The person requiring support is often referred to the Shared Lives Scheme by the local council or NHS and is eligible for social care provision. The person may have a learning or physical disability, mental ill health, autism, dementia, sensory impairment or an acquired brain injury. There is also an increasing demand to place people with more complex needs and behaviours but this requires experience and specialised training to support such an arrangement.
General Hospitals are also looking to place older people with limited mobility within Shared Lives Arrangements, so they can be discharged from hospital sooner, but in general, this requires ground-floor accommodation. We would be extremely interested to hear from people who have such accommodation.
In fact, we will provide a Shared Lives Arrangement to anyone over the age of 16 years’ old who needs support and chooses to live back in their own community or neighbourhood.
Each person is an individual in their own right and will bring their own strengths and abilities to the arrangement, so it’s really important not to make assumptions about people based on their disability.
Each person is carefully matched with the skillset and experience of the Shared Lives Carer and a number of introductory visits take place before we agree to an Arrangement. The CVT philosophy recognises the uniqueness of the individual and we seek to respect, value and enhance the strengths and potential of the person we support in each Arrangement.
The main aim of Shared Lives is to support people who wish to live in the local community but may be assessed as too vulnerable or at risk of living on their own. A Shared Lives Arrangement provides a viable cost-effective alternative to someone who may otherwise have to live in a hospital, residential or nursing care. Shared Lives is not seen as 24/7 care, so the person that comes to stay long-term, unless independent to arrange their own daily routines, will often attend day opportunities somewhere else a few times a week. Where possible, we always enable choice and support the person to have a greater say and control about every aspect of their everyday life and wider matters.
Camphill Village Trust are a member of VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disabilty Group). VODG represent leading not-for-profit providers of services and support to disabled people.