We are looking to recruit more carers to ‘share their lives’ with adults needing support and care.
The recruitment drive is underway and coincides with the start of Shared Lives Week (15-24 June), a national campaign which aims to value Shared Lives carers and demonstrate the value of Shared Lives.
The Shared Lives scheme is part of our adult social care strategy to encourage people's independence and reduce a reliance on social care provision.
The scheme matches adults who need support with carefully selected carers and they, in turn, provide them with respite or long term care in their own home. It focuses on the local community, as households share their experiences and skills with the person who comes to live with them.
There are some real positives from our Shared Lives placements and that’s testament to the wonderful carers who work with us. There’s a lot of flexibility and tailoring the needs of our carers so that the type of care they provide is based on their own skills and availability.Person:Councillor Richard Blunt, cabinet member for adult social care
Being a Shared Lives carer is a paid, self-employed role. Following an assessment and induction programme, carers have access to a support worker who can help to guide them through their role, as well as signposting them to further training to ensure they are able to develop their skill set.
Pauline is one of the council’s Shared Lives carers. Prior to this role, she worked as an activity co-ordinator in a residential home developing structured activities for people with memory loss.
I’ve worked for Shared Lives since 2011, first as a respite carer providing support to a service user when their main shared lives carer took leave. After about 18 months I was approved as a short breaks carer.
“I think you’ve got to have a caring nature to start with to become a Shared Lives carer as it’s a way of life, but I like the flexibility of the work.Person:Pauline, Shared Lives carer
Since 2016 Pauline has been providing planned respite stays for Dawn.
I used to have respite in a mental health residential setting before being referred to the Shared Lives service. I have planned respite in a family environment and that reduces the likelihood of me being readmitted to hospital. It’s also a much needed break for my partner.
“My planned respite with Pauline gives me the stability and support I need and she is very good at identifying my needs each time I stay with her, arranging social and leisure activities for me.Person:Dawn, Shared Lives service user
We are actively looking for new potential carers to come forward. If you or someone you know is interested, visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/shared-lives-service for more information or call 0116 305 8133 to find out more.