HELPING OTHERS: Darren and Jackie Kingswood help care for two adults in their home in Huttoft
A Lincolnshire couple are throwing open the doors of their home to adults who need special care.
Darren and Jackie Kingswood are both from a caring background, having worked in care homes for people with learning disabilities.
They enjoy their new kind of family life so much that they are encouraging others to get involved and share the rewards of helping others in need of care.
It is part of Lincolnshire-based Adults Supporting Adults through a scheme called Shared Lives.
The scheme promotes independence and choice. It can offer respite to family carers, short breaks as well as full-time care and support in the community.
Mr and Mrs Kingswood permanently look after two adults with specific needs full-time in their Huttoft home.
They initially offered respite care when they first started with the scheme in 2004.
Darren said: “It is something we just do – it just feels right for us to do this.
“The best thing we get from this is seeing the progression.
“Everyone who knows them have seen the difference in them over the time they have been here.”
Adults Supporting Adults has around 50 people offering shared lives in Lincolnshire, with East Lindsey being one of the biggest areas which has taken up the service.
Along the Lincolnshire coastline there are a number of shared lives arrangements offering respite, short breaks and full-time care.
Darren said: “We found the process really good. We attended a three-day training course where we got to meet other people also doing the same as us.
“Everything is done gradually to make sure the right carers are matched up with those needing our care.”
The couple have also helped secure employment for one of the adults in their care, who enjoys working at Butlins and at Seagull recycling in Skegness.
Jackie said: “His independence and confidence has grown so much. He has progressed a lot in the time he has been with us.
“We also go swimming regularly which they enjoy.
“They are part of our family life. We go for meals out, help with household chores and they are there for Christmas and birthday celebrations.”
Darren added: “The real reward is in seeing the progress.
“We do not see it as we’ve given anything up – it seems the natural thing to do.”
Dean Barnshaw, operations manager at Adults Supporting Adults, said they were always looking for more families to help adults living in their community.
Anyone interested does not need to have previous experience in care.
He said: “There will always be a need for residential care, but changes in the economic climate which are affecting adult social care makes schemes like this as a real viable option, with other similar schemes across the country doubling in size due to changes in the economy.
“You don’t have to have previous experience of care or social care to get involved. All you need is to share the same values and the desire to be part of a unique and special service.”
To find out more, visit www.asaorg.co.uk
Read more: http://www.eastlindseytarget.co.uk/Opening-home-just-rewarding/story-26039338-detail/story.html#ixzz3TUsCXKvM
Follow us: @ELindseyTarget on Twitter | EastLindseyTarget on Facebook