Diane’s story – supporting people through Shared Lives
"All the Shared Lives carers are different, they bring wonderful different things, skills, hobbies and all the rest."
“I am the Shared Lives officer for Moray. When I started 9 years ago there was just me for the first few years, whilst the service was being developed. At the time, it felt like being plopped into the middle of the North Sea and being asked to swim … but what a swim it has been and a pleasure to be part of the Shared Lives story in Moray! We’re now remobilising after COVID-19. The journey through COVID-19 has been difficult but things are going really well.
I think the special thing about Shared Lives is the difference it makes every day, the passion of the carers, and the difference it makes to them too. Whilst the service was paused due to the pandemic, most of our carers volunteered their time to make sure the people they normally supported at Shared Lives were ok and to maintain relationships. Their dedication and compassion blew me away!
That’s the magic of it, all the staff and all the carers have what we call a ‘Shared Lives moment’. After starting with Shared Lives, people will say ‘I’ve had my Shared Lives moment today, guess what happened…’ and I just smile and say I knew it would happen.
Community connections is a big thing for the older people. People’s social circles shrink and to see them gradually spend time with a carer then going out to meet other people is special.
All the Shared Lives carers are different, they bring wonderful different things, skills, hobbies and all the rest. But I always say they all have the same drive and passion to make a difference to people whether it’s supporting someone with a learning disability or a person with dementia.
There are a lot of advantages to being a shared lives carer. I can promise people that anyone involved in the service will make a difference to people, that’s the essence of Shared Lives. I count myself as lucky to have this job. If I had seen the role of shared lives carer before I applied, then I would definitely have applied for that too!”
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