As Shared Lives grows and diversifies into working with people with many different needs and conditions, we have become more aware of the support that using Shared Lives brings to family and unpaid carers. Using shared Lives, particularly for day support, short breaks and respite can enable family and unpaid carers to feel more involved and confident in the care being received. Through the matching process, the people using Shared Lives and the people closest to them have the opportunity to choose who, where and how the care is provided.
We know that family and unpaid carers do a fantastic job looking after the person in their lives who needs care and support. We also know that family and unpaid carers are expert on the needs and wishes of the person being cared for and as such their comments and concerns need to be listened to and taken account of. Shared Lives offers an approach that puts the person using the service at the center of the care offered, but also makes room for the important people in their lives.
We also recognise that family and unpaid carers are people in their own right with their own physical, social and emotional needs. Shared Lives offers time off from caring to give carers a chance to recharge their batteries or attend to self-care. Because the person using the service will only go to the home of a Shared Lives carer that they have been matched with and have had time to get to know, carers can have confidence that there is a sound relationship and that the person they care for is somewhere they want to be and with people they like spending time with.