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Older people

More of us in the UK are living for longer than ever before, and more of us might need some support to enjoy living at home for longer.

Shared Lives services support hundreds of older people – and the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund has funded us to promote Shared Lives in rural areas so more older people can enjoy visiting or living with a Shared Lives carer, sharing interests, a helping hand and company in the place you and your carer both love.

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“When Doug is out with Brandon it gives me peace of mind, a chance to catch up with household jobs and to stop and think. I have seen an improvement in Doug and I’m able to leave him for short periods of time in the day, without him becoming too anxious. I really wouldn’t want to be without Shared Lives.”

- Iris, Doug's wife

Reaching older people in rural areas

When your village or town is only small, it can be more difficult to get support you need to stay independent. Shared Lives schemes are working with older people in isolated areas to so that you can keep doing the things you love, in the place you love!

There are 150 Shared Lives schemes serving nearly every area of the UK who support older people. Our project funded by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund in 2019 with six Shared Lives schemes demonstrated they can support isolated older people and their families, become a significant part of a local care economy, deliver better support, meaningful paid work and benefits to older people and the wider community.

Please get in touch with a scheme near you if you would like to find out more about enjoying daily tasks or days out with a Shared Lives carer or becoming a carer.

You can see the wonderful film we made for the project in beautiful rural Aberdeenshire here:

Shared Lives can help people with dementia live better lives and remain in their own homes for longer. Shared Lives carers are proven to provide crucial support not only to people living with dementia – but to their families too, particularly family carers. They are proven to reduce social isolation and the chance of breakdown for those carers and help increase their general wellbeing significantly.

People suffering from dementia experience increased independence, wellbeing and personal choice, and are less likely to experience isolation and confusion in when they have got to know their Shared Lives carer and maintain existing relationships and connections in the community.

The proportion of older people is likely to increase still further and increasing numbers of people are also living with complex conditions. One in six people over the age of 80 have dementia, and there are 850,000 people with dementia in total, which will rise to a million in just over five years.

“It took three weeks for him to get back to his former self after each time in a care home.” – Read Karen’s story about her dad, Harold.

Useful facts from Alzheimers Society

Independent review of Shared Lives for dementia