What is Shared Living?
Shared living is an arrangement of services provided in the private home of a participant, or a family, in which care is provided to a participant. Shared Living is meant to provide a more person centered approach to supports that are offered to a participant where the participant and the shared living provider share a life.
Shared living is really built on the foundation of life sharing, developing natural supports, and being an active member of the community. The host home provider/companion shall provide services, including assistance, support, and guidance, in life domain areas such as daily living, safety and security, community living, healthy lifestyle, social and spirituality, and citizenship and advocacy.
Shared living can take several different forms from the participant living in the home of the host home provider to a companion living in the home of the participant to provide support. Companions and host home providers can be college students, families, single people, couples, empty nesters. The shared living provider can be anyone over the age of 21 who wants to share a life and provide supports to an individual with a disability. A shared living provider can support up to two participants at any given time.
Shared living is an option for any person with a disability who is interested in this type of living environment and is eligible for services in a HCBS waiver though the Department of Human Services. When considering shared living the participant and their ISP team should discuss what a good life for the participant looks like, what they donâ€™t want, their support needs, current and needed life experiences. This is a great opportunity for the team to use the Life trajectory Worksheet found at Lifecoursetools.com
Benefits of Shared Living
Participants have greater access to individualized person centered supports in an environment that is more home like.
Participants have more opportunities to develop natural supports and be active members of the communities where they live.
Participants have more consistency and stability in the supports that are provided and who provides them. There is extensive matching between the participant and the companion/host home.
Provider agencies can address staff turnover and the number of open positions within an agency. With shared living the participant is living in a private home where there is one person providing support. There is no need for multiple shifts with multiple staff.
Provider agencies can reduce their overhead but not needing to provide a location for residential services to be provided