Done right, shared living provides safety, security, and opportunities for personal growth and development that meet or surpass anything we’ve seen in 25 years of providing residential services to over a hundred individuals and families. But it has to be done right, and it all hinges on the relationship between the caregiver and the person being supported.
Spectrum’s shared living service matches individuals with full time caregivers. They share a home, living together as roommates or a family would. Caregivers come in all shapes and sizes. They are singles, couples or families. As with all our work, we welcome diversity.
Focus on finding the right match: Individuals in shared living are as different from one another as anyone else in our communities. They have unique strengths, interests and lifestyles. Shared living presents an opportunity for individuals to build relationships with caregivers whose lifestyle complements their own. We take great care in finding the right match, based first and foremost on the person’s strengths, interests and abilities, not their disability. For someone who loves the outdoors, finding caregivers who have an active lifestyle would be a priority. Someone with a passion for music might gravitate towards other musicians, and thrive in an environment filled with music. Spectrum attracts applicants from all walks of life, with varied skills and experiences, who wish to share their life and interests with someone with a disability. We provide a thorough orientation and ongoing training to ensure that caregivers are fully equipped to provide effective support consistent with the individual’s overall support plan. However, the most successful shared living arrangements are grounded in relationships built on common interests, values and lifestyles. The “how to’s” of supporting the person’s disability-related needs are relatively easy to address once that foundation is established.
Caregivers undergo an intensive screening process, that includes a criminal record search, medical clearance, reference checks, interview by the person with a disability and his or her family, and detailed home study with questions about lifestyle, personal supports, values and family dynamics.
There are many reasons why so many people have chosen this model over traditional staffed residential support, but the most important seems to be the opportunity for building an authentic, reciprocal relationship with a caregiver or family who genuinely want to share their life with the person. When we get this right, everything else starts to fall into place. People with long histories of challenging behaviour suddenly start to settle down because they’re living with someone they’ve chosen to live with, who listens to and respects them, in a home that truly feels like home. People’s health improves, under the watchful eye of a caregiver who knows the person intimately, sees them every day, and can attend to things that might get missed in a group home with a revolving door of staff coming through.
If you are interested in applying to share your home with someone, complete this basic application. We will review this application and may ask you complete this more detailed caregiver application. Most of our shared living arrangements are funded by Community Living BC. Their website has a Home Share section that provides lots of information.
Shared Living Contacts:
|Anne Maria Fulop||604-323-1433 x firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sarah Woollacott||604-323-1433 x email@example.com|
Personal and Family Assistance Program for Shared Living Providers
We have contracted with LifeWorks to provide an assistance program for Shared Living providers and their families.
LifeWorks is an exciting and innovative well-being solution that includes access to a confidential Family Assistance Program (FAP), valuable savings and discounts, and a private social and communication platform.
LifeWorks can provide qualified emotional and practical support, available 24/7, over the phone, online and on the mobile app. LifeWorks can support your mental, physical, social and financial well-being, any time, day or night, whenever you need the support.
- 24/7 access by mobile app (iOS and Android) and online (login.lifeworks.com)
- 24/7 access to professional LifeWorks advisors for advice, support, and referrals
- 24/7 access counseling for immediate short-term support
- Referrals to counselors, as well as to other specialists including coaches, and financial and legal professionals
- Connections to organizations and agencies in your community to help you address specific needs
There is also a video that provides you with an overview of what is available through this assistance program:
Talk to your manager for more information.