I have many years’ experience of supporting people with learning and physical disabilities, in their own homes, in Persona’s Learning Disability Day Service, in an education setting and in supported volunteer settings.
Mo, the Registered Manager, suggested I join the panel. She knew that I had been looking at the possibility of people supported by the learning disability service also using the Shared Lives scheme during evenings and weekends. I have also had 35 plus years' experience of Shared Lives from a personal perspective as my mum is a carer and it was a normal part of my extended family life.
My role on the panel is to look at the applications from potential Shared Lives carers, share my views on the application with other panel members and to discuss the suitability and compatibility of them supporting people who are looking for Shared Lives care.
When looking at the applicants I think it is important to get a feel for the person’s ‘all roundedness’; it is not about big qualifications and having a perfect house. We look at what the carer can offer the person they might be supporting and their overall compatibility. We look at their interests, why they want to be carers and how they feel they will make people comfortable and get enjoyment out of their time with people they might support.
The panel really is so important; everyone comes with different views and questions, so we can get a wider perspective of the application. We can discuss and ask questions in a safe space until we all agree whether the applicant is able to become a Shared Lives carer. People we support (like ) are also on the panel to help us focus on what sort of service the people who use the scheme are looking for.
I would like to think that my work on the panel has a positive impact on both the applicant and people we support; I am a fair person, non-judgemental and always strive to see the positives. I have a good appreciation of what a happy and full lifestyle can be with people who care and who . This is the goal that I have in mind when I am looking at the application and I try to convey this to the other panel members.
I feel that Shared Lives is special because people we support are matched up with a carer who suits their lifestyle, their interests, hobbies, even the pace of how they go about their daily living. Once they’re matched, people share their time together in more of a natural way because they are matched at the application stage.
Read more about becoming a carer and the application process .
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