“You help someone blossom as a Shared Lives carer, and they help you blossom too. They just become part of the family…”
That’s the view of carer Sue Cashmore, 59 years old from Shiregreen, who has been caring for adults in her own home for around 20 years. She’s part of the Shared Lives scheme, a community-based approach to supporting adults, where ordinary people open up their home and lives to support people through respite or live-in care.
Three adults with learning disabilities live with Sue, along with her husband and teenage daughter, and Sue says the experience has been good for all of them:
“You develop relationships with people. And if they are comfortable coming to you and you enjoy having someone in your home, you just feel good.
“The people who we support are all independent in their own way. They don’t all need 24/7 care and they’ve got their own thoughts and feelings. They do what they want to do, and you’ve got to encourage that.
“You’re not just helping them though – it brings out your own personality a bit more. They bring out the best in you and you bring out the best in them. And I think my daughters are better people for having people with learning disabilities live with us – they get a better understanding of things.”
Sue joins Sheffield City Council in calling for more people to become a Shared Lives carer. People are given