Information for Adults considering the support of a Home Sharer
Share and Care’s homeshare scheme also offers support to adults who would benefit from low-cost practical help and company. This service can help couples – for example, where one has a long-term illness or disease such as Dementia – as well as single adults who would benefit from support – perhaps because of a disability such as autism, bipolar disorder, early on-set Alzheimer’s, depression or anxiety. The Sharer offers practical help in the home and can also accompany the adult who requires support to activities, for example, and be their friend/chaperone, thereby offering some respite and reassurance to other family members/supporters.
Who our service helps?
The scheme works in the same way as our other services; it is an affordable, live-in, low cost service to offer practical help in the home and companionship to the adult that needs support. Our clients may be living with mild or long-term mental health problems such as anxiety, dementia and autism; others are socially isolated, have mobility issues, sight and/or hearing loss, or other conditions such as Parkinson’s and arthritis. They may be part of a couple where one is still trying to work as well as care for their partner. A live-in Sharer is a low-cost way of giving reassurance, reminders, company and home-cooking to the adult with support needs and – if part of a couple – additional support and companionship to their partner (who is normally their care-giver), all of which can improve the quality of life for all concerned.
How it works
Based on the idea of exchange, the Sharer normally provides 10 hours of practical help each week, in exchange for a bedroom and the use of their home’s facilities. The type of help usually offered includes:
- cooking simple meals
- light cleaning
- light gardening
- Accompanying to appointments, social events, shopping trips etc
In addition, the Sharer also gives the Householder(s) some companionship (normally around 5 hours per week) which may include eating some meals together, watching television together, accompanying on outings or just simply enjoying a cup of tea and a chat.
Sharers are not permitted to give any personal or nursing care to the person they live with. Householders may have a care package through a personal care agency to sit alongside the homeshare arrangement.
Why it works
Share and Care Homeshare pays attention to the personalities of the Householders they are looking to help. Householders are carefully matched with Sharers who can give the practical help they need, and also have things in common and similar interests so genuine friendships can develop. At the same time, the Householder is offering a Sharer a place to call home and it can be a very rewarding experience for them too. Share and Care Homeshare’s scheme helps combat loneliness and isolation.
Where it works
Share and Care Homeshare offers a service across the whole of the UK. However, 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.
Share and Care Homeshare provides regular, on-going support to both the Householder and the Sharer. The objective is to monitor the arrangement to encourage a happy, friendly Homeshare and if needed, help to clarify and resolve any issues should they arise.
We offer all our clients a free place in our weekly 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 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.
What type of people become Sharers?
Our Sharers are usually aged 24-45 years old, sometimes older, and either works or studies in the day and gives an agreed level of practical help and support in and around the house, usually over four evenings each week and a few hours at the weekend. The Sharer agrees to sleep in the property at least six nights per week – although it is their home for all seven nights –except for pre-arranged weekends away and holidays.
Choosing your Sharer
When matching a Sharer, the Agency starts by finding out as much as possible about the Householder who needs support and their partner, if applicable. Share and Care then performs a rigorous interview process and vetting process with the potential Sharer to assess their suitability and compatibility. Share and Care 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 introducing a potential Sharer, Share and Care will first provide the Householder/s with a written synopsis including references of the Sharer applicant. The Householder/s then meets the potential Sharer to see how they get on. Once the Householder/s offers the homeshare to the Sharer, we will then draw up the Homeshare Licence Agreement. After 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, in some cases a nominal, capped, contribution to Council Tax etc).
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.
The Sharer is normally responsible for paying for his / her own food and phone bills.
Length of share
We undertake to look for Sharers who will be in a position to commit to living with the Householder for at least one year and most arrangements last for a year or longer. However, we understand that situations can change on both sides and a 4 weeks’ notice period is included in all agreements.
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.
Please download our brochure for more information on our homeshare service.