Somerset to celebrate Shared Lives Week

Shared Lives Carers and adults with disabilities from across the South West will be celebrating National Shared Lives Week with a fun day bowling next week (Thursday 16 October).

The Shared Lives scheme provides an alternative to care homes for people with disabilities. Carers share their lives and homes with the people who need support, enabling them to continue living life to the full in their community.

National Shared Lives Week (Saturday 11 October – Sunday 19 October) celebrates the dedication of carers within the Shared Lives Scheme and the time they give to the people they support.

One service user, Janet, explained the difference the scheme has made for her: “I have been living on my own. I get lonely and sad. I came here for short breaks and now want to live here all the time.”

Shared Lives Carers, Richard and Lyn, added, “We have worked in many care fields over a number of years. But we love being Shared Lives Carers because we can offer a continuation of care and support to those who live within our family home.”

Cllr William Wallace, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “It is important for us to celebrate the work of our Shared Lives Carers, who do a wonderful job at helping vulnerable people keep their independence and build their confidence while living in a family environment.

“We always need more of the right people signing up to share their lives through the scheme. If you have room in your home and time in your life and would like to make a huge difference to someone’s life, we would love to hear from you.”

Shared Lives Carers may offer short breaks or a long term home and can have up to three people living with them at any time. Adults of all ages are supported by the scheme and could have learning disabilities, mental health problems, or could be older people or people living with dementia.

Carers are provided with on-going training and support to help them give people the best possible care in their homes.

The bowling event, taking place in Taunton, is organised by Somerset Shared Lives Team and is in its third year. For more information about Shared Lives phone 01823 257908 or email sharedlives@somerset.gov.uk.