After Elliot* was diagnosed with diabetes, his relationships and his mental wellbeing began to break down. Desperate for a fresh start and new place to stay, Elliot was introduced to Emma and Ben, two MacIntyre Shared Lives Carers. With support from Emma and Ben through respite care, Elliot is now thriving.
This is Elliot's story.
Elliot is 42 and has a learning disability. After years of poor dietary choices, including a large consumption of fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate with little interest in cooking for himself, Elliot was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
This diagnosis came as a shock to Elliot, which harmed his mental health as his relationship with his long term carer. Later, Elliot and his carer agreed to part ways and Elliot needed a place to stay.
It was then Elliot was matched with respite Shared Lives Carers Emma and Ben. Emma and Ben had worked as foster carers for over 25 years before deciding to offer support through MacIntyre Shared Lives.
Supporting Elliot to achieve
With Emma and Ben's years of experience, patience, encouragement and support methods, Elliot's mental health slowly improved.
Elliot was like a new man, he was taking part in activities he would usually shy away from, including activities with people from his supported living placement. He also began to learn to enjoy cooking, as well as encouraged to actively take time to enjoy his hobby … trains!
Speaking about being a Shared Lives Carer, Emma said:
“It can be a full-on role, but the reward of seeing someone flourish is huge. The Shared Lives scheme makes a huge difference to people's lives.”
“Elliot is not even aware of how much he achieved whilst being on respite for 10 weeks. You need to be a tolerant and patient person to succeed as a Shared Lives Carer, but the emotional rewards are huge and I’ve promoted Shared Lives wherever I go.”
In the future, Emma and Ben would love to continue supporting Elliot and helping him to live semi-independently. This is an outcome Elliot is working on.
*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals
Become a Shared Lives Carer
Interested in becoming a Shared Lives Carer? By joining one of our teams in Essex, Warrington or Bedfordshire and working from your own home, you could change the life of someone with a learning disability.
Head to our Shared Lives page for more information.