Shared lives carer

Shared Lives care is a support service for adults who have a long-term condition and want to live independently in their community alongside someone else in a supportive house-share. 

Role overview

You’ll choose who you support, and your local Shared Lives scheme will take care to match you with someone with shared interests, lifestyle and sense of humour. There are a variety of people you could support:

  • an older person living with dementia
  • a young person in transition from foster care
  • someone with a learning disability or physical impairment
  • someone living with mental health needs
  • someone who is leaving hospital but not quite ready to go home.

How much support you provide is flexible, with options including:

  • full-time, with them living in your household
  • day support, support someone for a few hours/days at a time
  • for short breaks and respite – overnight stays, weekend visits, or maybe a week or two.


Skills and experience

You will need to be practical, sociable and patient. Your empowering personality, caring nature, and willingness to help someone explore new opportunities are more important than your previous experience.

Don’t worry if you’ve never provided this sort of support before. There are lots of training opportunities to support you. Your local Shared Lives scheme will offer you training and support and you’ll have a dedicated support worker to talk to and celebrate your successes.


To become a Shared Lives carer, you will need to have a Shared Lives carer assessment. Visit to be signposted to your local Shared Lives scheme.

You may also find vacancies through your local council.

Shared Lives carers are self-employed. If you support someone full-time you’ll receive a fee between £350-£650 per week.

Find out more about other roles

Case studies

  • Phil Hodgson
    Phil is a business support office for Shared Lives South West.
  • Teresa Walker
    Teresa is a shared lives carer with Shared Lives South West.

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