This week marks the start of National Shared Lives Week (19 – 27 October 2013) and Calderdale Council is saying a big thanks to the carers who make a difference in our communities.
National Shared Lives week celebrates the amazing work done by Shared Lives carers all year round. Shared Lives of Calderdale provides personalised day services, short breaks and long-term living arrangements for young people, older people and adults with learning disabilities or mental health needs. In Calderdale, we have over 30 Shared Lives providers – ordinary people who have been carefully selected, approved and trained to provide support in their own homes, out in the community or in the homes of people who need extra help in life. Shared Lives also supports unpaid carers by helping them to take a break from their caring role.
20 Shared Lives carers, who have supported local people for a number of years, will gather at a recognition event at Halifax Town Hall on Wednesday 23 October 2013 from 10am. Staff from the Council’s Shared Lives scheme will be there to thank carers for the outstanding work they do.
Shared Lives carers provide flexible services to very high standards and are truly dedicated to supporting people to fulfil their potential. Families really value the service, which is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The service had an unannounced CQC inspection in January 2013 and was found to be fully meeting all their requirements.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Social Care, Cllr Bob Metcalfe, said:
“Shared Lives Week is a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise the fantastic contribution Shared Lives carers make towards supporting people in Calderdale. They’re brilliant at what they do. The Council has a dedicated team providing training and ongoing support to carers.”
Becoming a Shared Lives carer
Shared Lives carers are people from all backgrounds. They can be part of a family or couple or living alone. As a Shared Lives carer, you do not need experience or special qualifications. You will receive appropriate training to help you. It usually takes three to six months to become an approved Shared Lives carer.
Shared Lives carers enjoy new friendships, know they are doing something worthwhile and receive payments to cover their costs.
If you have the time in your life and the space in your home to become a Shared Lives carer, we’d love to hear from you.
Shared Lives carers work with people in different ways. For example:
One carer shares her home with two young men with learning disabilities. They have been carefully matched so they can benefit from positive relationships and shared interests. The two young men’s needs vary – one travels independently and has a work placement whilst one has increasing care needs and adaptations have been made to the property to ensure he can stay at home. Within the household there is a sense of fun and good humour and independence is actively encouraged, which builds confidence and self esteem.
Another carer provides overnight breaks in her home for people with mental health needs. This type of service helps to maintain a person’s wellbeing so is preventative, or it might help someone recovering from a period of illness or help a family carer by giving them a break from their caring role. One person who benefited from this service was suffering with increasing anxiety and depression and was unable to go out alone. After regular breaks in a calm atmosphere she was able to meet other people, get out in the community with company and support and gradually increase her confidence to travel independently. She now enjoys taking weekend coach trips, something she never thought she would be able to achieve.
Shared Lives of Calderdale is one of a growing number of schemes operating throughout the country and there is a national body, ‘Shared lives plus’. For more information please visit www.sharedlivesplus.org.uk(external link)