When Sinead wanted to move out of her parents’ home, the only option offered to her was a residential care home, but at 26 years old, she didn’t want to live with people who were so much older than her.
Mary used to be a learning disability nurse. She had already brought up a large family, adopted two boys, and a chicken coop full of ex-battery cage hens! Her home - and her heart - weren’t quite full up yet though. She had enough room to share and enjoy life with another person. That’s when Mary and Sinead met. The result was two ordinary people coming together to share an extraordinary life. That’s what Arabella Weir, actor of Fast Show and Two Doors Down fame, saw when she visited them to find out what Shared Lives care is about.
Sinead says, “I love it here, I fought to stay here. Ever since I met her, she’s lovely.”
Mary says, “I would recommend anyone to become a Shared Lives carer – and give people a richer life.”
Shared Lives carers open their homes and lives to someone who needs a little care and support to live life to the full.
It sounds ordinary, but Shared Lives care is the highest rated type of social care, inspected by the Care Quality Commission in England, with 96% of schemes rated good or outstanding, and top ratings by the Care Inspectorates in Wales and Scotland.
You could be helping with shopping, continuing rehab after an operation, providing a consistent relationship after a breakdown, or becoming the joint champions at your local bowling alley or pub quiz!
People can face a lot of closed doors in our health and social care system. Shared Lives carers open them. We offer training, but the main thing you need is a big enough heart and a zest for life. Through the highs and lows, Shared Lives carers are there to help people recover and enjoy life together.
If you think you could offer a warm, friendly home and your heart is big enough, talk to your local scheme to find out more.
Shared Lives Plus is a network of companions, supporters, doers, and excellent brew-makers.
We support our members: local Shared Lives schemes and Shared Lives carers, to get on with life in an ordinary home, by making sure national and local governments understand the amazing Shared Lives people can build and create the legal and financial system to make it easier. Find out about our latest wins for Shared Lives carers.
Join our membership to stay up to date with national practice, guidance and support.