What Are The Differences Between Residential Care and Supported Living?

What Are The Differences Between Residential Care and Supported Living?

What Are The Differences Between Residential Care and Supported Living?

People living with learning difficulties, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, or mental health needs should be able to have a choice about where they live and who they live with. This means that homes with an appropriate level of support are needed to ensure that residents are able to live as independently as possible and achieve fulfilling lives on their own terms.

The accommodation choice available tends to be either residential care or supported living. Each offers a different model of care and is appropriate to individuals with different care requirements. Bedfordshire Supported Housing is an established provider of both residential care and supported accommodation. In this blog we look at the key differences between the two.


Residential Care

A care home offers 24-hour care to adults with complex needs requiring specialist support. Residents live communally, although each individual has their own bedroom, and they can participate in organised activities if they wish to.

Residential care homes are registered with the CQC (Care Quality Commission) and they are subject to regular inspections in order to guarantee the maintenance of required standards. The CQC will also set the staffing ratio.

Every resident sets their own goals which are fed into support plans. These are designed to ensure that each individual learns new skills, leads a fulfilling life, and engages socially.

“In residential care you just get pocket money but in Supported Living you have your own money – this can mean more choices in how you live and the staff treating you as an individual”

Supported Living Resident

Supported Living

Supported accommodation is for people requiring a medium level of community-based support. Residents have individual tenancies in stable, good quality accommodation. There is a greater degree of independence, and each person feels as though they have a home of their own.

Help is available for residents to achieve the living environment they favour, and it’s expected that everyone contributes to cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and maintenance. Each person is encouraged to enjoy and maximise their personal independence.

As with residential care, each person contributes to a support plan and professional carers will deliver the services required in order to help with the achievement of personal goals.

How to Choose Between the Two

If you are in the process of deciding between residential care and supported living, the following factors need to be taken into consideration:

  • How much support is required? For those with complex needs, residential care is more appropriate.
  • How prepared is the person to take responsibility for living independently with a group of peers?
  • Is there family to offer support with the transition to more independent living?
  • Is the person keen to take the next step towards more independence?

About Bedfordshire Supported Housing

We are specialist providers of supported accommodation and residential care homes in Bedford. BHS is an established independent care provider with a decade of experience in the provision of social care services.


If you would like to know more about BSH residential care and supported living accommodation in Bedford, call us today for an informal chat on 01234 841808