Who comes to stay in a Shared Lives Arrangement?
Watch Shared Lives Carers Graham and Lorna, telling their story here
The person requiring support is often referred to the Shared Lives Scheme by the local council or NHS and is eligible for social care provision. The person may have a learning or physical disability, mental ill health, autism, dementia, sensory impairment or an acquired brain injury. Shared Lives can also be offered to young people in transition from children's to adults services. There is also an increasing demand to place people with more complex needs and behaviours but this usually requires experience and specialised training to support such an Arrangement. General Hospitals are also looking to place older people with limited mobility within Shared Lives Arrangements, so they can be discharged from hospital sooner, but in general this requires ground-floor accommodation. We would be extremely interested to hear from people who have such properties.
In fact, we will provide a Shared Lives Arrangement to anyone over the age of 18 years’ old who needs support and choses to live back in their own community or neighbourhood. Each person is an individual in their own right and will bring their own strengths and abilities to the Arrangement, so it’s really important not to make assumptions about people based on their disability. Each person's needs and outcomes are carefully matched with the skillset and experience of the Shared Lives Carer. A number of introductory visits will take place before the Arrangement is confirmed as we need to make sure everyone is happy before the person moves in or stays with the Shared Lives Carer. The CVT philosophy recognises the uniqueness of the individual and we seek to respect, value and enhance the strengths and potential of the person we support in each Arrangement.
The main aim of Shared Lives is to support people to develop/maintain their independence and live in the local community. A Shared Lives Arrangement provides a viable cost-effective alternative to other long term settings such as hospital, residential or nursing care. Shared Lives is not seen as a 24/7 model, so the person that comes to stay in an Live-In Arrangement, unless independent to arrange their own daily routines, will often attend day opportunities somewhere else a few times a week. Where possible, we always enable choice, and support the person to have greater say and control about every aspect of their everyday life and wider matters.