Homeshare info. Home-help

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Hello, I am new to the forum and hoping to get advice, ideas and suggestions from members about my Home-share scheme.
Essentially the Home share scheme matches a young professional who volunteers 10hours / week of home help to the Home owner in return of use of their spare room. It is a mutually beneficial scheme, that enables people to remain at home for as long as possible.

I am a health care professional by background (and clearly lack expertise in marketing) and am looking for any suggestions to raise awareness about this scheme in and around London.

I have several registered Home-sharers from the public sector but am yet to find Home-owners that are keen to participate in the scheme. Any guidance would be really appreciated!

- Please note I am not advertising my scheme on this forum, I am only seeking guidance from members.
I can see the logic but .... would said homecare person be subject to the same checks and regulations as per careworkers employed , either through agencies / LAs / direct payment scheme ?

Any qualifications needed for the prospective homecare person in line with this field of work ?

Defintion of " Homecare " .... extended to assisting the home owner in personal matters akin to a careworker ? Or , merely one of the traditional butler / maid variety ?

Would said scheme be registered with a " Regulator " ?

If things go wrong , what recouse is there for the home owner ?

Just some initial thoughts ....
Hi Chris, you have raised some very important questions here. Safe-guarding is paramount.

I am fortunate to have significant formal experience in recruitment and health and social care settings.
Skilfully vetting and screening individuals is part of the application and interview process.
Vetting is robust including Enhanced DBS, referencing, ID checking. People are not matched until they clear compliance.
The scheme facilitates introductions and provides ongoing support once the match is created.

We select a very small percentage of Sharers (people who volunteer), people who meet our high quality and assurance standards.

We are very clear that our sharers are not carers and not trained or specialist in this area. Sharers generally work in the public sector.

For a lot of people and their family the benefits are not just practical help but companionship and overnight reassurance.

I am very privileged to be able to offer a service like this and could go on about all the benefits.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me directly.

For the other members, if anyone has advice regarding promoting this scheme, please get n touch.
One last point.

Price .... ?

Who pays ?

Bear in mind the target market ... I hope the very people who COULD benefit aren't to be excluded simply because they cannot meet the bill ?

Here in Worksop alone , around 1 in 10 have been identified as living alone and / or vunerable ... around 3,000. Many could well, benefit but .... ( 1 ) Price , and ( 2 ) " Professionals " available in this low wage locality ( aka Gulag ) ?

New beneficiaries suddenly appearing in an aged citizen's will to the exclusion of all others .... the words COMPOS MENTIS spring to mind if that person tends to avoid his / her doctor like the plague ?

Same can be said for visiting careworkers .... only needs a few to " Poison " one's view of the system ,and even good operators tarnished and branded as well as the bad ?

As the equivalent of human Swiss army knives , us carers are only too aware of what " Caring " entails. Will the homecare
professionals be as accomodating , or will there be " The Book " for both parties to know EXACTLY what services are to be provided , and expected ... in advance ?

An elderly gentleman in a wheelchair fancies a pint down the local ... will he be expecting the homecare person to oblige , and push him there ?

Or , the elderly lady fancying a trip to the local bingo hall .... first chance for a trip out for ... say .... 5 months ?

A potential minefield ... unless one does their homework ?
Hi Chris,

In answer to your questions,

The subscription is very reasonable, at £50 per month when a match is made, there is no upfront cost. There are also a number of subscription benefits including a free OT / Physio home visit, a responsive service 7 days a week, access to newsletter and discount offers to restaurants, tea rooms etc. It is a very comprehensive service and I have worked very hard to get it to the service to date.

The Sharers maybe professionals from any number of backgrounds. Currently I have a junior doctor and social worker registered through my scheme. Although they may have professional day jobs, they provide home-help and are not trained as carers. They provide 10 hours of weekly support for cleaning, housework, running errands, preparing meals. My emphasis is matching compatible people with similar interests, people who over time will forge meaningful relationships. In answer to your question Chris, if the Home-owner wants to return to Bingo and the Sharer can facilitate this, I think I have done my job well.
I have had many discussions with established international home-shares, and fostering these intergenerational friendships, often a younger person living with an older person is mutually beneficial to both parties, and provides a lot of reassurance to families.

