PEOPLE of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole gave been urged to help vulnerable people through the shared lives scheme.

Shared lives carers offer support to adults with a physical or learning disability, mental health need, older people or those who had previously been in care offering a break to families and carers.

Carers help with daily tasks from personal care and accessing health services, to making decisions and learning new skills, enabling individuals to live a full life in the community.

The scheme enables vulnerable adults to be a part of the community with the benefit of living with a carer who is there to help meet their needs.

Councillor Lesley Dedman, portfolio holder for adults and health, BCP Council said: “Shared lives is a wonderful scheme which supports the needs of the individual in a sympathetic home setting where they can become part of the household.

“The family members of the individual have the reassurance of knowing that the person is being treated well and respectfully - shared lives carers work with the family with regard to all aspects of the individual’s life.”

Julie Fellows, Shared lives manager said: “Shared lives carers provide so much for vulnerable adults who would benefit from their help in a supportive environment. We would encourage anyone considering becoming a carer, or who would like to find out more, to contact our Shared lives team.

“We can offer new carers training, support and regular updates to ensure they are comfortable and confident in their responsibilities. The responsibilities of looking after a vulnerable adult cannot be taken lightly but the benefits far outweigh any negatives.”

Jackie and Phil Hubble from Bournemouth have been shared lives carers for more than ten years. They care for three vulnerable young adults in addition to their own children who also have specific needs.

“We are passionate about the shared lives scheme,” they said.

“The benefits to the individual are huge. It’s very rewarding, not just for the people coming into your life, but for us as carers, too, by sharing part of their lives and supporting them.

“I would say to anyone who is considering becoming a shared lives carer, it’s a very rewarding job, but it does change the way you live your life – it’s a lifestyle change. You have to be the right person, but if you are, it can be incredibly rewarding – not just for yourself, but for the people you are looking after.”

Shared Care placements can be long-term, short-term, respite or day support and the level of care required depends on the needs of the individual.

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