Council celebrates Shared Lives success

Release Date: 16 August 2017

More adults than ever who need additional support to help them stay out of residential care or hospital are now benefiting from a pioneering family-based care scheme.

Certitude has delivered the Shared Lives contract for the London boroughs of Richmond, Hounslow and Wandsworth since February 2017.

Shared Lives is a little known form of social care that offers either permanent support or regular breaks in the home of a local family. A household shares their lives, families, home, interests and skills with other people who need some help and support to live their lives to the full.

Originally the service in Richmond was designed to help residents with a learning disability or older people with dementia. However, as part of the Council’s plans to reduce the number of people needing to go into long term care the service was expanded in February.

The new service now is available to any adult who needs additional support to help them live in a home setting.

In the past 12 months, over 67 residents have used the service across the three boroughs.

Cllr David Marlow, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said:

“For many people, living alone at home isn’t an option as they need additional support. This could be older residents or young adults, residents with a learning disability or mental health problems, or people with disabilities.

“The idea of going into residential care or into hospital might seem like the only solution. It isn’t. Shared Lives provides an alternative for many people with less complex needs.

“Approved Shared Lives carers share their family and community life, and give care and support to individuals on a short term or long term basis. The scheme allows the resident to be part of family life, build a bond with someone who will consistently provide them with support.

“I am thrilled that since we agreed to expand the service, so many more people have benefited.”

Pam Champ from Teddington has been caring for people with Dementia since 2014, she said:

“I get great pleasure supporting Eileen and her family. We should look after people more in the community, it’s as simple as that.

“I think Shared Lives has a part to play in that, in-between residential and a care home. It is a home from home really.”

Eileen, who is cared for by Pam, said:

“I always enjoy coming, I’ve got someone to talk to. I get to do my crosswords and have a sing song. It gives my daughter a break. I look at the care home across the road and think myself lucky that I don’t have to live there.”

Visit the Richmond Care and Support website for more information about the Shared Lives scheme.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P379/17

Updated: 31 August 2017