Sharing lives - sharing homes - enhancing lives
Monday, 09 July 2012
When Inez and Brian from Andover saw an advert in their local paper about a Shared Lives Scheme they knew that they had found their niche.
The Scheme is run by Hampshire County Council and offers long and short stays as well as day opportunities for adults needing care and support who may have a learning or physical disability, a mental health problem, or to older people who are unable to live independently.
Having worked for several years as an activities coordinator in local Nursing Homes Inez and Brian, her husband and joint carer, had been looking for a role that would enable them to help vulnerable people and the Shared Lives Scheme looked perfect to enable them to fulfil this dream.
Having successfully completed the recruitment process they are now paid carers and look after two people for weekend breaks.
Inez said: "Brian and I like being with people very much, we have an active life that involves different activities and it's great to be able to share this with other people. We enjoy helping the people we support reach their potential and love the personal touch that working one to one brings. We are looking forward to sharing our home with more adults needing care and support as it not only brings us a great amount of joy but provides essential breaks for their full time carers.
"If any one is thinking of joining the Shared Lives scheme I would definitely encourage them to do so. When we joined we were given lots of information and the chance to ask plenty of questions so we knew it was the right thing for us and we know there is always support available when we need it."
Councillor Felicity Hindson, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said: "We are finding more and more people are moving away from traditional day and respite services in favour of a more personalised touch, which shared lives is able to offer. This scheme is an excellent alternative and can offer independence they may never have experienced before.
"If you have some spare time, room in your home, are able to include an extra person in your home life and have an understanding of how to care for people, then this could be the role for you."
The Shared Lives Scheme is looking for more people particularly in the north of Hampshire to be assessed, trained and become paid Shared Lives Carers. Hampshire County Council is running an open morning on Thursday 12 July from 9.30am to 1.30pm at the Bridge, 31/33 Bridge Street, Andover, SP10 1BE so anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer can find out more over a cup of coffee.
For more information visit the Shared Lives Scheme or contact Jo Wade on 01264 387470.