What is the difference between a Carer and a Sharer?
A Carer is formally trained to give personal care and other regulated activities and therefore works under the guidelines of CQC regulations Care Quality Commission
A Sharer is not permitted to give personal care and lives in the home to give an agreed number of hours of practical help and friendly companionship.
Both Carers and Sharers should have a Current Enhanced DBS and have at least two references.
Why choose Homeshare?
As well as the obvious benefits of Homeshare – nutritious home cooking, shopping, and other practical help around the home – the hidden benefits include reducing anxiety and loneliness, increased security, mental stimulation through conversation and shared meals, reduced chance of falls, better sleep, reassurance for families, and early warnings (eg the Sharer can alert the family if the person seems ill, or if they notice medication has been forgotten). Buying in this kind of help on a ‘per hour’ basis can be very expensive and on average costs about £15 per hour*– that’s nearly £11,000 per year if you have a carer for 14 hours a week, and additionally an overnight presence can cost on average £120 per night.
*The Money Advice Service
How might my Council Tax be affected by having a Sharer?
If the Sharer is a full-time student then they are exempt from Council Tax and no additional Council Tax is payable as a result of them moving in. If you are claiming a single person discount, that would not be affected.
If the Sharer is working then there is a possibility that, if you are claiming a single person 25% discount, this may be withdrawn. However, councils do have different rules as to whether a Sharer can be exempted from Council Tax. Our advice is that you call your council and discuss your personal situation directly with them. As a Sharer is deemed to be a volunteer, living in the home to give practical help and companionship, some councils are beginning to see the benefit of this for their elderly residents and may allow the elderly person to keep their discount. If that is not the case, Sharers can be asked to pay an agreed, capped, contribution to any increase in Council Tax as a result of them moving in.
*** It is also worth noting that some residents medical conditions – such as dementia, parkinson’s, severe learning difficulties or a stroke – may also be entitled to a discount.
Will I lose my benefits if I have a Sharer?
Benefits such as Attendance Allowance and Severe Disablement Benefit are not taken away if you have a Sharer. In fact, if you are claiming this kind of benefit, Council Tax may not payable and the Sharer may not be liable for any Council Tax payments regardless of their work status. It is important you clarify this according to your personal situation.
Who pays household bills?
The Householder continues to be responsible for the household bills of the property, normally a Sharer does not contribute towards these. However, the Householder is entitled to request an agreed contribution to Council Tax per month.
Who pays for food in a Homeshare?
Usually the Householder and Sharer each pay for their own food, or a fair share of the cost of the food if eating together.
Do I have to have internet access to have a Sharer?
99% of Sharers require broadband and so we do ask that Householders arrange for their home to have access to broadband. Most telephone companies will add a broadband package to an existing landline for a small monthly cost.
Do I have to have a TV licence if I become a Sharer?
The Householder is responsible for ensuring the property has a TV licence. However, if the Householder is over 75 a TV licence is not required, even if there is a an additional person living in the property.
Can I bring my own bed and/or other furniture if I become a Sharer?
Most accommodation is fully-furnished and the option to bring furniture is unlikely. However, if a Sharer has a certain requirement, such as a desk, this can be discussed with Share and Care and the Householder.
Why should I use a Homeshare agency to facilitate a Homeshare?
A Homeshare organisation, such as Share and Care Homeshare, is a member of Homeshare UK and adheres to its Quality Assurance Framework. The agency offers expertise and knowledge when matching people together. For the duration of every Homeshare agreement, the agency remains in regular contact with both parties to give advice and to ensure they are fully supported. The agency has experience in interviewing and taking relevant references and is also registered to apply for Enhanced DBS [criminal records] checks for Sharers. When a match has been agreed, a Homeshare Licence Agreement is drawn up between both parties which lays out the responsibilities and guidelines for both the Householder and their Sharer.
*** An Enhanced DBS check [ criminal records check] can only be completed by a registered organisation.
Why do I pay a monthly fee for the facilitation of the service?
The fee paid by both the Householder and Sharer goes towards the running of the scheme and the on-going mentoring and support.