Home Sharing & Quality of Life – UBC Research Study

Study assesses home sharing and quality of life

“Living a Good Life” – Quality of Life and Home Share Study, Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship School of Social Work University of British Columbia

Prepared by: Dr. Rachelle Hole, Dr. Tim Stainton & Assunta Rosal

A study conducted by University of British Columbia researchers has concluded that home sharing can offer a good residential experience and positively impact an individual’s quality of life, when done well. While noting the importance of respecting individual choice, findings showed that overwhelmingly participants agreed that home sharing supported a strong quality of life.

Home sharing has become Community Living BC’s (CLBC) fastest growing residential option, serving more than 3,300 adults with developmental disabilities throughout the province. In light of this, CLBC continues to gather information to ensure that it meets the needs of the individuals we serve.

Research on home sharing is limited, so CLBC commissioned University of British Columbia’s School of Social Work researchers Dr. Rachelle Hole, Dr. Tim Stainton & Assunta Rosal to evaluate whether home sharing has resulted in improved quality of life for people served by CLBC.  The study  also evaluates how quality of life has been impacted by the move to home sharing from traditional models such as staffed residential arrangements. The findings of this report provide CLBC with evidence to guide decision making and to inform continuous quality improvement efforts.

Participants in the research were comprised of individuals accessing this service, home sharing providers and family members. There were thirty-two participants representing the experiences of twenty-five individuals with developmental disabilities who at one time had lived in a group home and at the time of the research lived in a home sharing arrangement.

The findings of this study revealed that individuals, home sharing providers and family member participants overwhelmingly agreed that home sharing was flexible, adaptive, and supported quality of life more effectively than group homes. For example, since moving from a group home to home sharing almost all (92 per cent) of the participants reported that the individuals’ personal competencies had changed, and 80 per cent stated that the individuals’ personal competencies had improved.

The study supports the view that when done well, in accordance with best practice guidelines, home sharing can offer a positive residential experience and positively impact the quality of life of individuals involved. The study does, however, emphasize that such outcomes are not a given and notes that home sharing has the same risks as other residential arrangements – risks that must be mitigated by  adhering to the core values of choice, self-determination and person-centred planning.

Click here to read the full study

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