Shared lives carers

"I'd like to provide a home for an adult who needs care and support."

About the shared lives carer role

As a shared lives carer, you’ll build a close connection with the people you support, and they’ll become part of your home and family life.

While people who join the shared lives scheme are keen to maintain their independence wherever possible, they will have care needs that you’ll need to support.

As they are joining your family unit, it is likely that your family and friends will contribute to their care and support too.

Who you’ll support

You’ll usually only support 1 person at a time, although this can be up to 3 in exceptional circumstances. People visiting or moving in with shared lives carers may have:

  • a learning disability
  • a physical disability
  • autism
  • a mental health condition
  • dementia.

You’ll be carefully matched with each person you care for based on your strengths, experiences and interests.

What you’ll do

Your role, as a shared lives carer, is to help the person who stays with you to live as independently as possible, and become a valued part of your family unit.

You’ll share your experience and skills to help them:

  • look after themselves and keep healthy and active
  • take part in simple tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and gardening
  • learn new skills, and engage in hobbies and activities
  • meet people and expand their social network
  • manage their money and learn other life skills.

By just being yourself, in your own home and inviting the person into your life, you can:

  • provide the emotional support and companionship they need
  • widen their social network by introducing them to family members (outside your home) and other people in your community
  • open them up to new or different experiences by including them in your family celebrations like birthdays and weddings, or family outings such as picnics or nights out
  • offer them a more personal, high level of care and service that they may not experience in traditional forms of care.

Levels of care you can offer

You can choose what level of support you would like to give.

Long term carers provide a long term placement. This means someone will come and live with you full time.

Short term (respite) carers offer care over 1 or several nights, such as for holidays, short respite breaks or weekend stays.