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
    life.”

    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
    vetted.”

    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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