Starts at Home


31 August 2017


We’re highlighting the importance of supporting our more vulnerable residents to regain their independence and confidence as part of the Starts at Home day.

At Optivo we believe in enhancing the lives of all of our residents by providing them with a safe and secure home, and access to important support services.

Sheltered accommodation

Margaret, Michael and Colin are just a few of our residents in sheltered accommodation. All three are currently living at  Arundel Court in London. Read their stories:

Michael: “Living here is a chance to meet people of your own age who you can socialise and have fun with. I’ve got a life here. But if I was outside I don’t feel I’d have the same opportunities. Here you’ve got the freedom to do quite a lot of things if you put your mind to it. The staff are always on hand to help and check on you every morning. I’ve got my pull chord in case anything goes wrong.

I feel so safe here. We’ve also got lots going on, including activities and trips. Nobody gets left out. We’ve got everything we need.

Margaret: “I moved here with my husband when his health started deteriorating. He was suffering falls and needed extra support. When he passed away, I had support too. I’m not lonely and I feel really happy.

I’ve got my own flower bed and I like tending to that. I’ve always got something to do or someone to talk to, but I’ve also got the space to be on my own if I want to be. I’m never bored or fed up!”

Colin: “The social life here is really well organised. We’ve got crazy golf, a Pool Table, carpet bowls, and fish and chip suppers.

We also have events on special occasions like St George’s Day and Valentine’s Day.”

Linda Manley, Service Scheme Manager at Arundel Court, added: “Sheltered accommodation like this is
really important for inclusion. It gives older and more vulnerable residents a freedom they wouldn’t have on the outside because it’s a safe environment where they feel secure. We can help them to carry on living by helping them to take part in activities, socialise and make new friends. I really enjoy my job. It’s great to see the residents so happy.”

Home adaptations for old and young

Residents John, 12, and Ken, 71, are also enjoying a new lease of life in their own homes thanks to adaptations.

John, who has cerebral palsy in all four of his limbs, struggled to use the stairs unaided. But specially made handrails have made a huge difference.

His dad, Mark, said: “John has so much more freedom to explore the house on his own. It seems like a little thing but there’s a big sense of achievement from getting up the stairs on his own. He doesn’t have to wait for me and his mum to notice he’s tired – he can take himself off to bed. And if he’s bored of our company, he can go off too – just like a regular teenager!

Ken’s daily shower had become a living nightmare when his replacement knees couldn’t handle his regular bath shower. We helped him by installing a brand new level-access shower.

Ken said: “I’m not very good on my legs to getting into the bath to use the shower was a nightmare. I tried just having a bath instead, but I got stuck and it took me half an hour to get out again! Having the new shower is like winning the lottery. I feel so much better in myself.”

Follow our stories on social media #startsathome

Today housing associations and organisations across the country are coming together to campaign to persuade the Government to commit to ensuring that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs.

We’ll be joining the conversation by showcasing our stories, videos and pictures on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Help us share them with as many people as possible by liking and sharing.