Homeshare: supporting people living with dementia

For people living with dementia, homeshare arrangements are a popular choice that provide positive experiences, and are particularly beneficial during the early stages, before crisis point is reached.

In fact, people living with dementia are among those most likely to benefit from homesharing, and dementia is also one of the primary drivers for seeking a match, as reported by the Homeshare Association (2023) report.

How homeshare supports people with dementia:

Works seamlessly with care packages

Homeshare arrangements can work wonderfully on their own, or seamlessly alongside personal care for householders who need a little extra support.

Background support with daily tasks

The support that sharers provide is less intrusive than many support arrangements, yet it enables people with dementia to continue living independently and following their usual routines in the familiar environment of their own home.

Sharers pledge 15 hours of support per week offering companionship and help with practical tasks. They can also provide prompts and reminders – such as to take medication, or what is in the diary on a particular day.

Sharers are friends

Many sharers move in on the understanding that they are a friend of the family, and as sharers give their support in the manner of a friend, it makes accepting help much easier.

Furthermore, because sharers and householders are carefully matched for similar interests, strong, life-long friendships are formed which can be of great comfort.

Circle of support

Homeshare is a circle of support; it is not a case of just one side benefitting from the living arrangement. The householders living with dementia are supporting their sharer in different ways too which can feel very rewarding.

Increases confidence

Homeshare is well-recognised for reducing loneliness and isolation, and it also significantly improves confidence and reduces anxieties. By having a sharer sleeping in the home overnight, homeshare provides a sense of safety and security which is reassuring for older people.

Couples as well as individuals

There are many examples where one, or even two people homeshare with an older couple, which works just as well as it does for individuals. This will often be in situations where one partner has been diagnosed with dementia.

It may be a case that the person with dementia needs some practical support, while the other partner may benefit more from the moral support of a sharer.

A better choice

There may be times when people simply do not need residential care, or live-in carers, yet they can often be pushed down that route because it’s considered the only option.

Homeshare is a proven alternative and, in many instances, it can be a better suited choice for people with dementia.

Family friends

Whilst sharers often become firm friends with their householder, equally, sharers become great friends with the householder’s family too.

Families find it incredibly reassuring to know that there is someone looking out for their loved one when they are unable to be there, particularly if they live some distance away.

  • Social Care
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