Can you help to share someone's life?

Author: Dalitso Njolinjo


Barnet residents are being invited to learn more about a scheme that helps support an adult with care needs to remain in their local community.

Shared Lives works in a similar way to becoming a foster carer, with the carer hosting an adult in their own home for long or short periods, or providing support in other ways such as day care.

Shared Lives carers are ordinary people in the community and can be from any background or any type of family. The people they support may be older or working age, have a physical or learning disability, mental health problem or other need. Carers are vetted, trained and carefully matched with a suitable adult. Many of the people who use the service would otherwise live in residential settings and instead are able to live within a family and community setting.

In return for supporting a person, the carer receives a payment between £300 to £500 per week for a long term placement depending on the level of care the person needs.

There are a number of Shared Lives schemes all over the country, used by 12,000 people in total, with Barnet’s service run by Harrow Council.

Bob, a shared life carer for five years, said: “I decided to become a carer after having worked in residential homes for 15 years. I thought that I could do a better job supporting people with care needs. I now have two adults living with me full time and provide respite care for three other adults.

“In the last five years that I have been working as a Shared Lives carer we have been on holidays together, we had a great time in Blackpool. We have great fun celebrating birthdays, having BBQs.

“I have had the reward of seeing great progress for my service users. They have come into my home and received personalised care which has built their confidence and trust for trying new things.  We don’t have problems, we solve them.”

Councillor Sachin Rajput, Chairman of Adults and Safeguarding Committee, said: “Shared Lives is a wonderful way of helping people remain in their own community while receiving the one to one support from a caring adult. Carers can be from any type of background or family type, including working full or part-time, being retired or unemployed. Once they have passed the appropriate safeguard checks they will receive a weekly payment, full training and support as well as the chance to share their lives with a vulnerable adult.”

Residents are being invited to find out more about becoming a Shared Lives carer at an information evenings at the following times/locations: 

•           Monday 29 February 2016, Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, NW4 4BQ, 6.15pm to 7.45pm

•           Wednesday 2 March 2016, Artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, N12 0EH, 6.15pm to 7.45pm  

For more information:

Contact: 020 8736 6070

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