What next for Shared Lives? Family-based support as a potential option for older people

Nadia Brookes, Lisa Callaghan (2013)

Journal of Care Services Management 7 3 87-94


Available online: 17 July 2014

With an ageing population and limited resources the challenge for policy makers and practitioners is how best to provide for the care and support needs of older people. This article draws on findings from two studies, a scoping study of the personalisation of care services and another which aimed to generate evidence about the potential use of family-based support schemes (Shared Lives, SL) for certain groups of older people. Forty-three schemes participated in a survey to gather information about services provided and the extent to which this included older people and their carers, and six staffs were interviewed across two schemes about issues for expanding provision for older people in their local areas. It was evident that SL schemes were already supporting a number of older people and there was support for expansion from both schemes and local authorities. Adequate resources, awareness raising, management commitment, and a pool of suitable carers would be needed to support any expansion effort. There is also still a need for SL to be more widely known and understood by care managers if it is to be considered part of mainstream provision for older people.