Young homeless may be live-in carers

Older people’s charities have welcomed the possibility of
unemployed young people being given cheap accommodation with older
people in return for providing care.

Community care minister Stephen Ladyman put forward the idea in
advance of a green paper on adult services. He said schemes such as
those provided by Homeshare, which supports older people in their
own homes, could be extended nationally and centrally funded.

Ladyman said: “Why not encourage the home-sharing arrangements
which have started to build up with some of those young people in
return for subsidised rent, going and living with an older person,
doing a bit of shopping, and agreeing to spend a bit of time during
the week chatting to them, involving them in their lives? You do
something about the housing problem and the fact that young people
need a bit of help to obtain their first job, and you have got
somebody bringing a little bit of quality into an older person’s

Age Concern spokesperson Liz Hickey said such arrangements “could
have positive benefits for both parties if done properly.
Homeshares work well with the vetting process. As one option it
could be helpful. What needs to be in place are very vigorous
checks. Everybody who is put into older peoples’ homes needs to be

Action on Elder Abuse chief executive Gary Fitzgerald said: “We
have no problem in principle. You need to do the protective
measures such as vetting and monitoring. The general thrust of what
they are trying to do is to empower older people to have control
over their lives. I like the concept.”

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