Council praises Shared Lives carers

Young carer with woman with learning disabilities playing with dog.

June 14, 2021

Young carer with woman with learning disabilities playing with dog. Inspirational carers Powys who open up their homes to support young people and adults  have been praised by Powys County Council as we celebrate Shared Lives Week (June 14-20, 2021).

There are some 10,000 Shared Lives carers across the UK, where families open up their homes to  people with a learning or physical disability, mental ill health, dementia or other ongoing needs, to share their carer's home and family life.

Families provide a caring home for who people who require support to live an independent life, in Powys supporting 16 people.

A recent survey by Survation, in conjunction with Shared Lives Plus,  last month, highlighted that one in three people who currently live alone would consider living with someone with a shared interest; a key aspect of matching someone who wants support, together with a Shared Lives carer.  (https://sharedlivesplus.org.uk/2020/07/07/people-want-to-live-together-for-mutual-support-lets-help-them/)

The independent survey also revealed that 70% of people would prefer any future care needs to take place in their home. 

 Councillor Myfanwy Alexander is the council's Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care. She paid tribute to the work of Shared Lives carers: "Sharing your home with someone who needs support is a very generous decision and deserves the highest praise.  But I'm also struck by how Shared Lives carers report the way in which this commitment has enriched their lives and is deeply fulfilling.  If you think you could join this group of amazing people, please step up: you are needed and would be deeply valued for your contribution."

The council's Richard Gwynn coordinates the scheme within Powys. He commented: "We believe everyone has the right to live a full life, in a safe and friendly family home, regardless of the support they need.

"As we celebrate Shared Lives week, we want to thank our dedicated carers for the fantastic work they do in Powys helping to create a kinder, stronger society. Over the past year, Covid-19 has presented challenges for many of our households, which only further emphasises the amazing job they do in helping to improve the lives of so many people."

Becoming a Shared Live carer also comes with a good salary.  Carers are self-employed, so there are no zero hours contracts, which enables them to do the role as part of their family and life commitments. People who visit or live with Shared Lives carers range from young people leaving care, to older people, those with dementia or someone just needing short term support.

Across the UK the Shared Lives sector has grown by more than 30 percent in recent years. Local Shared Lives services are fully regulated by Care Inspectorate Wales.

Shared Lives Carers, who come from a range of careers are carefully matched with their guests and encouraged to help them develop practical skills, build self-esteem and establish new friendships and social networks in their own neighbourhood, which creates a sense of belonging and community. Training and a support network are provided to all Shared Lives carers.

To become a Shared Lives carer, you must be over 18 years of age and don't need specific qualifications, just the right values, commitment and of course, a spare bedroom.

To find out more about becoming a Shared Lives carer, go to https://en.powys.gov.uk/article/1901/Supporting-adults-Shared-Lives

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