For social prescribing, homeshare provision is a sustainable option which sits within health
and social care and enables social prescribers to offer tailored support to enrich the lives of
people across generations, and across local communities.
It is especially beneficial for older people living with mobility issues, Dementia or
Parkinson’s, adults with support needs or disabilities, and younger people who have a
housing need. Social prescribers can also utilise homeshare for families who have children
or young adults with physical disabilities or learning difficulties such as autism, ADHD or
Senior Social Prescriber, Ruth Grainger, who works across the Borough of Wandsworth communities talks to Share and Care Homeshare about the growing collaboration between social prescribing and homeshare, which can support communities at scale.
Q: What is your opinion on homesharing?
Homesharing is an excellent initiative. The whole premise behind it is to keep people living
in their own home as long as possible, it’s really person-centred and that’s what social
prescribing is all about; putting people at the centre of their own care, and connecting
people within communities. Homesharing and social prescribing share the same values.
Homesharing is an invaluable service, which delivers impact across many areas. It benefits
older and younger people, and also has a knock-on effect across many different areas within
the health and social care sector, more than you would imagine – and I think it should
therefore be more embedded in social care.
Q: Is there a level of awareness of homesharing within social prescribing?
Absolutely. Within my team, we certainly discuss homeshare and quite a few colleagues
signpost people to homeshare initiatives. For social prescribers, the key challenge is getting
the message across to people that it’s ok to share your space with someone else, as initially
people can be concerned about this aspect. What’s important is for us to explain and
demonstrate the benefits of homeshare and the difference it can make to people’s lives.
Q: What is the main challenge around social prescribing and homesharing?
People can be concerned about having someone else live in their space, so one of the key
aspects for us as social prescribers is to reassure people that homesharing is a safe and well-
vetted service. It’s about helping people understand that homesharing is a positive move
and there are endless benefits.
There is some great information from Share and Care Homeshare that we run through with
people, and the videos showing householders and sharers are absolutely fantastic as you
can see first-hand the difference it is making to people’s lives, and hear directly from those
living in homeshare arrangements.
Q: Would you recommend the homesharing route to other social prescribers?
I would definitely recommend that social prescribers consider homeshare and make people
aware of how it works, and why it works so well – explain the benefits, from the practical
aspect, to the companionship of having someone else in the house to have a chat and a
My tip is that it’s also worth persevering with people – they may initially knock the idea
back, but keep it on the table and keep referring back to it if it suits their situation.
Also, remember it’s a very easy referral process for social prescribers. We can simply give
Share and Care Homeshare a call, refer the individual, and they manage the rest from there.
If you’re a social prescriber and you would like to know more about homeshare, or refer
someone, please get in touch with our team, we’d be happy to help!