October 26, 2017
Make yourself at home
Amazing, yet ordinary, people like you
Our Shared Lives carers are ordinary people from all different walks of life, but like you, they all have the same thing in common: they care about other people.
Whether you realise it or not, big-hearted people like you are perfect for caring roles. You have the power to do something amazing: to transform the lives of others, just by being yourself. And it’s not just the people who use our services who will have their lives transformed; this is your chance to do something you can be really proud of.
Every day, our Shared Lives carers make it their business to give people more confidence, more life skills, resilience, positivity and a greater sense of purpose. They improve people’s sense of physical and emotional wellbeing, and help them maintain relationships with friends, family and the community.
How’s that for job satisfaction?
So what exactly is Shared Lives?
Shared Lives is a form of care where people who need a little extra help with the everyday stuff – like getting to the shops, cooking dinner or ironing – go and live with a specially recruited and trained Shared Lives carer and their family, or stay with them for the day.
But Shared Lives isn’t just focused on supporting people, but empowering them, too.
The person you support will become like an extended part of your family, and you’ll support them as much or as little as they need; giving them the time, space and choice to live their life like you they want to live it.
‘I am very happy with the help I get to stay in work and the help I get to be as independent as I am.’ – Peggy, Manchester
It’s not just us who think it’s great – we’ve had loads of great feedback from other professionals who can see a massive positive difference in the people they work with who are supported by Shared Lives carers.
‘The work you have done is outstanding, I cannot emphasise enough how impressed I am with John’s progress.’ – Social worker, Merseyside
What do Shared Lives carers help with?
We’re all human, we’re all completely unique and we all need a little help in life. What you do to support the person you care for will, of course, depend entirely on their needs. Some people may have complex or severe support needs and need help with things like washing, changing, eating and drinking. Others may need some emotional support more than anything else.
Your job will be to provide as much or as little support as they want.
Here are some examples of the types of things you might do together:
- Choosing and ironing an outfit (make Gok Wan proud)
- Going to medical appointments
- Cooking (and taking very honest feedback, even if you do think you’re the next Masterchef)
- Popping to the shops
- Getting in and out of the car
- Taking medications (spoonful of sugar optional)
- Going for a walk in the park for some fresh air
- Getting the right money ready for a bus journey
- Voting for the X Factor winner
- Getting back to the car before the parking metre runs out
- Doing exam revision
- Talking through a problem at work
Who would I be supporting?
Shared Lives provides support for people aged 16 or over who can’t, when they start using the service, fully support themselves on their own.
That could be any of us.
It could be someone suffering from a mental health problem, like depression. It could be someone who is 16 and just leaving the care system. It could be someone with a learning or physical disability. It could be a new mum who needs a bit of extra support in the early days.
We’re also excited that Shared Lives will be launching very soon in the Isle of Man. For people who think they’re made of the right stuff to become a carer here – Shared Lives Isle of Man will just be for short term adult-placement breaks. It’ll also be especially for adults with learning disabilities.
We don’t discriminate – when someone needs a bit of help, we’re here. We support people who have never had any support before, and we support people who have been in the care system their whole lives. No-matter who they are, what stage of life they’re in or what their background is, our aim is to help them live their lives to the fullest.
A match made in heaven
Like we mentioned earlier, when you become a Shared Lives carer, someone you care for will come to live with you. To make sure you’re going to get on, we provide a matching service. We’ll tell you and the person you’ll be caring for all about each other, and we’ll make sure your lifestyles match up.
‘We have a great sense of family, until PSS pop round we often forget Jenny is part of Shared Lives!’ Geoff, Shared Lives carer, Wallasey
The great thing about that is, you’re likely to support someone who enjoys the same things as you. So you’ll have one more person on the couch with you when you watch TV, one more dog walking companion, one more vote for a Friday night takeaway and one more person who understands what life can be like sometimes.
The perks of being a Shared Lives carer
We know it’s a cliché thing to say, but when you’re a Shared Lives carer, no two days of work are ever the same. Here’s a list of some of the great things about being a Shared Lives carer:
- You can change someone’s life for the better
- Work from home – or the park, or the café, or the swimming pool, or the bingo hall…
- Work flexible hours – you decide your own availability
- Earn a living by doing something wonderful for someone else
- Learn things about yourself you never knew possible
- Train up in brand new skills
- Get support from your own dedicated team of people who are there to help you be the best you can be
- Extend your family
- Stop someone from being lonely
- Do something truly amazing with your life
Do Shared Lives carers get paid?
Absolutely. Although it might not feel like it sometimes, this is a way to earn a living after-all. As a Shared Lives carer, you’ll receive a fee for your time. How much you get paid will depend on the needs of the person you’re caring for.
and household bills. In long-term placements, they are helped to manage their own tenancy and to pay rent, usually through partial or full housing benefit.
Let’s have a chat
Got any questions about becoming a Shared Lives carer? Want some more information? Get in touch and let’s have a chin wag. Just visit our contact us page for your local office’s details.