Ealing Shared Lives Marks Twenty Years

Bringing adults with learning disabilities into a family

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For more information on Shared Lives and to find out how to become a carer, go to www.ealing.gov.uk and search for ‘shared lives’ or call 020 8825 5436.

ActonW3.com, ChiswickW4.com and EalingToday.co.uk

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A little-known scheme that gives support to adults with learning disabilities within a family home is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Ealing Shared Lives is currently used by 12 adults in the borough. Half live with local families on a long term basis as an alternative to living in a care home. The other half makes short term, or respite, visits. The philosophy behind the scheme is that the cared-for person becomes part of the family.

Past and present staff, carers and customers celebrated the scheme’s success with a party at Mencap’s Enterprise Lodge, Greenford on Saturday 3 August. As well as looking back on the last 20 years, the service used the party to appeal for more potential carers to come forward.

Carers can sign up to provide long term placements where the person lives with them as part of the family, or respite care which can range from a couple of days to overnight stays. No special qualifications are needed and training is provided. However, people must be willing to devote the time and energy needed to care for an adult with a learning disability.

Councillor Patricia Walker, cabinet member for health and adult services, said: “Shared Lives is wonderful and both cared-for adults and their carers tell us what a positive difference it has made to their lives. We are looking for more carers to sign up and I would encourage anyone who is interested to come forward and find out more.”


August 15, 2013