Shared Lives: day opportunities and accommodation support for vulnerable adults and older people
Under the Shared Lives scheme, specially trained carers invite adults who need some support into their home. This might be someone who needs support to live independently, a person who needs respite care, or to support a carer who needs a break from caring.
How does it work?
Many people would rather be in a family home than a care environment, and would feel safer and more
secure. It gives them the opportunity to be part of normal family life. They can build up a relationship with their carer before they go to visit or to stay with them, so the carer will be someone who they know and like.
Time away from home can help people to recharge their batteries, so they can continue to live at home independently. Or it may provide temporary respite for their carer so they can continue to support them at home.
The person arranging care can arrange for a co-ordinator from the scheme to visit to talk about how it could work. The co-ordinator will look carefully at care needs, the things they like, and match these to the skills and knowledge of a carer.
The person receiving care will have choice of the carer they are matched with. They can visit the carer at their home first, before they decide if they want to stay, and we can arrange for a short visit to the carer's home sometimes, for tea or
lunch. Family members are welcome to visit the carer too.
For overnight stays, there will be a separate bedroom in the carer’s home, where they can take any personal
belongings, or anything else which helps the person feel comfortable. Meals and drinks will be provided and the carer will cater for any special dietary needs.
Who are Shared Lives carers?
Shared Lives carers come from all walks of life - they will have patience, empathy, a sense of humour and the ability to meet the challenges that everyday life presents.
Some may have acted as a carer to friends or family, others may have worked as a carer, or in healthcare. They will be able to provide the support that is needed including any personal care.
They will work to ensure that the service user feels part of their family and community life.
The Shared Lives carer will have had a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check and their home will be checked to make sure it is safe.
Carers are paid an allowance and the scheme supports them with training and regular support meetings.
Make a complaint about a service
We have information online about the Cambridgeshire County Council complaints procedure.