This year, the crisis in social care has been sharply brought into focus – there is a £2.3 billion a year hole in England’s elderly care home system. A 20% shortfall in council funding is needed to look after nearly 200,000 people aged over 65 in care and nursing homes.
Homeshare is a preventative solution that allows householders to remain living at home for longer. The practical help they receive around the house from homesharers, as well as the reassurance of an overnight presence, prevents the need for full-time live-in care. It is important to stress that there is no care giving in a Homeshare arrangement, though Homeshare – sometimes alongside domiciliary care – allows householders to stay in their homes for longer, at a greatly reduced price for themselves, their families, and local authorities.
Joyce and her husband Dan originally came to Homeshare Gloucestershire in August 2019, having been signposted by the Social Prescriber at their GP Practice. They were in their late 80s and early 90s, and despite already having some support in place, found that they needed the extra reassurance and support a Homeshare arrangement provides.
Over the years, Joyce has had three different homesharers, all with whom she had built long-lasting relationships; having a trusted homesharer live with her was particularly important when Dan sadly passed away.
Joyce very much enjoys the companionship of having a homesharer. Between herself, her homesharer, her Carer, and the rescued cat (which the second homesharer helped her get), the house is full of joy and laughter. Joyce is particularly grateful for being looked after so well, whilst her current homesharer, Camelia, is delighted to be living with such a lovely householder.
Joyce’s family describe it best: “The support the three homesharers have provided Mum has been invaluable, way beyond what you might expect for the modest cost of the scheme. You don’t realise until you see it just how helpful it is to have an able-bodied person on site. Whether it is unloading the washing machine, driving into town or organising deliveries, the little things that make daily life easier can make a huge difference to the quality of life of the older person. There is also the social aspect, our Homesharers have all had courses or jobs to go to, and have come back at the end of the day with something to talk about.
“I don’t know if we have been particularly lucky with our Homesharers, or if they are all this good, but we have found that the help they have provided over the years has been way in excess of our expectations. The previous two Homesharers may have moved on, but we count them as family friends and they still visit regularly.”
In Homeshare both parties feel as if they are giving back to the community. Householders provide safe and affordable accommodation to homesharers, whilst homesharers provide companionship and low level support to householders.
To find your local Homeshare provider please visit our find your provider map.