The Essentials

How live-in care works and what you can expect

No doubt you’ll have all sorts of questions around how live-in care works. Take a look at our guide to all the basics and see if it’s right for you.

What does a carer do?
What doesn’t a carer do?
Do carers need their own room?
Carers are generally not allowed to:
When do carers take time off and breaks?
How do we know we’ll get on?
What does a carer do?

Depending on your chosen provider and level of care, live-in care services generally include:

  • Mobility and personal safety
  • Dressing, hair and make-up or shaving
  • Support with personal care and continence
  • Managing and prompting medication
  • Support at nighttime
  • Planning, shopping and cooking balanced meals
  • Light housework
  • Laundry and ironing
  • Pet care
  • Personal admin, correspondence and help with day-to-day finances
  • Managing appointments, such as GP or hairdresser
  • Trips out of the house to appointments, shopping or social outings (many carers will act as drivers)
  • Answering the door and phone
  • Companionship and emotional support
  • Providing peace of mind for both clients and family members
  • Complex care can be delivered through a complete, tailored plan put together by the care provider, client and family
What doesn’t a carer do?
caring for elderly gentleman in his home
  • Heavy moving and lifting, between bed and wheelchair (an additional member of staff can be arranged for such situations).
  • Carers are trained to safely help clients move, but doesn’t include lifting the client without a hoist.
  • Carers are happy to help clients to the toilet in the night or other small errands, but night care doesn’t include constant interruption, as carers can’t manage 24-hour shifts.
  • If clients have changing care needs, due to being unwell or their condition worsening, providers will adapt the care package to include nighttime interventions.
  • Nursing support, such as wound dressing and administering injections, unless supervised by a healthcare professional – though some providers do offer live-in nursing as an add-on to their standard care services.
Do carers need their own room?
family carer - coping strategies

Of course, carers will need a clean, comfortable space of their own to call home. Needless to say it will have a bed and storage space, along with a bedside table, TV and internet access too.

Carers are generally not allowed to:
live in care of elderly woman
  • Witness wills, credit agreements or other legal documents
  • Accept tips, gifts, loans or advancements
  • Drink alcohol or smoke in a client’s home. (Unless the client smokes and is happy for the carer to smoke too.)
When do carers take time off and breaks?

Each situation is different, but carers will usually need a break during the day to take care of their own lives too. Not to mention getting a good night’s sleep. Sometimes even to catch up on sleep if they were working at night. If care is needed around the clock, it can easily be arranged to cover any breaks, which can be agreed on during the assessment process.

You can also choose from providers who offer one carer, or teams of two or three working on a rota. Both offer the kind of lasting, trusting relationships that add so much more to the care experience.

How do we know we’ll get on?

Each care provider has their own in-depth matchmaking service to make sure client and carer are well suited. On top of medical needs, they’ll look at likes and dislikes, hobbies and personality types. In fact, live-in care is often the start of many wonderful friendships. But should clients and carers not get on as expected, the right replacement can soon be arranged.

Do you need to arrange care for a loved one?

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