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Campaign encourages more people to become Shared Lives carers

Published: 9 May 2019

Derbyshire families are being encouraged to open up their homes to give adults with disabilities the chance to lead ordinary lives in the community.

Derbyshire County Council’s Shared Lives scheme offers over 18s the chance to move in with a carer to share their family life for a long term arrangement, short break or day care.

Now the authority is encouraging more people to share their lives with an older person, an adult with learning or physical disabilities, mental ill health or younger, vulnerable people leaving children’s support services.

Shared Lives aims to:

  • provide support and accommodation to enable people to move from their family carers to live with a shared lives carer
  • offer an alternative to day care, residential or nursing care
  • help people to maintain and develop their independence and life skills
  • provide support to a family and offer reassurance that the person they care for is looked after
  • provide family carers with a regular break from caring.

Across Derbyshire, there are 76 Shared Lives arrangements offering a safe, supportive home to an adult who needs extra support.

Councillor Jean Wharmby, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said:

“Our Shared Lives carers do an amazing job.

“They give adults with learning disabilities a life – not a service – which allows them to thrive and do all the things we take for granted in a safe environment with support when they need it.

“I’d urge more people to consider becoming a Shared Lives carer and changing someone’s life.”

There is no upper age restriction on becoming a Shared Lives carer although they have to be over 18. People can come from all backgrounds, can be working, unemployed or retired. They can become a carer regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

They don’t need to own their home but they need to be patient with a stable home life, flexible and willing to learn.

Full training is provided and support is on hand. Carers are paid depending on the type of support they offer.

Shared Lives is registered with the Care Quality Commission and carers are assessed and approved.

Find out more about Shared Lives.