We're supporting a national campaign which aims to thank carers for supporting vulnerable residents.
Shared Lives Week (Monday, 13 June to Friday, 17 June) celebrates the best of Shared Lives and thanks Shared Lives carers for their amazing work.
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 between children’s and adults’ 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 grow, develop their independence and bring families together.
Meet Lisa and Jack
Lisa Webb lives in Medway with her two teenage sons. She had been a foster carer for around 12 and a half years, helping more than 50 children as well as supporting a number of family members and friends including being the main carer for her mother with Alzheimer’s, before becoming a Shared Lives carer.
As her children got older Lisa became interested in supporting adults and applied to become a Shared Lives carer.
Jack (his name has been changed) moved in with Lisa in July 2019 and fast-became part of the family.
Bringing out the best in everyone
Lisa said: “It all just fits and everyone blends together really well. Sharing their lives together, just brings out the best in them all.”
She added that her wider family and friends have also welcomed Jack and that they receive plenty of support from our Shared Lives team.
Lisa said that she would definitely recommend Shared Lives to a friend.
She said: “Shared Lives really suits people who are caring and who have some life experience. You also need patience and a good sense of humour because things don’t always go as planned, people don’t always behave the way you expect, so the more relaxed and accepting you are the better.”
Lisa also said that one of the real positives about Shared Lives is the care and time taken to find the right carer for each person, people have the chance to meet and get to know each other before moving in. She added: “If you want it to work, and not fail, it takes time. Change is difficult and can be scary, for the person needing care and for the carers, so give it time and don’t rush!”
Making a real difference to people's lives
Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adults’ Services, said: “All of our Shared Lives carers, including Lisa, make a real difference to people’s lives and I would like to thank them for all that they do. Our carers support people they have gotten to know and say that it is very rewarding and that there is plenty of support, and advice available. If you are thinking about becoming a Shared Lives carer, or would like to find out more, I would encourage you to contact the team, or visit them at one of Medway’s shopping centres or libraries.”
During Shared Lives week the team will be visiting local shopping centres and libraries to raise awareness of Shared Lives.
On Monday, 13 June, residents can find out more about Shared Lives at Rochester Community Hub between 10am and 12pm, on Tuesday, 14 June they will be visiting Strood Library between 10am and 12pm and will have a stall in the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham 10am and 4pm. The team will also be visiting Dockside at Chatham Maritime on Wednesday, 15 June between 10am and 5pm and Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre on Friday, 17 June from 8.30am until 6pm and Chatham Community Hub between 2pm and 4pm.
The Shared Lives team will also be visiting other Medway libraries in June and July, for more information search Medway Shared Lives on Facebook.