Local authority launches new scheme to provide at home care

Due to the shortages of care home staff and the soaring costs of living, Cornwall Council have launched a new programme to match people who need some care at home with people who need somewhere to live.

Established in September 2022, the Supportmatch Homeshare scheme puts people together to make a living arrangement that provides support for both parties.

man in gray jacket standing near window

As a result of the current cost of living pressures, the scheme is helping people who are both mentally and finically struggling.

In partnership with Cornwall Council, the service carries out extensive safeguarding checks before making a match. The company said people are expected to contribute 10-15 hours of practical help and companionship per week in exchange for discounted rent rates.

Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Cornwall Council said the programme addressed the ‘two big issues in Cornwall’ – a shortage of care staff and the housing crisis.

Mr Virr said: ‘For the individual there’s independence and being able to continue living in their own home, and for individuals looking for much cheaper rent there’s an opportunity to get this in a really innovative way.’  

Earlier this year, Cllr Phil Mason revealed the local authority was struggling to move people into permanent homes following the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the council was facing major budget pressures and that the number of family groups in temporary accommodation was around 700.

Additionally, the current cost-of-living pressures have resulted in thousands of people not being able to afford their homes, especially since the Bank of England announced mortgage rates will be increasing.

Last month, Cornwall Council shared a story about how their scheme has helped an 84-year-old woman living in Par. The elderly woman has recently lost her husband and due to her son working in Germany, she felt she needed some emotional assistance at home.

Her son, David, said: ‘My mum can dress herself and she can cook so she doesn’t need permanent care, the idea of having someone stay with my mum, to help her with shopping, financial things and communicate with me, was just the perfect situation.’

Photo by Sava Bobov


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