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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Our response to the coronavirus outbreak is continuing – and our focus is on keeping critical services running, particularly those supporting vulnerable people.

We are currently working through the detail of the latest government announcements which affect Leicester city and parts of the county. 

Find out more about the support and guidance available, and any changes to our services.

Increased restrictions for Leicester and parts of Leicestershire announced 

Care scheme making a difference during COVID-19

Carer urges others to find out more about role

Dominic with his Shared Lives carer, Janine
Dominic with his Shared Lives carer, Janine

A Leicestershire man has praised a  care scheme for ‘ensuring normality’ during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dominic, 46, who suffers with autism, has been living with his carer Janine, 44, along with her husband and son, for the past seven months in Newbold Coleorton as part of a Shared Lives service. 

Shared Lives offers an alternative to home care and care homes for adults with disabilities and older people. The carers live with or regularly visit the people they care for, and together they share family and community life, offering a more personal and nurturing approach.

Dominic, who works at Cancer Research in Ashby, is supported to manage his condition with routine, which helps prevent anxiety from occurring. However, his routine was about to change following the government’s lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It’s a strange situation, but everyone’s in the same boat. The important thing was to try to keep life as normal as possible and Janine has helped me to do that. I’m coping really well.

Dominic, who has been in Shared Lives placements for all his adult life, used to work three days a week, exercise at the gym and go swimming. He said he credited the support from his carer for ensuring that the outbreak did not ‘turn his world upside down.’

Janine has helped create a new weekly routine which is close to what I’m used to. My working days consist of gardening, cleaning or developing my English skills. I also do exercise in the garden and go for walks at a nature reserve.

“I live in a great house and I have my own room, so I get my own space. It’s a positive environment. Janine is more than a carer, she is a good friend which is important, especially in these times. 

“I would recommend it to anyone thinking about it. It is a really great scheme.

Janine, who has worked as a carer for 22 years, said that more people were needed in the role to make a difference. 

Shared Lives is a great way of caring for someone and offering them a good quality of life. It’s such a rewarding role and doesn’t feel like work. I would urge anyone to find out as much as they can about it.

Becoming a Shared Lives carer is a rewarding career which gives people the opportunity to change the lives of those with adult social care needs from their own homes. Some Shared Lives carers offer long term accommodation and support, whilst others offer short breaks, where people stay for a few days or weeks at a time.

We are very proud of the work we do with the Shared Lives carers, it is a fantastic service which does so much to teach those they care for new skills, become more independent, and reach their full potential.

Anyone interested in making a difference, like Janine, and becoming a Shared Lives carer visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/shared-lives-service or email sharedlives@leics.gov.uk

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