Information for Older people considering the support of a Homesharer
Share and Care Homeshare is the most experienced homeshare provider, having been successfully matching and mentoring homeshares for over 17 years. We offer our service nationally, across London and the UK. We are members of Homeshare Association and are fully compliant with its Principal Standards; By using Share and Care Homeshare, you can be assured that you will experience a high quality, and yet personal, service. Share and Care Homeshare is a low-cost service which offers affordable live-in practical help, reassurance and friendly company to Householders. Having a Sharer helps combat loneliness, anxiety and isolation and gives the Householder an agreed level of practical help and support in and around the home, plus regular friendly chats and the overnight reassurance and security. The practical help is usually given over four evenings each week and a few hours at weekends. Our Homeshare package can sit alongside other care packages for those who may require additional support or personal care.
Who our service helps
Share and Care Homeshare specialises in introducing live-in Sharers to Householders. The Householders are normally widows, widowers or older couples who would appreciate some practical help and companionship in their own home at an affordable cost. The service is also suitable for anyone else who may benefit from some practical help and companionship, for example because they are disabled, or they or their partner is suffering from Dementia, Parkinson’s or another long-term illness. Homeshare is beneficial to anyone who wishes to maintain their independence and continue living in their own home, but needs a little practical help and company in order to do this. Share and Care’s homeshare scheme has a National coverage throughout London and the UK. Homeshare is an affordable way to secure help, priced at around £5 per day.
How it works
Based on the idea of exchange, the Householder offers a bedroom and the use of their home’s facilities to the Sharer (the person who lives with them) in return for around 10 hours a week of practical help and support, usually including cooking, light cleaning, shopping, gardening and other small DIY jobs. The Householder’s property becomes the Sharer’s home for the duration of the agreement and the Sharer agrees to sleep in the house for at least six nights a week – although it is their home for all seven nights. As well as the natural reassurance of someone living in their home, the Sharer also offers additional companionship at other times during the day or early evening, perhaps to share a meal, play a card game, have a friendly chat or watch TV with the person they live with [our guideline for the additional companionship is around 5 hours per week].
Please note: The Sharer is not permitted to give any personal or nursing care to the elderly person they live with. If personal care is required, homeshare can sit alongside a care package from a personal care agency.
The Sharer, who will usually be 24 years old or over, continues his/her regular job or studies during the day. The 10 hours of practical help a Sharer gives is normally spread out over the week. We look for Sharers who are friendly and caring and who would welcome the opportunity of affordable accommodation and making a new friend.
Why it works
By putting two people together who have common interests, homesharing can give Householders the help, support and security they need, while offering Sharers a place to call home. Share and Care Homeshare pays careful attention to the personality of the Householder and specialises in finding suitable Sharers with whom they can develop a genuine, friendly, relationship. A Share and Care Homeshare helps combat loneliness, anxiety and isolation, whilst giving reassurance to Householders’ families too.
Where it works
Share and Care supports Householders and Sharers nationally in London and across the UK. In locations outside major cities or large towns, it may take longer to find the right Sharer and in some rural locations it may not be possible to find a suitable Sharer at all. We will commit to making a search for a three month period after which if we have not be successful, we will discuss further the possibilities and options.
Choosing your Sharer
When matching a Householder with a Sharer, Share and Care Homeshare starts by having a detailed discussion with the Householder and, if appropriate, their family, to find out as much as possible about the Householder, their situation and requirements. Share and Care then performs a rigorous interview and vetting process with the potential Sharer to assess their suitability and compatibility. Share and Care Homeshare ensures Sharers have an in-date DBS check [Disclosure Barring Service] or applies for one for them, and personally contacts a minimum of two referees. When suggesting a potential Sharer, firstly Share and Care provides the Householder with a written synopsis about the candidate, including references. The next step is for the Householder to meet the potential Sharer to see how they get on. Share and Care recommends that the Householder meets the Sharer with a member of their family or a family friend – and whenever possible and practical, meets the Sharer more than once – to ensure they are able to make an informed decision about whether the Sharer is suitable for their situation and requirements for help. Referees may also be contacted by the Householder/their family.
Once the Householder and Sharer decide they would like to live together, Share and Care helps to draw up a Homeshare Licence Agreement between them. When the Sharer has moved in, Share and Care continues to keep in regular contact with both parties to ensure the arrangement is satisfactory and offer advice, if required.
Both the *Householder and the Sharer make a nominal monthly contribution to Share and Care Homeshare. As Share and Care Homeshare does not receive any external funding, these contributions go towards running the service. For the Householder, this includes finding, vetting and matching Sharers as well as monitoring and supporting the arrangement. For the Sharer, they are vetted, matched and introduced to a Householder and benefit from the low- priced accommodation. There is no exchange of money between the Householder and the Sharer (except reimbursement of shopping, and, a capped contribution towards household bills).
Monthly contribution to Share and Care Homeshare :
- £125 plus VAT = £150 per month, which is £5 per day.
We ask our Sharers to be able to commit to the homeshare for at least 12 months. Most arrangements last for at least a year and many for several years. However, we understand that situations can change on both sides, and a 4 week notice period is included in all agreements.
* A non-refundable Householder Registration Fee of £60 plus VAT = £72 is payable at time of registration. This fee covers up to a 6 month search although in most cases a Sharer is found much sooner.
We provide regular, on-going, light-touch support to both the Householder and their Sharer, keeping an eye on the relationship to encourage a happy, friendly share and helping to resolve any issues should they arise. Our professional and friendly team is always at the end of the phone to provide help. If, for some reason, the arrangement encounters difficulties, all parties can be reassured that Share and Care Homeshare has the knowledge and expertise to give appropriate advice and help to seek a resolution.
We offer all our clients a free place at our weekly on-line Seated Exercise class; led by a trained Fitness instructor, this is a great opportunity to interact with other members of the Share and Care community. Our clients also receive a regular newsletter with information and activities.
Caroline Cooke, one of the directors is a trained Dementia Friends Champion and has committed to delivering Alzheimer’s Society information sessions to help people understand what it’s like to live with Dementia.
These sessions are open to all Sharers, family members and friends of a loved one living with Dementia or indeed, anyone who would like to have a better understanding of how to make life easier for someone living with this life changing disease.
Not quite ready for Homeshare?
Unity Living -Helpful Housemates has been developed for those Householders who don’t yet require as much help and support as a Homeshare offers but who would still value the reassurance of a carefully matched and vetted lodger who will pay some rent and can also offer up to 5 hours of support and friendship each week.
Don’t just take our word for our service! We are delighted to have helped so many people since 2006!
Please download our brochure for more information on our homeshare service.