Dementia Care Best Practice - Share and Care

For Dementia Awareness Week from 20-26 May this year, the Housing LIN has gathered examples of where extra care schemes or other housing related community services have supported people with dementia to develop meaningful relationships to prevent unwanted social isolation or reduce loneliness.

The examples range from informal arrangements supported by staff or other residents as well as more formal service provision. Today’s example of best practice comes from Homeshare Organisation.

Share and Care Homeshare – a UK model that has been adapted for people living with dementia

Homeshare brings together people with spare rooms with people who are happy to chat and lend a hand around the house in return for affordable, sociable accommodation – see

In this example, in exchange for a low cost accommodation, a Sharer lives in the home of someone elderly and/or with a support need (such as dementia) and offers an agreed level of practical help each week in their spare time, (normally 10 hours a week) such as with shopping, cooking, light cleaning and miscellaneous practical help and errands, as well as giving the natural friendly companionship that comes from sharing a home.

 As well as the obvious benefits of Homeshare – nutritious home cooking, shopping, and other practical help around the home – the hidden benefits include reducing anxiety and loneliness, increased security, mental stimulation through conversation and shared meals, reduced chance of falls, better sleep, reassurance for families, and early warnings (eg the Sharer can alert the family if the person seems ill, or if they notice medication has been forgotten). Buying in this help on a 'per hour' basis can be very expensive, and often not possible.

The example attached shows how it has been used to support Jennifer who was living with dementia. Share and Care Homeshare Case Study

Homeshare arrangements normally support people in their own homes. However, the concept of Homeshare (and intergenerational living) can also work in Care Homes (taking pressure off staff and giving residents extra time, company and stimulation) and other forms of sheltered accommodation.

For more information contact Caroline Cooke and Amanda Clarke  at

Twitter @ShareandCareOrg

Note: To read this and other case studies, go to the full report on our 'Focus on Dementia' webpages at: Going the Extra Step. A compendium of best practice in dementia care

The views expressed in this feature have been provided by the featured organisations and are not necessarily those of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network. 

If you have any examples from your own organisation that you would like to share please send details to Katey Twyford and Wendy Wells, Housing and Dementia co-leads for the Housing LIN, . We will be developing a compendium of best practice examples to go on the Housing LIN website.