Wiltshire Council launches a campaign to recruit more Shared Lives carers
The council is part of a national scheme which helps people live as part of a family, within the carer's home
Wiltshire Council is launching a campaign to encourage more people who have a spare room in their home, and can offer care and support, to consider becoming a Shared Lives carer.
The council is part of a national scheme which helps people live as part of a family, within the carer's home, where they receive the support or care that they need.
The service places adults who have mental health needs or learning disabilities, physical impairments, or are elderly, or those who, for a variety of reasons, cannot manage to live without support. Shared Lives carers provide support with daily tasks, from personal care and accessing health services, to making decisions and learning new skills. Shared Lives carers promote people's rights, choices and independence, and help the people they support to gain a sense of connectedness and inclusivity in their local communities. Shared Lives Wiltshire offers long-term placements, short-term placements and respite. Home from hospital provision and emergency placements are also possible.
Kathy and her husband Steve are Shared Lives carers, using their experience of fostering and now looking after three adults in their home.
Kathy explained: "I think it's a fabulous thing to do. The matching is very good to get the right person for you. There is already some matching beforehand and you know what kind of medical condition or disabilities the person has. You may be concerned what if I get someone I don't like? Well there is a route that you take to be matched with the right person to welcome into your family. They are part of your whole family.
"It really is a conversation as it's not just about you but about the person who is coming to live with you - who is coming, what the need is and if you are a good match for them. If they think you are, they arrange for you to meet up and you could meet up in the Shared Lives home or offsite in a café and it's got to work both ways."
While she knows her care adds value to the people she cares for Kathy recognises the great benefits from being a carer too. She said: "It's a worthwhile thing to do and if you are a caring personality and like sharing your home with people it's a fabulous thing to do. It is a rewarding career choice as well as being financially rewarding. It allows you to work from home which has lots of benefits."
Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: "We do have a wonderful group of Shared Lives carers who are there for some of our most vulnerable residents, providing a safe home and support - they make such a difference. We now need more people to join us and build on this good work so we can help more people to live in communities while having a Shared Lives carer there to help if needed. If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch and have that initial conversation with us."
People wanting to find out more can contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org