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  • Writer's pictureSFI Care Solutions

What Is A Step Down Placement?

We help those who use our service to either live life as independently as possible or provide them with the support that they require to move from a residential environment back into the community, where they are able to be as independent as possible. This may be following surgery or to support with a life-limiting condition.



We work closely with those who use our services, their families, and social workers to make sure that the support we provide is working towards the right goal.


A step-down placement is where ongoing care support will not be required at the same level for the foreseeable future, but where there is an end goal of independence at some level.


This independence may not be living life with no support, but the goal will be to have as little support in place as possible.


Transitioning From One Service To Another


A step-down placement is often helpful when transitioning from one service to another. For example, a short period of additional support may be required following an operation or even a decline in health.


The goal is always to have the next step in mind and this transition could be as short as a few weeks or months, but it could last for longer depending on the level of support that continues to be required.


Why Is A Step-Down Placement Important?


A step-down placement is important because of the long term plan. Particularly for some of our younger service users, we know that the best place for them to be is in their own environment and it is a step-down placement that can enable this after, for example, life-changing surgery or even to support with a life-limiting illness.


As well as making sure that the right level of support is provided, a step-down placement will provide the goals and steps towards achieving those goals in order to help our service users be able to positively track their progress.


A step-down placement is particularly important because of the ability to slowly reduce the amount of care that is provided in a planned and controlled way. For example, it would not be helpful to suddenly stop care support altogether and it would also not be helpful to have a high level of care for a prolonged period of time if it is not required.


The key factor is support. This means that we are supporting our service users with their daily life and not simply doing everything for them. Identifying the things that they are able to do for themselves or with a little support is very important.


What Should I Do If I Am Concerned About A Loved One?


If you are concerned about a loved one, we would always recommend that the best thing to do would be to initially have a conversation with their GP. You may wish to do this as a joint consultation or over the phone. Your GP will be able to advise you on the next steps to take.


You may also wish to speak with the council's social services team who may be able to provide support and guidance in addition to that from your GP if you feel that some form of care support is required.

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