Lynda's story

Journey into a career in care

Lynda has been a shared lives carer since 1995. She currently supports four people; Peter, Claire, Rachael and Helen, who live with her and her husband in their home in Whitwick. Lynda was inspired to become a Shared Lives carer by her experience of working as a cleaner at a residential home for adults with learning disabilities. This experience gave her an insight into the care sector and the way that care professionals support people with physical and/ or learning disabilities. With the support of her husband and wider family, Lynda decided to open her home and become a self-employed care professional with the Shared Lives scheme.

When Lynda first started as a Shared Lives carer, she did not intend to have people living with her full-time or on a long-term basis. However, over time Lynda and her family developed strong bonds with the people that they were supporting. They decided to invite them to stay on long-term basis.

Being a Shared Lives carer is about allowing people to be who they are.

Lynda

The day in the life of a Shared Lives carer

Each of the people that Lynda supports has their own bedroom and together they share their own living room, separate from the rest of the household. This setup provides privacy and enables Peter, Claire, Rachael and Helen to live independently.

Lynda's role is to support the people she cares for to carry out everyday tasks and to do the things that they love. This involves teaching life skills, such as cleaning, cooking and personal hygiene. It also involves encouraging people to be active members of their community. For example, Lynda supports Peter to attend church every Sunday. Lynda also supports people to find work and voluntary opportunities. Peter, Claire, Rachael and Helen also access day services in the week. These activities enable people to make friends, build their confidence and maintain their independence. They also give Lynda a break from her work as a carer.

When Rachael first came to stay with us, she was very shy. I have seen her flourish into an independent and confident woman. She loves fashion and is always experimenting with different hair colours! It has been really rewarding to see her progress.

Lynda

As part of her role, Lynda is responsible for maintaining records, such as records of the medication that she prompts people to take, and following procedures, such as risk assessment processes, that are designed to help keep people safe. Lynda is also responsible for liaising with the families of the people whom she supports and health and social care professionals, such as GPs or social workers. For example, Lynda is responsible for reporting changes in a person's health or wellbeing.

My role is very challenging because I am responsible for balancing the need to keep people safe with empowering them to do what they enjoy and be independent.

Lynda
Career timeline

2016 - present

Director - day service for adults with learning disabilities

1995 - present

Shared Lives Carer

2009

Awarded MBE for services to adults with learning disabilities

1991-1992

Shop owner - sweet shop business

1990 - 1991

Account assistant - engineering company

1985 - 1990

Cleaner - residential care home

1983 -1985

Milk deliverer - milk delivery service

1970 - 1983

Cleaner - various locations

1969 - 1970

Factory assistant - underwear factory

1969

Left school with no qualifications

In 2009, Lynda was awarded an MBE for her services to adults with learning disabilities.

Inspired by her experience as a Shared Lives carer, Lynda founded a day service in 2016. The service, which is ran from the family's farm, supports adults with learning disabilities to learn new skills and access meaningful work and activities.

Are you interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer?

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