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Using Shared Lives

Information for people interested in using the scheme.

What carers can provide

Shared Lives is an ideal choice for people who prefer to live in a family setting.

The Shared Lives Scheme carers have the skills, commitment and training, and have chosen to share their homes and lives with people who need support.

Shared Lives carers can provide:

  • short break accommodation with care and support
  • long-term accommodation with care and support
  • day support: which allows you to spend time with an approved Shared Lives carer in their home and the community.

What are the benefits of Shared Lives scheme?

Shared Lives gives you the opportunity to receive the help and support you need within the setting of your carers home, sharing their family and community life.

You help design the care package you need, whether this is living long term with a carer, to having short breaks, or if you just need company and support from time to time.

Before starting the scheme, you will have the chance to get to know the Shared Lives carer to decide whether you want to spend time together.

Some of the people who have used the scheme have learnt new skills and gained the confidence to live an independent life.

Who the service is for

The service is open to anyone who needs some extra support to live independently and has been assessed under the Care Act (2014) and referred by an Oxfordshire County Council social worker or care co-ordinator.

For example, people with:

  • physical disabilities
  • sensory impairments
  • learning disabilities
  • mental health support needs
  • have difficulties with managing daily activities as they get older.

How will my Shared Lives carer support me?

Your Shared Lives carer may support you with whatever you, and those involved in your support say you need help with. This may be:

  • personal care, like washing and dressing
  • taking part in activities (for example, going shopping or going out for a meal)
  • to help you feel part of the household
  • supporting you to feel part of the local community
  • to enable you to be given choices and make your own decisions
  • making sure you are safe
  • if you stay for a short break, or live with Shared Lives Carers, you will have your own bedroom, and will share the rest of the house.

Supporting people who use the scheme during the pandemic

We have had to adapt our ways of working in order to provide ongoing support to people who use the Shared Lives Scheme.

Currently, we will only carry out essential visits and will keep in touch by using Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, and on the phone.

How do I know I will like my carer?

Matching you with the right carer is very important as everyone is different. We will talk to you to find out the things that are important to you and find a carer to suit you.

We will arrange for you to spend some time with your carer before you go and stay with them or move in. If you don’t think the household is going to be right for you, we will do our best to find one which suits you better.

You will also have a Shared Lives scheme worker who regularly visits you and your Shared Live carer to monitor the quality of support you are receiving. All our Shared Lives carers go through rigorous training and a thorough assessmentprocess which includes an enhanced DBS check.

Do I have to pay?

There is a charge for using Shared Lives. The amount you will have to pay will depend on the sort of care you need and want to have.

You will be assessed by the Non-Residential Financial Assessment team. This assessment will determine how much you will contribute towards the cost of any arrangement with the Shared Lives scheme.

If you chose to live long-term with a Shared Lives household, you will also be charged for rent, utilities, and food, this is known as the Board and lodging charge and is currently £159.25 per week. The rent element of this should be covered by Universal Credit if you are eligible to claim this.

How is the service regulated?

Shared Lives is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The scheme meets the regulations in the Health and Social Care Act 2008. This means the service is checked to make sure things are being done properly.

How do I find out more about the scheme?

If you have a social care worker, they can refer to the Shared Lives scheme. If you think this service could be for you and you would like more information, please contact us.