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The Foundation devotes important resources to the programme Independent Life. This programme has as main objective to keep the personal autonomy of the people with learning disabilities that are under its protection. The programme promotes the right of people to decide where and how to live, and avoid, as far as possible, the entrance in residential centres.

Nowadays, there are more than 200 people that take benefit of the programme of Independent Life, people that live with their couple, on their own, or who share a flat with other friends…

Dani G., Eva C., and Raquel M. live in a flat in Barcelona, with the support of the Foundation, and they offer us their experience and the assessment of this experience.

Dani and Eva are a couple that have live their independent life in their own flat for some years, and recently Raquel has joined them. Currently, the three people cohabit in an autonomous way and they only have the support of home help, and obviously, the support of the foundation.

Dani and Eva met each other 11 years ago on a summer stay, organised by the foundation. Then, they decided they wanted to go to live together. At the time, Dani lived in Girona and Eva lived in Barcelona and, later, after a lot of effort, they managed to make true one otheir dreams: live together in a flat. Dani tells us that, evidently, there is a big change from living in a residential centre to live in a flat with your couple. Now, he has more autonomy and can decide where to go and when come back home, without giving any explanations to the monitors. Nevertheless, he explains to us, laughing, that now that he can get back later, he does not do it, but it is his decision, because, “ if you are in the mood of going out, you do it; if not, you stay at home”.

Dani as well as Eva have a job that helps them to afford to live in a flat and carry out certain activities. But both of them have a lot of expectations and they would like to progress in their work.

The history of Raquel and Eva is very curious, because both coincided in a summer stay when they were very young and, later, they led their own lives separately. After many years without seeing each other, they coincided in a Christmas Dinner of the Foundation. Since then, they have kept their friendship and contact with each other.

Raquel was living in Solsona fins until last December and, some months ago, she told som – fundació about her intention of returning to Barcelona. Finally, after thinking about the different alternatives, she has succeeded in joining Eva and Dani. The three state, laughing, that get on well with very well. When they are at home, they organise themselves to enjoy the activities they like most: Dani prefers Play station, whereas Eva and Raquel choose to watch a television programme.

With regards to chores, they have these tasks very well defined, and at the moment, that haven’t had any conflict so far. Everyone knows what to do, when, and how. In conclusion, all value very positively the experience of sharing a flat with other people and none of them would change for living in a residential centre, Nevertheless, Eva comments us that when she was at the residential centre it was easier to date with friends to go out an evening. “Now, it is a bit difficult to gather all our friends to share activities because each one leads his /her own life, and normally someone drops”. Dani replies, “Well, that’s life”.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.

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