Thanks for you questions Chris.

If any member on this forum has any advice or recommendations of how I can market this scheme to older adults, please get in touch.
I can't really see why the home owner would choose such a scheme instead of just taking in a lodger willing to chip in. Assuming the professional wishing to get accomodation is already employed and so their availability to perform these other duties would be significantly time restricted.
If you wanted a lodger , why would you be willing to pay £50 for an introduction fee? It would be easy enough to stipulate someone must provide references , etc before taking in a lodger.
Either someone needs a carer , a domestic or a companion but this seems to be a bit of a mish mash - sorry but can't see the potential- but then again whoever came up with the concept of Ebay all those years ago probably met similar sceptics.
I understand where Henrietta is coming from as for someone with complex needs may not be appropriate.

However, perhaps this scheme could be utilised for those which would otherwise need go supported accomodation?

I have made it clear to SW that as far as I'm concerned options for my caree are live at home (with me) or full residential care. Even if my caree was open to some sort of supported accomodation simply put that would be too much trouble for me organise, on basis may be there for too short period time before needing residential care. This may be harsh but this forum not for pulling punches.

So this scheme could offer my caree a chance to stay in the home for little longer. I can see time coming when I will need live elsewhere for my sanity (I 'threatened' this at recent sw review meeting :whistle: perhaps scheme like this could help in this situation where financial aspects are frankly least my concerns.
This is real thought provoking discussion, I really appreciate your feedback.

This is a very specialised service, and I agree it won't meet the needs of everyone.

The lodger is quiet different to the Sharer with regards to:
  • A Sharer has set tasks that they support with. This is reliable and regular support, and not on an adhoc basis as a lodger would do
  • A home-share agreement identifies the agreed Sharer tasks and when these are carried out
  • A Sharer commits to short term, medium term or long term help
  • A Sharer needs to spend 5-6 nights with the Home-owner, they can't just come and go as a lodger would do
  • The Sharers are interviewed and thoroughly vetted and screened for compatibity and safety. There is also a trial weekend which is facilitated. This safeguards the process.

    It is very much a service to alleviate isolation and loneliness. I strongly believe that many more older adults would benefit to such schemes.

    Thanks again for this discussion
I can see potential , perhaps in a post care situation when someone is rattling around in a big empty house feeling the need for another pair of practical hands, With my own caring situation, I can't see it being of any use- just more work and more to supervise, but as G Fraser said not for those with full on care needs.
Mmmmm .... any connection to Novus Homeserve or will you be in " Competition " ?

Certainly on the cost side alone , most elderly / vunerable people could not afford the fees they are quoting ... close to a third of the basic state pension ,,, and I doubt IF these fees are tax deductible .... ???

Seems to be a franchise operation .... personal touch would be missing from those in control ?

Another oddity .... my old favourite ... a charity ... not run on a business / profit making terms ???

Wikipedia entry for " Homeserve " .... said concept as been around in the USA since 1972 , and in the UK since 1993 :

Homeshare and the public policy agenda

Despite the fact that homeshare meets so many policy aims, public authorities have been slow to adopt it.

Some programmes are funded by government, for example in Australia, but others struggle with little or no public financial backing.

In part this may be policy makers’ lack of awareness but another factor may be the perceived risk of homeshare.

In the UK for example, policy makers are wary of enabling strangers to move in with vulnerable older people, even though there is no single documented case of abuse taking place. ( So far ? )

The cost of running homeshare programmes may be another factor that limits the spread of the idea, though there is ample evidence that homeshare can be very cost effective in meeting the needs of older people.

In the UK, Homeshare UK (part of Shared Lives Plus, formerly NAAPS (National Association of Adult Placement Services) supports the promotion and development of Homeshare schemes in the UK and ROI [1], with a membership of the 23 Homeshare programmes. In the USA, many homeshare programmes are affiliated with the National Shared Housing Resource Center.

Social care and related is full of holes.

Homeserve appears to plug a few gaps ... only time and feedback will tell ?

And cost ... what about the millions unable to afford the fees ?

For them , there is NO lifeboat !!!