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Friday, 19 August 2016 15:08

Shared Lives Plus is on a mission to show people that you can #dowhatyoucant

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Hello, we hope you’re all enjoying your Friday. Our Friday motivation this week is to continue to spread the word of our organisation and show everyone how we help transform the quality of people’s lives.  Today, whilst scrolling through Twitter I saw #dowhatyoucant (celebrating people who defy barriers in life)  trending and I began to think, what does that mean from a Shared Lives Plus perspective? So, I had a think whilst eating lunch and for us, we believe that all the people who use Shared Lives services and those who are not aware of us can #dowhatyoucant. Our interpretation of this, is helping people live a more independent life. This may be people with mental health problems, disabilities, dementia or a long-term illness.
We’re growing and moving forward all the time with the intention of giving people a different option to traditional institutionalised care. We are making moves and have recently began developing a health programme with NHS England. For more information click here
As a person who has a manageable, long-term illness myself, I know the support that family can give makes a huge difference in coping with health issues. It’s hard to imagine how people who need a large amount of care feel, but what we see with Shared Lives is people living the best quality of life they can, in a family environment, being involved in the community and making friends, socialising more and really feeling the full effect of a stable, family orientated home. 
In the short time I have worked for Shared Lives Plus, I have grown to really understand the importance of what this organisation does. It’s something I take great pride in, trying to help the organisations awareness grow, there is nothing better than walking in and seeing an Ambassador, Shared Lives carer or people who use Shared Lives services smiling and happy.
The true value of Shared Lives is that it is a safe care model that is based around the strength and support offered by a stable family and home environment. For instance, Laurence’s story. He has a severe learning disability, communication difficulties and complex behaviours.  Laurence lived in a residential unit for people with “challenging behaviour” before being matched with his Shared Lives family.  Laurence’s history of challenging behaviour dated back from childhood and past foster placements broke down due to this.
Laurence is now a part of Shared Lives he enjoys an active week with his Shared Lives carer and receives some daytime support at a local day centre. He has many hobbies which he shares with his carer, including supporting his local rugby and football teams, fishing and camping. He has also enjoyed many family holidays. All these small things and being a part of a family is something that really makes Laurence live a happier life. He is included in the community, a part of his Shared Lives family and enjoys the hobbies he loves.
It is not only people like Laurence that Shared Lives benefits, it is extremely useful for local authorities. A great option to help people with disabilities and long-term illness in their community. Laurence’s move has saved local authority £71,000 a year, whilst he to gets to live in a family home doing the things he enjoys.
It is an exciting few months ahead with Shared Lives Plus, we're working on the new NHS programme, Homeshare, Shared Lives week in October and much more, before we know it, it’ll be Christmas, looking forward to a jam- packed autumn.


Further articles you may like to read: Health Report, Homeshare, NHS Blog


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