What can you expect from your sharer?
A minimum of 10 hours support weekly in the form of practical support in addition to overnight presence.
Will the sharer provide personal care?
The sharers do not provide personal care as this is a regulated activity and they are not registered to provide these services.
If you require care support, you are entitled to a social care assessment through your local authority.
Cambridgeshire County Council contact details:
Suffolk County Council contact details:
Regulated activities Personal Care and Homeshare
Cambridge Homeshare does not provide personal care services. Please do not ask your sharer to perform any type of personal care for you. They are not professional Carers and are not allowed or expected to provide personal care. Any lifting (e.g. off the floor, in and out of chair/bed) should not be undertaken or expected from the sharer.
Should you require personal care, please make your own arrangements for this or speak to the Homeshare facilitator, who can signpost you to relevant agencies.
Personal care can cover, but is not limited to:
Bathing and showering, including bed-baths
Applying lotions and creams as required
Dressing and getting ready for bed
Help with getting into or out of bed
Any lifting (e.g. in and out of chairs, off the floor)
Applying make-up, and hair care
Support with shaving
Foot care, especially if you are diabetic need to be extra vigilant with your feet
Helping you to the toilet, including using a commode or bedpan
Changing continence pads, along with cleaning intimate areas
Support moving position in bed, to stretch and prevent bedsores
Changing or maintaining a stoma or catheter bag, or other forms of clinical intervention
Changing and washing bed linen
When will the sharer offer the 10 hrs service
It is important to understand and respect each other's needs and availability. Sharers will be people that are in full/part time employment or higher education, and as such their availability will be around their employment/education schedules.
Minimum periods of a homeshare & holidays
Homeshares work best if run for a period of no less than 6 months. Support will be available all along the agreement in the event that either the householder or sharer are not getting on with their living arrangements.
Cambridge Homeshare takes safeguarding seriously. Our safeguarding policy and procedures are available on request.
All sharers undergo a DBS and ID check.
References are also sought from employers or universities for all our sharers.
For the safety and welfare of our sharers, we also seek to find appropriate information from the householder regarding personal support needs and this may involve speaking to a family member, health official or social worker as part of the support/checks.
The Householder pays a one off fee of £100 when joining the scheme followed by a monthly fee of £100.
The cost covers expenses in vetting the preferred candidates and facilitating meetings with potential sharers.
Sharers are required to pay a one-off £150 registration and a monthly fee of £200 to cover the costs of monitoring and supporting the ongoing match for the lifetime of the match.
What do the monthly fees payable to Cambridge Homeshare cover?
The fees paid covers the cost of vetting prospective householders and sharers, setting up agreements, ongoing monitoring of the arrangements in place and helping to deal with any issues or disputes that may arise.
As you will appreciate, a lot of time and expertise is invested in setting up, running and monitoring the matches. This includes out of hours emergency support. We are a small not for profit community interest company (CIC) and and our existence is dependent on what we get from the matches and our ability to cover any associated costs.
Why not just have a carer?
Having a carer is the solution for you if you have significant care needs that require a regulated activity such as help with personal care.
Carers can be domiciliary carers (visiting carers) or live-in carers. The latter offers some consistency over short periods of time if a consistent care team is formed. Live-in care is also very expensive, costing over £1000 a week in most cases.
Domiciliary carers are not consistent in most cases due to the nature of the care industry. Domiciliary carers do not offer overnight presence and reassurance.
Homeshare will offer reassurance overnight and offers long term managed consistent companionship.
Having a companion reduces loneliness and increases security. Having someone to talk to and share a home with also gives families reassurance and can also work as an early warning monitor for changes in needs.
Council tax and home sharers
If the sharer is a full-time student, they are exempt from council tax and their moving in will not affect you if you are the home owner and you are not on any means tested benefits.
However, if the sharer is working then there is a possibility that, if you are claiming a single person 25% discount, you may lose this. The council may consider discretionary exemptions on a case by case basis.
However if you are on means tested benefits and you have another person living in your household this will affect your means tested benefits in a variety of ways, depending on the situation. You will need advice (probably via the Citizens Advice) to work out the potential effect on your benefits.
If as the householder, you are in rented accommodation you will need to ask for permission from your landlord to take in a ‘Lodger’ – which is what the sharer will be classed as.
Food and bills costs
The householder remains responsible for all household bills. The sharer and the householder should both contribute to food bills if sharing food. This can be discussed with both parties at setup.