Lancashire County Council has launched a search for people who could offer a ‘family’ home to an adult living with a disability and unable to live independently.
The Shared Lives concept is similar to foster care, making a real difference to the lives of adults who need extra support. Shared Lives carers work from their own homes to provide short term respite or long term live in arrangements for adults who have social care needs.
Lancashire's Shared Lives service is the largest in the country supporting 377 people in 288 households, with 227 of those receiving long-term care. The service was recently recognised as 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The service supports 11% of the population of adults with a learning disability in the county and they are looking to expand the number of active carers who can offer long term placements across the county.
County Councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: "We want to make our outstanding Shared Lives service available to more people and you could help us by becoming a Shared Lives carer.
"We're especially looking for people who have a spare room in their home and can offer longer-term care to support adults with a learning disability.
"Our carers come from all types of backgrounds and do a superb job. They are friendly, have lots of enthusiasm for the people they look after and find it very rewarding.
"People you support could come from any background and everyone requires a different level of care. What is most important for us is making a match between the person needing support and the Shared Lives carer.
"If you are interested in becoming a carer, our friendly team will support you every step of the way. You will receive full training, regular support and a monthly financial allowance."
Shared Lives has been a huge success nationally and people being supported have said they feel more settled, valued and make friends more easily than with traditional types of care.
Pauline and Stuart have been Shared Lives carers in Lancashire for over ten years. They currently support Claire and Sarah who live with them as long term placements.
Pauline says: "Being a Shared Lives Carer is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
"We wanted Sarah and Claire to be as independent as possible. We encourage them to take responsibility for keeping their own bedrooms tidy and to help around the house. They love to get involved with the cooking and they find baking especially rewarding as they love to see an end product which they have created themselves.
"Both Sarah and Claire have become part of our family; it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I’ve made a big difference to someone’s life."
For an informal chat with our friendly team call 01772 531326.