• How much is it to Join? +

    As a carer you can join for as little as £60!

    If you would like to join as a Shared Lives Scheme then do get in touch with us for further information on Pricing

    To join simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

  • How do I join as a carer? +

    To join as a Shared Lives carer, you must be currently approved to provide Shared Lives care by a registered Shared Lives (or Adult Placement) scheme in the UK.

    Shared Lives carers make their home available as a resource and may provide Shared Lives support to up to three people at any one time (some Shared Lives schemes have a local limit of two people).

    Unlike care homes, Shared Lives carers do not employ staff to provide care to the people who they support. You can join as an individual, or with your partner, if s/he is also a Shared Lives carer.

  • What should I expect as a member? +

    As a member, you can expect: - Use of the free Shared Lives carers’ confidential helpline where you can obtain information advice and support from a dedicated national Carers Development Worker.

    - FREE legal expenses cover (up to a maximum of £25000) if you have an allegation made against you as a Shared Lives carer resulting in you being taken to court and/or your Scheme is seekingto de-approve you as a carer.

    - Free access to a legal helpline which you can use for advice on any relevant legal issue.

    - Public Liability Insurance at a preferential rate as well as access to other insurance provision developed to meet the needs of Shared Lives carers.

    - Three Shared Lives carer newsletters a year via post, which keep you up to date.- The opportunity to meet or get in touch with other carers, including through meetings, telephone conferences, an email group and a message board.

    - A members-only area of the website containing resources which are free to members

    Access to a wide range of toolkits and resources at members-only prices.

    - Access to our annual Shared Lives carers’ breaks and conference.

    - A conference for your home nation and/or for the UK, with a limited number of places for Shared Lives carers at supported rates.

    - An open invitation to attend national network meetings (and regional meetings in England).- At least one seat on the board of Shared Lives Plus for an elected Shared Lives carer.

    - A voice with local, regional and national decision makers and a programme of awareness-raising about Shared Lives and the work of Shared Lives carers.

  • How do I pay? +

    You can pay via cheque, bank card and credit card.
  • 1

FAQ

Questions and Answers

We're pleased to share some great news for Shared Lives in Wales, where several Shared Lives carers had their brilliant work recognised, and scooped gold and silver prizes in the Wales Care Awards.

The Wales Care Awards are a celebration of excellence across the Wales care sector. The purpose of the awards is to congratulate those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field. The Awards are an annual event run by Care Forum Wales to showcase best practice across the care sector.

Awards were presented in three categories – gold, silver and bronze – and are an important part of raising the profile of care workers and educating the public about the vital work done by carers across Wales. There are twenty award categories available for nomination, which represent all areas of social care, whether it be older people or specialist services, residential or home care. Nominations were invited for those engaged on a full, part-time or voluntary basis across the social care sector in Wales.

We are delighted that Shared Lives carers from South East Wales and PSS Shared Lives, North Wales won two golds and two silver awards between them.


• Silver for Excelllence in Learning Disability and Mental Health Services was presented to Dei Williams from North Wales
• Elaine and Len Bastin were awarded Gold for Promoting Fulfilled Lives category
• The Peter Clarke Gold Award for Promoting Excellence in Services for Children and Young People was presented to Lynne and Jeffrey Gornicki
• Tim and Christine Masters were awarded the Silver for Excellence in Palliative and End of Life Care.


What a fantastic achievement for all of these winners and a wonderful reflection of the quality of care that is delivered by Shared Lives Carers across Wales. Thank you for putting Shared Lives firmly on the map!

We want to know about your experiences around the issue of self-funding people accessing Shared Lives. Please spare a few minutes to answer some questions - it will help us to expand the offer of Shared Lives to people who pay for their own care all around the UK.

Access to Shared Lives is usually through a referral from a social worker or health provider and comes with a financial assessment and an established pathway to pay for the service. 

Under the enormous pressures of austerity, however, many older people are no longer meeting the assessment criteria for care and are having to fund their own care needs. People with a dementia diagnosis are often not offered a paid for service until the dementia is far advanced.

In recent years, as services have been reduced, many people have been forced to self-fund support to increase their quality of life. Family and informal carers may also choose to pay towards care and support for a loved one to supplement the informal support they provide or to provide respite.

Until recently it was difficult for Shared Lives to support self-funders due to tax laws, but in November 2017 a significant update to tax law was announced which ensures that Shared Lives carers can continue to claim tax relief when they support people who pay for their own care.

There is little understanding of how self-funders can access Shared Lives, particularly those schemes that are operated by local authorities. Shared Lives Plus are looking at how to open up Shared Lives to Self-funders and develop pathways for self-funders wishing to use Shared Lives. As a first step we are interested to find out more about how schemes are offering support to people who self-fund their care.

Definition of Self funder:

A self-funder is a person who pays the full cost of their care and support from their own financial resources.
People may self-fund their care and support because:

1) They have not approached public authorities and made their own arrangements for their care and support.
2) They have been assessed by the Local Authority and do not meet the threshold for publicly funded assistance.
3) They have been assessed by the Local Authority as being eligible forcare and support services but have savings or assets above the self-funding threshold set by the government currently, £23,250.

