“You help someone blossom as a Shared Lives carer, and they help you blossom too,” said carer Sue Cashmore.
“They just become a part of the family.”
Sue, of Shiregreen, has been caring for adults in her own home for over 20 years.
The 59-year-old is 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,” she said.
“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 has joined Sheffield City Council in appealing for more people to become Shared Lives carers; given training and ongoing support for a carer’s fee of £400-£450 per week, or £65 for a night’s respite care.
Visit Shared Lives for more details.