Julia's story

Woman sat in armchair with view of garden in the background.

Journey into a career in care

Julia became a Shared Lives carer after a career as an Occupational Therapist. When her children left home, Julia decided it was time for a career change and that she wanted a role that fulfilled her passion of caring for people.

Julia provides a one-to-one daytime and overnight short-term respite service and works with people with a range of physical and learning disabilities and complex needs, including dementia. She works out of her home in Braunstone that she shares with her husband, who works full-time as a headteacher. Julia's home is wheelchair accessible with a downstairs bedroom and level access wet-room shower. These facilities means that she is able to care for people with mobility difficulties.

The role of a Shared Lives carer

Julia receives referrals from the Shared Lives team. When she receives a referral, she reads through the information about the person who is looking for support and then decides whether to offer a placement. If she decides to progress the referral, the Shared Lives team organises an introductory meeting at Julia's home to help both parties decide whether to proceed. Julia then organises the placements directly with the person looking for support and their family.

This process means that Julia has flexibility to fit her work around her personal life. In a typical week, Julia provides daytime support for two days. She also provides three night respite long weekend breaks approximately every two months.

The flexibility of my role means that I can fit my work around my lifestyle and looking after my grandson.

Julia

As a Shared Lives carer, Julia's role is to support people to do the things that they love and to be as independent as possible during their stay. Many of the people that she supports enjoy spending time doing activities at Julia's home, such as craft, baking, gardening and listening to music. Other people enjoy going on trips to places such as the cinema and restaurants. Julia's role is to support people to make decisions about activities and then access them safely.

Julia's role also involves supporting people with practical tasks such as showering, using the toilet and managing medication. At all times, Julia is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the people that she is caring for. She is supported in her role through ongoing training courses and by her allocated Shared Lives Officer who she can contact when she has questions or concerns.

To be a Shared Lives carer, you need to see people as individuals and understand their needs.

Julia

Are you interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer?

Contact the team now! 0116 305 8133 / sharedlives@leics.gov.uk