 

Friday, 12 October 2018 10:59

New report shows Homeshare is growing

We are delighted to publish the Homeshare annual sector report. It is a comprehensive analysis of the national Homeshare sector, laying out the key success, challenges and priorities for Homeshare in the UK.

It reflects on the remarkable growth in public awareness of the Homeshare model after high profile media appearances and a video of Florence and Alexandra on BBC politics that has been viewed 25 million times.

Important successes

  • The number of matches has increased 42% since last year
  • The average length of a Homeshare match has increased from 12-14 months
  • Six schemes are now financially self-sustaining
  • Evidence shows that Homeshare can simultaneously tackle loneliness at all ages, low-level support needs in older people, and the lack of affordable housing

Challenges

  • Homeshare is still only available to ‘self-funders’
  • Large parts of the UK and Ireland are not well served by Homeshare
  • There is still a lack of formalised referral pathways from health and social care professionals to Homeshare providers
  • Despite huge increase in public awareness, Homeshare is still relatively unknown amongst key potential supporters including; health and social care professionals and local authority front line staff.

The report calls for local areas to become ‘Homeshare friendly,’ and for national and local leadership to make Homeshare affordable for people on low incomes. We are also asking for Homeshare to be scaled up and developed in places where there is currently limited access to the scheme, particularly Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the North East and South East of England.

Please take the time to read the full report for full picture of Homeshare in the UK, depicted in statistics and stories of people whose lives have been transformed and enriched by sharing a home, exchanging practical help, knowledge and companionship.

If you’re on the go, you can read the executive summary for some key facts!

Homeshare UK annual report 2018 - executive summary 

Homeshare UK - full report 2018

You can also read an the reports on the Homeshare UK website.

HendersonsNew ratings show that 96% Shared Lives carers and schemes were rated good or outstanding by care inspectors in England, smashing a Shared Lives best – improving on previous ratings of 92% - and still leading the social care sector for safety and quality. 

Shared Lives care is driven by the leadership in the UK’s network of 150 schemes who match people with Shared Lives carers, approved to open their own homes, to support people through tough times and enjoy life together. National data shows that sharing everyday life has transformative outcomes for people often stuck in the health and care system, with clear benefits for people’s health, independence and confidence.

But today the CQC reflects our own warning of a postcode lottery for Shared Lives support as health and social care services struggle with the pressure of funding cuts. The CQC’s State of Care report says: “Some people can easily access good care, while others cannot access the services they need, experience ‘disjointed’ care, or only have access to providers with poor services.”  

We continue to call on local leaders to invest in Shared Lives care, which adapts well to the needs of local populations. Our latest Shared Lives England report shows that as our ageing population grows and by 2020, three million of us are expected to have three or more long term conditions, there has been a 24% increase in the number of older people who are supported by a Shared Lives carer. If every scheme supported as many people as the best performing, an additional 21,000 people could enjoy being part of a Shared Lives family and community each year, potentially saving councils and health trusts over £500m.

Alex Fox, CEO Shared Lives Plus, the UK’s membership network, says “We are delighted that Shared Lives schemes are proven once again to exceed all other forms of social care – which people need at times when it really matters. 

Councils and the NHS need to get serious about growing Shared Lives schemes and recruiting more people to the UK’s invaluable network of 10,000 Shared Lives carers. We recognise that not all areas benefit from strong and successful Shared Lives care and we offer our leading expertise to every local leader who wants to realise their ambitions to invest in this life-changing support.

Today we are celebrating our membership network’s successes of sharing their lives and homes with people for whom our health and social care services are working well – and continue to call on government to invest fairly across the UK to drive out regional health and social inequalities.”

Enjoy our membership support for Shared Lives carers and grow Shared Lives in your area. Find out more about how to become a Shared Lives carer and contact your local scheme. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 17:35

Shared Lives and "Social Tourism"

“Social Tourism” is an initiative that seeks to support vulnerable or disadvantaged groups of people to be able to experience breaks away, new activities, and different cultures.


This week in Wales, we at Shared Lives Plus were excited to attend the launch of the Short Breaks and Social Tourism Practice and Research Network in Porthcawl. The Network was launched by Huw Irranca Davies, Minister for Children Older People and Social Care in Wales.


Hosted by the Wales School for Social Care Research and Linc Care, it was a full programme which included presentations from organisations who already provide various forms of social tourism across Wales. During the day we heard from a number of presenters, including STEER, MIRUS, Trinity and Carers Wales who shared the state of caring in Wales statistics with the network. (83% of carers had not had a week off in over a year, 70% suffered mental health)


Social Tourism has been shown to lead to increases in self-esteem, mental health, family relations, social engagement and participation in education and employment. Access to these benefits should be universal, and we were happy to contribute to discussions on a number of issues relating to rethinking social tourism and other forms of respite.


We were asked for responses to questions and key themes from this launch, which will be fed into the four nations knowledge exchange program. Watch this space!

"Health services need to trust in the good reputation Shared Lives has in social care and look at Shared Lives as a positive option for people. We recommend professionals to pick up the phone and talk to the Shared Lives scheme about any potential referrals; these conversations can prove really valuable."

