Case Studies – Karen and Phillip – Worcestershire Shared Lives
One important part of Shared Lives is ensuring that as well as those who live in Shared Lives, those who open their homes, hearts and lives also get what they are looking for. We spoke to Karen Barlow, who lives with her husband Phillip. Together, they support two individuals; Kieron and Jenna on a long-term basis.
We spoke to her to find out what she gets out of Shared Lives.
Karen and Phillip’s Story:
“I have worked in the care service since 1992. I became a Shared Lives provider because I learnt that many people that needed a carer also needed a home, a family life, stability and a familiar face which is not always available in residential settings.
I knew that I, my husband and my family could offer these things.”
“I have shared my life with two people full time and six people on a respite basis.”
What is your favourite thing about Shared Lives?
“Shared Lives enables people to live in a family home as well as have someone to support them 24 hours if needed.”
How has your life changed after opening your home to someone who needs support?
“My life hasn’t changed. I am still working with people that need care, it is just the circumstances that have changed.”
Shared Lives is a vocation, not just a job, but it is well worth doing.
I would say if you’re not 100% sure what it would be like then try respite first this will give you a taster to what Shared Lives is all about.”
“We have been with Worcester shared lives for four years and it’s the best care job I have ever had I love it. Shared lives is a great scheme that allows people to experience every day family values.
I love the fact that we can help people to live a life that they want and show them things that they thought impossible or never had the chance to experience before. There is nothing better to see than their faces light up with excitement or pride when they have accomplished something.
It is a great feeling to help people to achieve happiness in their lives.
Jen and Kie are part of our family we enjoy their company we laugh, cry and live life together.”