Shared Lives Plus are working with Shared Lives schemes to develop more services aimed at people in later life, including those living with dementia and other life limiting conditions. Shared Lives is increasingly offering services, especially day support and short breaks, to older people who need some extra help to enable them to remain living independently in their homes and communities.
Some schemes are developing specialist dementia services, with Shared Lives carers being trained to support the person living with dementia and their family and carers, which will allow them to live better lives for as long as possible in their family home. We are also looking at how Shared Lives can offer care to older people leaving hospital and needing a temporary place to stay while they recover before resuming their normal lives in their own homes.
Guidance and resources to expand Shared Lives for older people in your area
We are continuing to develop a number of resources for schemes who want to expand into providing support for older people, including business cases, some brief guides on specific areas of work such as intermediate care and reablement, developing a dementia friendly environments in Shared Lives carers’ homes and other aspects of working with older people - you can find more by following the link to our guides and business cases. We are also developing further training and guidance resources.
Independent review of evidence
We now have evidence of that, as an independent report generated by PPL found that Shared Lives offers several key advantages as a model of support for people with dementia. For example, the report found that Shared Lives Carers were perfectly placed to offer respite support to family carers, with Shared Lives arrangements able to reduce social isolation and the chance of breakdown for those carers and to help increase their general wellbeing significantly. Crucially, it also said that those suffering from dementia, on average, experienced increased independence, wellbeing and personal choice, and were less likely to experience isolation and confusion in Shared Lives arrangements.