New life for residents with learning disabilities

Merton Council and partner organisations helped Merton residents with severe learning disabilities celebrate the beginning of a new life yesterday, at the official opening of the Meopham Road assisted living development in Mitcham.

The development comes as a result of national guidelines that called for an end to institutionalised living for people with learning disabilities, and a move towards more freedom and independence.

Merton Council in partnership with NHS Sutton and Merton, Support Services Partnership SW London, Wandle Housing Association, and Choice Support worked together to develop eight-one-bed residential flats for residents with severe learning disabilities moving from Orchard Hill and Birches Close campus homes in Sutton and Merton.

The purpose built flats boast assistive technology including electric bathroom facilities, height adjustable kitchen work tops, state of the art hoisting facilities, wheel chair accessible spaces, lifts, monitoring sensors, a shared garden area and 24 hour care support.

The development also features a sedum roof, which helps to boost energy efficiency in each of the apartments, assists with cooling and reduces the risk of flooding.

Councillor Linda Kirby, cabinet member for adult social care and health said: “This new development is a real step forward for people with severe learning disabilities, and their families. These residents now have the best of both worlds – greater freedom and independence along with the best assistive technology and 24-hour support they need to help them enjoy and get the best out of life.”

“The shift towards independent assisted living for people with learning disabilities supports a new way of life and we will see the positive effects for years to come.”