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News from Shared Lives Plus

Friday, 18 May 2018 14:01

'Sarah is part of my family’: the house-sharing scheme for adults

guardian may 18Shared Lives matches carers and people with support needs, promoting independence and reducing isolation - but too few people know about the service, the Guardian reports today

When Sarah* came to live with Heather Samuels and her daughter in Manchester, she had been struggling to cope at home after her mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

The 28-year-old has Asperger’s and autism. “She didn’t want to leave the house and she didn’t really speak,” says Samuels. “Now she’s becoming much more independent, she walks everywhere and is always out and about.”

Samuels admits it took time and effort to get Sarah used to a new family life, but encouraging her to speak instead of shaking her head, introducing a daily routine, and giving her ownership of chores (such as tidying her room), has helped. The family also took Sarah to Bermuda on holiday with them last year, where she tried new activities including jetskiing. The arrangement is working well - Sarah says she likes “everything” about living with Samuels. 

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