Shared Lives in Herefordshire
Shared Lives is designed to support adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems, or other needs that make it harder for them to live on their own. The scheme matches an adult who has care needs with an approved Shared Lives carer. These carers share their family and community life, and give care and support to the adult with care needs.
Martha and Reuben Fosberry are Shared Lives carers in Herefordshire, and they find no two days are the same:
"We love being Shared Lives carers - it is a rewarding way to give a person who needs a little extra help the chance to access this support in a normal, everyday way. The individual who comes to live with you shares in your family's life and the daily rhythm of your home. This could mean something as simple as a hot meal together, popping to the supermarket, watching TV, gardening or warm company and a friendly ear. Outside of Shared Lives, this form of care would usually come in the shape of day services or residential care. We cannot recommend it enough!"
In Herefordshire, over 70 people who need support to lead safe, healthy and independent lives visit or live with around 50 approved Shared Lives carer households. They share family and community life together, enabling people who need support to stay in the area, make new friends and recover from hospital to live an ordinary life, instead of being in a care home.
Here are some of their stories:
Sadie, Lloyd and Brian
Shared Lives stories: Sadie, Lloyd and Brian
Sadie, Lloyd and Brian live with Beryl, who is the second generation to support them over the last 40 years. Sadie and Lloyd have been married for 35 years. They enjoy walking Gemma the dog, shopping in Abergavenny, living as part of the family, the vegetable patch, choosing what to eat and where to go on holiday.
Shared Lives stories: Becky
"Before I lived with my shared lives family, I was in foster care. It is a really nice place to live and they help me live independently."
Shared Lives stories: Liz
Liz lives with Helen and Dave who are third generation shared lives carers.
"It's wonderful, fantastic, because Helen is a loving person and Dave is nice - he cooks breakfast on Saturdays!"
Shared Lives stories: Richard
Richard has lived with his shared lives family for 11 years. He used to live in a support housing scheme but people took advantage of his good nature.
"I like shared lives because my carer is there when I need him. I can go wherever I want to and enjoy myself."
Shared Lives stories: Sarah
Sarah has lived with Lesley and Mark for four years. Her life was not a happy one, but this has changed and she is thriving now. She loves lambing, outward bound activities, horse riding and holidays with her extended family.
Shared Lives stories: Robert
Robert moved in with his shared lives family 13 years ago, after living with his girlfriend didn't work out. Things are much better now and, with support, he sees her nearly every day.
"If I didn't live with my shared lives carer, I wouldn't be able to do half of the things that I do."
Are you interested?
We recruit, assess and train Shared Lives Carers who live throughout Herefordshire; the carers then provide care and support to people in the carer's own home.
We offer long term and respite/short breaks with Shared Lives arrangements, working with adults of any age who wish to live or stay within a supported family-based Shared Lives setting.
If you would like more information on Shared Lives, either about living in a long term or short breaks Shared Lives arrangement, or for becoming a Shared Lives Carer, please get in touch with the team on using the details below.