Sharing your home plea for vulnerable adults

A new drive to encourage people to provide support to vulnerable adults in their own home is being launched by the City of Edinburgh Council.

The ‘SharedLives’ scheme is looking for individuals and families in the local community to offer accommodation and support for one or up to two vulnerable adults.

Carers are needed for both long and short term accommodation and transition care for people with a learning disability who are unable to live independently.

A special event is being held in the City Chambers on Wednesday 10 April where the public can find out more about how they can support a vulnerable adult in their home.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health and Wellbeing Convener, said: "This Council is committed to ensuring Edinburgh is well cared for and adults with learning difficulties are often among our most vulnerable citizens.

"Carers come from all walks of life and can be single, couples or families with children. It is an extremely rewarding role and next month’s session is a really good way for people who are interested in helping vulnerable adults finding out more information about exactly what it entails."

Potential carers will go through an assessment process and are assigned a SharedLives worker who will make a number of home visits to allow them to meet everyone in the household. Training is also provided.

The event at the City Chambers on Wednesday 10 April is on from 10am to 1pm.

Anyone interested can come along between those times, contact the Council on 0131 200 2324 to find out more information or go to www.edinburgh.gov.uk/sharedlives

CASE STUDY: BRIDGET AND ANN

Bridget Gordon of North East Edinburgh has been a carer with SharedLives for over 15 years.

She said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed what I do from the day I started. I used to work in the care sector and you're trying to help so many people with no time to chat but that's what people want.  As a SharedLives Carer you're able to get to know the person so well, do things together and they become part of the family. To build up trust with someone, and see them begin to settle and doing things they want to – even helping out with the hovering is nice to see. The job satisfaction of doing this is top of the list!"

Bridget said the recruitment process is crucial and helpful. For potential carers it helps them to think things through and be honest about how they might feel about different situations. It covers all eventualities and gives you time to make sure it's for you and you're ready for the commitment.

Ann has been staying with Bridget since last summer. Bridget said: "I chose to have Ann live with me. It’s the wee things we do together, like baking, celebrating her birthday and going on holiday that make such a difference to Ann." After going to a concert recently, Ann shouted out: "It was fabulous!".

Bridget feels she has brought family into Ann's life by getting to know Bridget's sisters, nieces and nephews and in supporting Ann to have email contact with her brother who lives abroad.

"It's getting to know the individual and what's important to them that's the key - for example, Ann has to have her routines. I love a challenge and if we get to a hurdle I think 'How can we cope with this? '. When all's well in Ann's world she has the following saying: 'We're cooking with gas!'."


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