Home Community and neighbourhoods It’s Shared Lives Week – Could you share your home to change someone’s life?

It’s Shared Lives Week – Could you share your home to change someone’s life?

by Gemma Melling

The team from Knowsley’s Shared Lives service will be hoping to recruit more Shared Lives carers during Shared Lives Week (17 – 21 June)

The scheme, which recruits carers to provide home-based care for disabled adults, older and vulnerable people needing support, has been publicised on BBC Radio Merseyside and visitors to Whiston Hospital have been encouraged to get involved when the team set up a stall in the foyer.

The team will be explaining that there are lots of ways you can get involved with Shared Lives. You can offer a permanent home to someone, or short break support to give permanent carers a break. You will receive a nationally-agreed payment, extensive training and 24/7 support.

Both families and individuals of any age can get involved with Shared Lives – which offers a great opportunity if you’re looking for a new challenge, or maybe approaching retirement.

If you’re interested in getting involved in Shared Lives, contact 0151 443 2060.

Shared Lives Kay and Gary

Shared Lives carer Kay with Gary

Kay’s caring ways

Ask Kay McDermaid from Kirkby about her family and she’ll proudly tell you about her three children.

“I view Gary as my son,” says Kay who has been a permanent carer for Gary Capaldi since he joined her family in 1988. “He has been part of our lives for 31 years and our family would not be complete without him.”

Things weren’t always this settled for Gary, 54, who spent his early years in residential care. He befriended Kay’s daughter Nicola at a club for young people with special needs and soon became a frequent visitor at Kay’s Southdene home.

Kay added:

“Gary said he’d like to live with a family and within a year he moved in permanently with us. In recent years I’ve been a single carer and the support I’ve received from the Shared Lives scheme has been fantastic. Gary and Nicola also have respite carers, so I can have a break as well.”

And to anyone considering becoming a Shared Lives carer Kay has this advice:

“You get to meet lots of new people and we have a great time. It’s very rewarding knowing that you’ve made a difference to someone’s life. Just pick up the phone – you won’t regret it!”

Shared Lives Kay, Nicola, Gary

Shared Lives carer Kay with daughter Nicola and Gary, who she cares for

Inspectors rate Shared Lives

Social care watchdog, the Care Quality Commission has given the Shared Lives Scheme a ‘good’ rating. Inspectors said that service users felt valued as people whose ‘views and opinions were listened to and respected.’

How can I get in touch?

If you’d like more information about Shared Lives, contact 0151 443 2060.