In celebration of Shared Lives Week 2020 Kathryn Yates, Shared Lives Area Manager at MacIntyre shares her thoughts on the importance of Shared Lives and reflects on the last 12 Weeks.
As we celebrate Shared Lives Week, MacIntyre want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to our amazing Shared Lives carers and reflect on the last 12 weeks and how it’s impacted us all.
The lockdown has amplified how important and incredible Shared Lives is. Shared Lives carers support people in their own homes and so for lockdown, it’s been a journey that they have experienced together and it’s fair to say it’s been a “corona coaster” with highs and lows for the people we support, their families and their Shared Lives carers.
Some of our carers support people who are medically shielding. They have gone into lockdown with that person. For one couple, this meant that he has been furloughed from work and as others start to carefully see their families again, they aren’t allowing their family and grandchildren to come to the house to make sure that the person is safe.
For some carers it has meant a change in the people they support to keep people safe. Three of our carers support a man who has dementia and his wife. They worked together to plan that just one carer would continue the support to reduce the risk of infection but also to keep some support and “normality”.
For some carers who usually offer day support, that has meant taking the support they offer a person onto a virtual platform. This means that they can be present and have moved their support from one day a week to video calls every day.
One Shared Lives carer has said that it can be exhausting. That she has had to be really high energy and positive because people have been down, to be that ray of sunshine that helps them feel hopeful. She has also had to work harder to “read” how people are feeling over video calls and coach people through anxiety. That it’s frustrating to spend support time stood in queues for shopping rather than actually with the person. She said that she is physically supporting the person for less hours but it can feel more intense.