 

We have been working with schemes all over the UK to explore and develop Shared Lives as a way of helping people who no longer need to be in hospital recover in a safe, comfortable and non-clinical environment. Shared Lives as intermediate care can be a great option for people who are ready to leave hospital, but not quite well enough to go home yet. It can also relieve pressure on our NHS by freeing up space in hospitals.

We are two years into this project, which began in 2016 with funding from The Dunhill Medical Trust and Department of Health Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD.) We are pleased to share an update on the progress of this work, which has shown that "Shared Lives can work well for people being discharged from hospital, especially where traditional services would be unsuitable."

The report describes the successes and challenges encountered so far, and ends with our recommendations for health professionals and commissioners. If you are interested in developing Shared Lives in your scheme to help people come home from hospital, contact Jenny Evans This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 

docxIC_project_update_September_2018.docx

flu fighterNHS England have confirmed that free flu vaccinations are available in 2018/19 for Shared Lives carers who play important roles in social care, offering direct care to people using services.

Who is eligible?
Health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those patients/clients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.
NHS England have confirmed that this includes staff directly involved in the care of vulnerable people who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza who are working for registered:
• residential care homes;
• residential nursing homes;
• domiciliary care services;
• Shared Lives schemes;
• extra care housing services;
• supported living services.

Where and how can eligible staff get a free vaccination?
Staff can go to their own GP practice or any pharmacy. To prove that they are eligible they will need to take identification with them that shows their names and the name of their employing organisation. This could be an ID card or badge, a letter from their employer, or a recent payslip.

Further information and resources
For more information on the free flu vaccinations for social care staff read the full announcement letter

Nick Sayers presNick Sayers, Ambassador shared what equality and diversity mean to him, at our 2018 conference, with his own poem that he performed in the morning plenary.

"I am an Ambassador, a worker and a volunteer. Being an Ambassador means I sometimes give talks with Alex who is the boss of Shared Lives Plus. Being an Ambassador and being a boss are different jobs but they are both important. I am happy to be different from Alex. We are different but we are equal. He is Alex and I am me. And this is my poem about equality.


I have never wanted to be anyone else

I am far too happy being me

All the things I can do.

If someone says to me

“ You can’t go there Nick”

I just reply

“Then help me find a way”

I can

because I want to

and they do

and I can be

That’s Equality for me."

James Rosborough veggiesIn this speech from our 2018 conference, James Rosborough, Ambassador explains the effect that being in Shared Lives has had on his independence and his ability to pursue his goals and dreams.

"My names is James.

I have been living in a Shared Lives arrangement with Andy and his family for nearly eight years. Before this I lived in a specialist home for over 20 years.

I now like the freedom I have, to do the things that I enjoy, when I want to do them, just like most other people. I can choose to go out, without telling anyone, and meet friends in my favourite café. I can do most things for myself, but can I get help when I need it. People are not doing things for me all the time and this makes me happy.

I now have my own house and garden, something I never thought would happen to me. I can choose to go to Karate, order a pizza or go to the pub, with or without Andy.

I like feeling a part of things, being a Shared Lives Ambassador, giving talks to help people know more about epilepsy, working with Local Social and visiting lots of new places. I like helping people and they let me do it now. People listen to my opinions and ideas, although I am not always right, this also makes me happy.
Epilepsy does not now stop me from doing anything and my health has improved since being in Shared Lives.

I am very, very proud to be a Shared Lives Ambassador.

Thank you."

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:24

"We are all pretty cool - in our own way"

Michael Turner presIn this fantastic speech from our 2018 conference, Michael Turner, who is now known as Rachel Turner, Ambassador describes her vision of equality and diversity: "having the chance to go to infinity and beyond no matter who you are." 

When Lyn asked me if I would talk about equality and diversity at the conference I asked her:

“What are you going on about?”

She had to tell me what she meant. I still didn’t know what she was going on about, so I asked:

“Is it about us Ambassadors then?”

And she said;

“kind of…”

So we talked some more and then she told me:

“Just say what it means to you Michael”

So, that is what I will do. Getting equality is about resilience and never giving up.It is about keeping going till the last minute till you reach your destiny, your mission is completed, or you have won.

Diversity is what makes someone special. Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story struggles to come to terms with who he is. For a long time, he pretends that he is a space ranger so much that he really believes he is a space ranger. Then when he finds out he is ‘Just a toy’ he is sad and ashamed of who he is.

Woody, his friend, has a good quality. Woody’s quality is to help Buzz understand and be proud of who he is. He might not be a space ranger, but he is just as good.
He is more than good. He is someone special. In fact, he is a really cool toy.

We are all different, so supporting us means listening and treating us as individuals not all the same. Like, for me, that means having plenty of notice. I get equality at Shared Lives Plus because of the quality of support I get. This helps me to be more confident to be myself and my qualities get better.

Equality is about having the chance to go to infinity and beyond no matter who you are.

Diversity means we don’t all have to be space rangers to do it.

We are all good.

We are all special.

and...

We are all pretty cool, in our own way.

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