agency, there may be an additional fee for their services).
- If you’re looking at student halls of residence, there may not be a deposit to pay, and it’ll probably already be furnished - but you may well still need things like cooking equipment.
Many areas have a range of housing you can rent from the local authority (often called “council housing”) or from a housing association. The rent is often more reasonable, but you’ll have less of a choice where you live. People who have a greater need (including, for example, those with children, those with health problems, or those who are in fear for their safety) do get priority so let them know if you would come into any of these groups.
- You’ll find lots of information on pretty much everything to do with housing - from deciding whether to rent or buy, to dealing with landlord problems on TheSite.
- Talk to people who have recently started living independently - get their opinions on the good and bad points, and things to remember. There's a great booklet on the Shelter website about setting up your own home, written by a young person who used to be homeless.
- There is some general advice for young people in England having housing problems or thinking of leaving home on the Shelter's England website.
- Check out advice on housing benefits here