People with an intellectual disability prefer to make their own choice about where and with whom they want to live

People with an intellectual disability who make their own choice where and with whom they live, feel more comfortable in their homes. This is shown by NIVEL research among more than 430 people with intellectual disabilities. Care professionals and relatives should encourage people to express their preference in how they want to live.

How people experience their living situation is important for their quality of life. Almost all people with an intellectual disability indicated that they are satisfied with their housing and 65% feels comfortable with the people they live with. 75% of the of the respondents decided themselves or with help from others where and with whom they live. People who chose themselves, felt more comfortable in their home. Most people also experience autonomy regarding daily decisions in their homes, such as inviting and receiving guests on their own. However, some people experienced less self-management in making their own choices in having a pet or decorating their home.

Regarding housekeeping tasks, people were most self-reliant in doing grocery shopping on their own. Almost all people who live on their own, do receive help with part of their domestic chores. The majority receives assistance in handling mail, paying bills, cooking and cleaning. Support is often provided by professionals, since informal care appears not always to be available.

There is no correlation between the experiences of the living situation and social interaction in the neighbourhood: people who like their home do not automatically have pleasant contact with neighbours. Attention for social interaction in the neighbourhood for people with intellectual disabilities is important to increase the sense of safety and inclusion and to reduce loneliness. 

Hille Voss, Hennie Boeije, Suzanne van Hees, Tineke Meulenkamp, Marloes Oldenkamp (2017)
Mijn eigen stekkie: woonbeleving van mensen met een verstandelijke beperking, Utrecht: NIVEL 
Hille Voss