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Unsung caring heroes honoured
10:36am Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
THE unsung heroes of caring are being honoured this week.
This week marks the National Shared Lives Week and Dorset County Council is saying a big thank you to the carers who make a difference in our communities.
The scheme has come to be called “the best kept secret in adult social care” and many people who would otherwise be living in a residential home, have benefited from the initiative and enjoy a normal family life where they are treated with respect and dignity.
'Shared Lives' is for adults who cannot live on their own without help and support because of physical or learning disabilities, mental health needs or because they are older and have become frail.
It offers them the opportunity to live with families who can give them the support and encouragement they need to live as independently as possible.
In Dorset there are 60 dedicated Shared Lives Carers who have been approved to provide support in their own homes, out in the community or in the homes of people who need extra help and support at home.
Geraldine Hooton has been a Shared Lives carer for the past seven years. As well as looking after older people with dementia, she also offers people with learning disabilities a place to stay if their family or carers needs a break.
Geraldine said: “Being a Shared Lives carer enriches my life tremendously and keeps me focussed.
“I enjoy the many various aspects of being a carer, and it is very rewarding to see the difference you make in someone's life.”
Jill Haynes, Cabinet member for adult social care at Dorset County Council, said: “I am very proud of this innovative and successful scheme and full of praise for the commitment shown by the carers who make it all possible.“Being a Shared Lives carer is a big commitment and requires a lot of patience, understanding and hard work. Carers are paid an allowance but mostly the reward is the satisfaction that they are helping a person with disabilities and enhancing their quality of life”.
“We have carers from all walks of life, people who have a background in social care and people who simply believe in the right of others to live full lives whatever challenges they may face.”
If you are someone who could welcome and support a vulnerable person into your home, then Dorset County Council's Shared Lives team would like to hear from you. You can call them on 01308 422234.
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