Published: Monday, 6th December 2021

We're encouraging residents to find out more about how they can support adults who need extra support by becoming a Shared Lives carer.

Shared Lives offers support to those who need it and gives them a chance to move in or spend time with an approved Shared Lives carer. Together they share a home, family and community life. 

Shared Lives carers can offer short-term or respite care, long-term placements, day support, temporary stays and transition placements between fostering and Shared Lives. 

Those who can benefit from Shared Lives care include people with a learning disability, Autism, people in need of short, or long-term care and young people in transition from children’s services.

Individuals who use Shared Lives are carefully matched with their carers and have the chance to get to know each other better before a long-term placement.

We recognise the importance of making sure that people are matched with someone with similar interests and hobbies.

Shared Lives can help people to grow and develop their independence and bring families together, as was the case with Robert who lived with Lynette and Steve, Shared Lives carers in Medway. 

Robert, 64, was referred to Shared Lives in 2020 after his mother became ill. Robert, and his family, though that a placement with specialist support would be hugely beneficial to him.

Moving in with Lynette and Steve helped Robert develop his independence.

He describes his time with them as “the best carers he has been with” and said “both of them are very supportive. They helped me with being able to live on my own, teaching me cooking and cleaning”.

During Robert’s placement with Lynette and Steve, they helped him gain the skills, and knowledge, he needed to live on his own and supported him during his move to independent accommodation. This included helping him move and set up his new apartment. Lynette and Steve continue to support Robert. 

Reflecting on his experience with Shared Lives, Robert said he would “recommend people to get support through Shared Lives, it gave me insight into living independently for the future.”

It's like having a bigger family 

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adults’ Services, said: “Our Shared Lives carers make a real difference to people’s lives. Many of our carers say it’s like having a bigger family and that watching someone you care for increase their independence is extremely rewarding. There is plenty of support, and advice available, and I would encourage anyone who is interested to contact our team to find out more.”  

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