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Considering a live-in carer

Posted on 28/10/2016

There may come a time when a parent or family member needs more care and support, which can’t be delivered by a paid carer coming in a couple of times a day.

When round-the-clock care is required, there are a number of options that you can explore. For example, your parent or family member might consider residential care, from supported living accommodation through to relocating to a care home.  For many people, they think that this is the only option for an elderly parent of family member who can no longer cope at home alone.

However, there is another option. Many older people prefer to stay in their own environment as long as possible, and being at home can help them to stay more independent, as well as more active, alert and comfortable. A live-in carer can be a very good alternative to a care home – your relative will still benefit from having care on hand as they need to, but it can be completely personalised to suit their needs.

A live-in carer is there to help with the daily tasks that they need support to complete, and also offers the security of knowing that someone is always there in case of emergencies. It helps the older person to continue to live independently and continue with their normal lifestyle, they can stay close to friends and family, keep any pets that they have at home and they are less likely to feel lonely as they have company.

The carer can be contracted to help with personal care, cooking, cleaning, housework, managing risks at home, looking after pets, driving to appointments and days out, helping with hobbies and general companionship.  

The standard of care is likely to be better too, as your parent or family member will receive one-on-one care at any time of day, delivered by one person that they are familiar with, making them more comfortable. You, as a concerned relative, can also get daily feedback if you want it on how your parent or family member is getting on, share any worries or concerns, and be safe in the knowledge that they are being looked after.  

Finding a live-in carer should be approached carefully. The chosen person needs to be right, as they will be living and working in the home of the service user. Therefore, you should always ensure that you make appropriate checks and get thorough references. If possible, meet with a former client/client’s family in person and ask lots of questions about the carer and their role.  

There are agencies that can help you to find a live-in carer too, such as, which means that they will have been vetted and approved already. Some agencies employ live-in carers and then you make arrangements with the agency.  Hiring though an agency means that you don’t have to worry about being an employer, and the responsibilities that are associated with that, although many people prefer to cut out the middle man and hire a paid carer directly. 

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