Shared Lives is a national scheme that provides an alternative to home care and care homes for adults. It is used by around 15,000 people in the UK and offers a range of long term, short break and day services.
A Shared Lives carer and someone who needs support get to know each other and, if they both feel that they will be able to form a long-term bond, they share family and community life. This can mean that the individual becomes a regular daytime or overnight visitor to the Shared Lives carer's household. Individuals and families are fully trained and are matched with people looking for a break.
Shared Lives are looking to build the number of opportunities for people with dementia to spend time with another family. Although the scheme operates in many locations around the UK, dementia support is not available in all areas. You can find details of your nearest Shared Lives scheme here.
The effectiveness of Shared Lives schemes for people with dementia has recently been evaluated by Shared Lives South West and Innovations in Dementia. To read the full report click here.