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What is Shared Lives?


Shared Lives is a way of providing accommodation, care and support for vulnerable adults. It used to be known as ‘Adult Placement’. There are Shared Lives schemes all over the UK but locally an independent charity called Shared Lives South West delivers Shared Lives in  Cornwall, Plymouth, Torbay and Devon.

In Shared Lives, accommodation, care and support are provided in the ordinary family homes of carefully selected, trained and supported Shared Lives carers.  To see how Shared Lives works in practice please click thevideos link on the left.

Shared Lives is all about one household sharing their lives, families, home, interests, experience and skills with other people who need some help and support to live their life to the full.

People use our services because they have additional support needs. This might be because they have a learning disability, are on the autism spectrum, have mental health problems or needs related to older age (including dementia), are vulnerable parents, or have other needs – or any combination of these.  Shared Lives can support people from the age of 16 to 116 – there is  no upper limit!

We work closely with our carers, the people who use the service and supporting agencies. Our carers are assessed, trained and supported by specialist staff who do the initial assessment and provide ongoing training, as well as setting up arrangements with people looking for services.

Shared Lives works because it is delivered in the local community by the local community and because…

  • …it is delivered by highly motivated and experienced people who do it because they love to see the huge difference they can make to someone’s life.
  • …it means people can live independent lives without having to be alone.
  • …it is based on friendship, love and caring.

Shared lives works because it is a way of life not a job.

This is how Peter Sheppard who lives with Shared Lives carers in Cornwall has summed up Shared Lives and Shared Lives South West

Peter Sheppard poster web