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Kent County Council's Shared Lives scheme supports unpaid carers in the county

By Lauren Abbott

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We all need a break sometimes.

And that is especially important for those who are unpaid carers to enable them to continue looking after and supporting a friend or family member.

Kent Shared Lives, run by Kent County Council, can provide an alternative personalised break for eligible people with a range of different needs.

Unpaid carers can get additional support from Shared Lives
Unpaid carers can get additional support from Shared Lives

It is designed to be a real home from home service where approved hosts can take care of people with learning disabilities or difficulties, older people, those with dementia, mental health problems, sensory impairment, Autism or Asperger's.

Someone sharing a home with an approved host is given a safe and supportive environment where they can bring their own things and be supported in their hobbies, activities or interests.

Shared Lives offers a home from home experience
Shared Lives offers a home from home experience

From the homes of KCC approved hosts the Kent Shared Lives scheme can offer:

Short Breaks: Where a loved one would stay with a host for a couple of days or weeks at a time or longer if required.

Day Support: Which is based at the host’s home and can be on any given day of the week or time of the day and one session is up to five hours.

Long Term Care: Offered by Shared Lives and often an option for the future when someone's carer is unable to provide support. In these cases individuals would move in with a host and live as part of the family.

Hosts welcome people into their homes to give unpaid carers a break
Hosts welcome people into their homes to give unpaid carers a break

Kent County Council has a wide range of Shared Lives hosts around the county ranging from single people to couples and families who have availability to welcome someone into their lives.

Shared Lives is regulated by the Care Quality Commission and staff will always make sure everyone is happy with the chosen arrangement before it begins and regular checks are made to ensure everything is working well.

A referral from a care/case manager or social worker will be required to be considered for the scheme. To find out more please contact the team through facebook @kentsharedlives

via the website www.kent.gov.uk/sharedlives or telephone 03000 412400.

* Carers Week is taking place between June 11 and 17. For further details visit the website www.carersweek.org

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