Watch our video about Shared Lives | Oxfordshire County Council

Watch our video about Shared Lives

See how Shared Lives works through this series of videos.

What is Shared Lives (formerly known as adult placement)?

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What is adult placement (Shared Lives)?

Lindie: "It's a flexible service for people who need support in an ordinary setting."

Sue: "It means commitment, hard word – a great deal of joy."

Laura: "It's about improving someone's quality of life."

Lindie: "It's very flexible, could be having tea once a month, a whole day, weekends or you could live there. It can be whatever you need it to be."

How it works

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How it works:

John: "Someone came from social services with Annie and her mother who was in poor health, eventually she stayed. Annie’s been with us 15 years now!"

Sue: "Gordon came to meet us. We had tea. You stayed a couple of nights to see if we all liked each other. That was four years ago."

Laura: "We were introduced weren't we? You came over with your social worker and met me and Chris, and the dog. You asked some questions about things we do. It progressed from there didn't it?


What are the benefits?

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The benefits: Sally: 'By and large people tell us they love the service, they get a choice of where they go. It's an opportunity to have an ordinary lifestyle in an ordinary setting, and to do things other people take for granted. In this setting people can develop a network of relationships that count and may go on for many years.'

George: "I've had lots of different respites. This is the best so far. So relaxed.'

Aimee: 'Fantastic carers. They do things with me like go to the theatre." Laura: 'A favourite of mine was going to Euro-disney and seeing how much you enjoyed yourself."

Lindie: 'Service users can more or less design their own service. They can tell us what they want, tell us what support they need, they may need a long term placement but may just need a break. They don't have to fit in with someone else's service.'

Aimee: 'I can do more things myself, go out on my own, meet my friends, go to the town centre, swimming, go to the cinema.'

George: 'It's really friendly. You can do what you want, get up when you want . It's brilliant really. Well , I've enjoyed it anyway.'

Annie: 'Makes me feel happy!'

New experiences

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New experiences:

Laura: "Do you remember when we went to the theatre?"

Aimee: "Yes. I really enjoyed that. It was technicolour dreamcoat."

Laura: "Ten pin bowling. We socialise quite a bit don't we? And you’ve got a lot of friends. I think you’re more confident now. We sometimes help with lifts."

Aimee: "The McFly concert."

Annie: "We go to Wales at weekends. Sue’s got a border terrier. I take it out for walks."

Bob: "What did you think of the trip to Florida, David?"

David: "It was very good. I enjoyed seeing all the sights. Afterwards I was feeling pretty emotional because of some of the things we found out at the space centre."

Sally, Nelly and Silas

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Sally, Nelly and Silas:

Nelly: "Sally has been with me two years now and two other ladies, one is 84 and the other one is 63. I have two children –that makes us eight! We are one big family."

Sally: "The first time I came in I thought it was different. Different place...I felt comfortable."

Silas: "She has become part of our family. Her parents come over, her brother came the other day with his girlfriend, we are just one big family."

Vicky and Frances

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Vicky and Frances:

Vicky: "I help Pat sometimes, yes, sometimes I do the table."

Frances: "Vicky's good company. I don't think she realises it. She makes me and Pat laugh and that's really good. She keeps us young, and you fit in well with our family , our children and our grandchildren."

Grandson: "We play games don't we? Watch a bit of telly."

Interviewer: "What kind of games?"

Vicky: "Snakes and ladders and Monopoly."

Interviewer: "Who wins?"

Vicky: "I do. I go shopping with my carer Frances – to do food shopping."

Grandson: "She's not like a sister to me - she's like a friend basically - aren't you?"

Vicky: "Yes, I am yes. I like my room. I keep it tidy. That's my England cushion."

Interviewer: "Do you like watching the world cup football?"

Vicky: "Yes I do, Newcastle's my team. That's my mum and dad. That's my friend. I went to see Westlife."

Interviewer: "Did you scream?"

Vicky: "Yes."

Graham and Annie

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Annie and Graham:

Graham: "Oh it's a lot different. I was in a real state. I was probably an alcoholic. It's a complete change of life for me. It's a lot better. I don’t drink. I just feel so much better."

Anna: "I provide everything a normal home would provide, security, love, support."

Graham: "I've been here six years now. Its really nice to have someone to go home to. I managed to get my job back when I came out of hospital, and at the end of the day it's nice to have people to go home to. We've been to shows together, been on holiday, it's really nice."

Martin and Bob

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Bob and Martin:

Bob: "It starts with a cup of coffee doesn't it? We met two or three times beforehand to get to know a bit about each other. Martin I don’t think has had any problems since he has been here. He's quite happy. Eats all my food – what can I say!"

Martin: "Bob's a damn good cook! I've got my own flat, my own microwave, shower and toilet. If I need Bob he's only a stone's throw away. I go and talk to him, have a good natter."

Bob: "I'd like to think that Martin feels at home. He's got his own front door key but I'm there if he needs anything, - medical, dentist, help with anything – and obviously his food. Martin knows he can come in anytime and chat. I think he feels relaxed."

Martin: "It makes me very relaxed yes, Bob’s always there when I need him. I’d say go for it. If you find the right person like I have it's great."

Bob: "I'll give you a tenner later."

Martin: "I was hoping for 20!"

Pamela and Linda

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Pamela and Linda

Pamela: "I didn't know anything about the carer and I wasn't very happy until they explained that you live at the house, she’s there 24-hours. I came with Jules. I met Linda."

Linda: "I have one person who needs help bathing and dressing. Then we have breakfast and maybe we go out. They (Shared Lives workers) come to visit regularly and if you have any problems you can call them."

Pam: "Everything's been going well. I've been going to college, going to the market."

Jules: "Have you seen your mum?

Pam: "I see her every weekend."

Linda: "Now we are just a big happy family. Sometimes Pamela helps me - maybe peeling potatoes or making a cup of tea."

Innovation: living together

This short film shows how simple and inexpensive approaches can meet accommodation and home care needs.

The video is shown by kind permission of the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Download a guide

Last reviewed
20 September 2017
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