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Frequently asked questions

  • Is home share safe?
    At Shared Lives we work hard for everyone's safety. All applicants—providers and sharers—are extensively screened and vetted. Our robust background checks include police checks,, reference checks, identity checks, visa checks (if required), verification of supplied documents and face-to-face interviews. In keeping with our high quality safety standards, we only accept a small proportion of the home sharer applicants that we receive.
  • What is the difference between being a home sharer and a carer?
    They are completely different. Professional carers help with things like dressing, bathing and medication. Home sharers are not qualified to do these tasks and will not be asked to provide this form of support. Their contribution is purely about companionship and helping with some household chores. Depending on their individual circumstances, some home providers require in-home care as well. If this is the case, Shared Lives can help you access government-funded services and introduce you to trusted providers.
  • Why not just hire some help?
    Aside from the cost savings, the amazing thing about a home share is that participants often become friends. They find they have things in common and things that they can teach other. It can be so much more rewarding than living alone.
  • How long does it take to make a match?
    It varies. Matching the right people is our priority, rather than rushing into a match that might not work. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can start the process of finding out more about you and who would make a good match for you.
  • How long is the average home share arrangement?
    Because it is important for both parties to have some certainty, we always suggest a twelve month arrangement. In some cases the home share relationship will last for many years. If either of you decide to move on, we will support both parties through this time and will be there to help home providers find someone new.
  • What if it doesn’t work out?
    We make every effort to ensure that things will work out—from finding a suitable match and helping define both parties’ expectations, to keeping in frequent contact via visits, phone calls and the Shared Lives app. With this level of support, people usually live together very happily. It is possible, but very rare, for a home share arrangement to break down. If it does, we will find a new match for the home provider if that is what they would like. For our home sharers we will organise short term alternative accomodation. Everyone’s best interests are important to us and we will support all parties if this was to occur.
  • Where does Shared Lives operate?
    We currently work within the Banyule and Boorandara areas of Melbourne and will be expanding to more locations as the organisation grows.
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