Become a Shared Lives Carer
This is a rewarding job you can do from home and make a real difference to people's lives.
Anyone can do it! You may not think you have the expertise to care for someone, but Shared Lives recognises that everyone has their own skill set. These differing skills make for a successful team helping people to fulfil their potential.
The Shared Lives Scheme is about successful partnerships. Shared Lives gets to know you as a person and matches you with someone who you will enjoy sharing your life with.
Shared Lives Carer role
As a Shared Lives Carer you support people in your home. You work together to develop new skills and try new activities. It isn't your typical caring role. It is much more varied and flexible and fits in with your life.
You are carefully matched with the person, or persons, you will be supporting. This takes into account everyone's lifestyles, interests, needs and likes. So you can share experiences you both enjoy. Placements vary, for example a person may come to you for a weekend a month or one day a week.
Carers are supported by the Shared Lives team so you can offer consistent, individual and flexible care.
While the person is with you, their families can have time for themselves and share the responsibility of caring with others. They can also see how much their loved one has achieved through being supported by their Shared Lives Carer. Many feel the carers are amazing and one of kind.
What you will be expected to do
When the person arrives you can have a catch-up and decide what you will do with your time together. You can use pictures to make this easier. Some of the things you can do together include shopping, cooking, going to local groups, taking part in local activities or swimming.
You can plan your meals together, write a shopping list and work out your budget. When you get home from shopping, you can cook the meals and tidy up together and have fun while you do it.
You can invite friends over to visit, so the person can make new friendships, new connections in the local community and develop their communication skills.
What you can get from being a Shared Lives Carer
Shared Lives can help you try new things you wouldn’t try on your own. You will meet new people and their families and can provide support for each other. It can give you a great sense of fulfilment.
You may not think you can do this kind of work, but it can make you feel more confident and help you contribute to the lives of others.
Being a Shared Lives Carer lets you:
- fit your role around your family, work and other commitments
- have the flexibility to decide what support you would like to provide – for example 1 day a week, a week, a weekend break or a week’s holiday
- make use of your spare room or spare time
- give something back to your local community
- feel valued by the Shared Lives community for your unique strengths and interests
You will have a Support Worker who you can contact with any concerns.
You may be worried about the assessment to be a Shared Lives Carer. The assessor will come to your home, made you feel at ease and support you throughout the process.
You may not realise how much you can gain personally from becoming a Shared Lives Carer. You can meet other carers and families at the monthly Shared Lives events and activity weekends. You can develop a whole new network of friends. Shared Lives is a change of mind set. Everyone has skills or interests to share - the carers, the people you support and their families.
What makes a good Shared Lives Carer
Your life experience can make you a good Shared Lives Carer. If you enjoy spending time with people, like supporting people to achieve their goals, are a good listener and want to try new things this could be the role for you.
Don’t worry if you don’t have experience in a caring role. The Shared Lives team provide support and training to help you feel confident in the role. You can bring new ideas to the team, these are welcomed and acted on to make the Shared Lives Scheme the best it can be.
Everyone has something they can share, for example you may enjoy cooking and can share this passion with those you support.
Shared Lives Carers do get paid. The amount a carer gets varies depending on the care and support needs of each person placed with you and how much support you can provide.
The amount starts at around £39.21 per 24-hour period (April 2019). But can be as much as £87.97 per 24-hour period. The amount is agreed at the start of the placement, and reviewed if the needs of the person change.
Shared Lives carers are self-employed. These payments can be tax free. More information is available on the GOV.uk website. Shared Lives is considered to be an adult placement.
How to become a Shared Lives Carer
If you are interested in becoming a Shared Lives Carer, or just want to find out more about the role or Shared Lives, please contact us.
A member of the Shared Lives team will visit you and tell you more about the role. They may invite you to one of the Shared Lives events so you can meet some of the other carers and families and take part in the activities.
The Shared Lives Scheme is always looking for more carers. The more we have, the more people we can support. We welcome carers who are couples, single, with or without children, from differing cultural and ethnic backgrounds, with varied skills and experiences.