- Supporting people to contribute and do things they enjoy
- New models of care and support with accommodation
Cloud Nine Facilitating Older People Home Sharing Together
At Cloud Nine we want to create a new choice for later life – eliminating some of the worry and ensuring that our future years can be meaningful, enjoyable and easier than what is often experienced. We measure success in human terms. Our ultimate goal is to support and protect the most fundamental things we value in later life: our independence, our purpose, our safety and enjoyment of life. We work with housing associations, county and district councils, charities and national organisations to facilitate older people Home Sharing together with ongoing support.
What is the innovation
Home Share between older people is a new housing and care option designed to help reduce loneliness and increase well being and quality of life. It involves older people living together in order to keep their independence in a home of their own, giving companionship – ensuring that there’s somebody there and saving money through shared living costs. Cloud Nine manages and arranges the whole Home Share process. Working with housing associations who provide the housing, we identify and match the sharers, arrange all references and meetings and agree a home agreement between the sharers on how they would like to live together. We’re in contact with the sharers through regular face to face visits and at the end of the telephone. We arrange any help they need e.g. gardening or personal care and facilitate things they’d like to do for a better quality of life. Following the set up of Home Shares, we introduce different Home Shares to each other, helping them form a self managed community.
What is the problem this innovation solves
Many older people feel lonely and socially isolated because of their lack of visitors and low-quality relationships with other people. They are more likely to experience it when alone in the evening and at weekends, when there is a perception that other people are enjoying time with a partner or family. Home Share aims to address the growing imbalance of time older people spend on their own and time with meaningful social connections.
It has the potential to be an effective and sustainable response to several key social issues and policy challenges, including tackling loneliness, helping an ageing population stay in a home of their own for longer, freeing up housing stock and relieving council social care and NHS budgets.
Each Home Share is unique and based on how the sharers would like to live their life. Home Share enables companionship with someone of similar age and interests 24 hours a day and long term. Savings are made through shared living costs, freeing up money for an improved quality of life. Ongoing support provides help arranging things and acting as a third party to oversee a fair and equally rewarding friendship.
The Home Share model is designed to be person centred, practical and sustainable. Each sharer pays a monthly contribution which covers the ongoing support they receive and running of the scheme. The financial contribution still ensures there is an overall cost saving to the sharers compared to living on their own or other high cost alternatives such as sheltered or residential housing; creating a win:win scenario and ensuring the scheme is affordable to all.
6% to 13% of people aged over 65 living in the UK said they felt lonely all or most of the time. With an ageing population the number of people feeling lonely is growing. Researchers concluded that loneliness is more harmful than obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day and that loneliness is inflicting a cost of £32bn on the British economy every year.
There is currently no formal academic research to underpin the difference Home Share makes as this is a new scheme. Case studies show the difference Home Share is making to those participating through observation and direct feedback from the sharers. Measurements through ONS National Wellbeing Indicators show a consistent improvement in personal wellbeing from 38% to 186% as a result of companionship and ongoing support.
Older people feeling they have purpose and the ability to live the life they want to. Living in a safe and happy home with close formed friendships, being active and valued members of communities and knowing they have a channel of support they can call upon.
Cloud Nine finished piloting Home Share in Dursley in early 2021, specifically targeting older people classed as homeless. More housing and opportunities are being made available in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire to extend the scheme in partnership with local councils and Housing Associations.
What would councils/healthorganisations/localareas need to do or have in place to enable it to develop?
Form working partnerships with Cloud Nine to help Home Share become a noticed option for older people to consider.
What would kill it?
Lack of support and/or promotion from Local Authorities and local Health and Social Care professionals. Lack of engagement by older people.