If you or a loved one is planning live-in care you may be wondering what the carer needs to live and work comfortably in your home, and what things need preparing in advance of their arrival. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about how to prepare for a live-in caregiver.
What does a live-in carer do?
Live-in carers can help with a wide range of tasks and give one-to-one care that supports independent living in a person’s own home. Care is personalised to the specific needs of the individual and tasks are not just limited to practical support in the home.
Here are some of the things that a live-in carer can do to support you or your loved one:
- Personal care such as washing, dressing, shaving, and toileting
- Recreational activities and support such as companionship, encouragement with hobbies, sharing games and activities, and help to access social activities in the community
- Mobility support and steadying for people using a walking frame or walking stick, or assistance moving around for wheelchair users
- Advanced live-in care can be provided for individuals with complex health needs such as dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke or palliative care
- Help taking medications in the right dose and at the right time, daily health monitoring such as checking insulin levels for diabetics or blood pressure and ordering or collecting prescriptions
- Light housework such as laundry, shopping, cleaning and preparing meals
- Domestic administration such as running errands, arranging appointments, or organising payments for regular services (e.g. milk man, newspaper delivery, window cleaning)
- Pet care such as taking your dog for a daily walk, feeding and cleaning litter trays
How to prepare for a live-in carer
A live-in carer doesn’t require much to live and work in a person’s home. However, there are some basic but essential things that should be considered and prepared:
- A space of their own – A live-in carer will require a bedroom of their own, with a minimum of a bed, a chest of drawers and somewhere to hang their clothes. It’s important that the room is well-heated, lit, ventilated and clean. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but a private space of their own where they can store their belongings is a must.
- Bathroom facilities – Access to a clean and functional bathroom is essential, while it’s nice to have a separate bathroom it’s by no means expected or needed.
- Insurance – Contact the home insurers to let them know that a caregiver is now living and working in the home. While this is not a specific benefit or need for the carer, it is important to do.
- Kitchen access – A carer will need access to a kitchen, to prepare meals for themselves and the client, as they may not always eat together.
- WiFi – Access to Wi-Fi is important for live-in carers as it is often used to carry out some duties such as making notes about a client’s progress, or liaising with the care provider. They may also wish to use Wi-Fi during their rest time.
- Housekeeping float – A live-in caregiver will regularly be shopping for the client and their household needs, for things like food and cleaning products, which will need to be paid for. The easiest method is to provide a petty cash box and ask the carer to keep receipts and a record of expenditures.
- Security – Try to make sure any of your loved one’s valuables are safely locked away as it makes life more comfortable for everyone if expensive items and cash are not left lying around. This ensures that there is no chance of any distrust or misunderstanding.
This can be especially important for clients with certain health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, where the side effects of the condition cause forgetfulness, and in some cases paranoia. However, there is no need to worry, all Country Cousins carers undergo thorough criminal record checks and their references are carefully vetted.
- Information – It’s helpful to provide a list of important contact details such as the phone numbers of other family members, in the event of an emergency. It’s also handy to have a list of phone numbers of doctors, nurses, social workers or any other health professionals involved regularly in an individual’s care.
Benefits of Live-in Care
There are numerous tangible benefits to receiving live-in care. Here are just some of the advantages you or your loved one can expect;
- Better mental health – Maintaining familiar surroundings with home comforts, pets, and family memories can boost physical and mental well-being, and help nurture a sense of stability.
- Better physical health – A live-in carer encourages activities to keep the body and mind active. They will also ensure that meals are healthy and nutritious, and in line with any special dietary needs. Simply having a companion can help keep their brain and memory healthy, through playing games, talking and interacting.
- Enhanced safety and security – Having a live-in caregiver offers a higher level of safety and security, particularly for individuals with mobility issues or complex health conditions.
- Familiar surroundings in the comfort of home – especially beneficial for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and allows for continued involvement with local community and neighbours.
- One-to-one care – Live-in care is tailor-made to suit an individual’s care needs, lifestyle, and home circumstances ensuring they get exactly the right type of support they need from a carer that has been carefully matched to them.
- Round-the-clock support – A live-in carer is on hand 24/7 creating peace of mind, for the individual and their loved ones, that someone is always around to lend a helping hand.
- Supports independent living – loss of independence, and the knock-on effects that can have on physical and mental health, is a common fear for many elderly people. Maintaining independence and control of one’s life, even for small things such as what time to eat, can have huge benefits to quality of life.
- Peace of mind – for you and your family, knowing that your loved one’s needs are always met in a consistent, professional, and compassionate manner. A live-in carer is able to monitor a persons well-bring from day to day, which invaluable for loved ones and other health care professionals.
- Value for money – When compared to a residential care home, live-in care may work out not much more expensive but with the benefit of receiving a much higher level of personalised care. The caregiver is dedicated to supporting one client, allowing them to provide focused attention, companionship, and assistance throughout the day.
- Companionship and emotional support – Loneliness and social isolation can have detrimental effects on an individual’s well-being. Live-in caregivers not only provide practical support but also offer companionship, emotional support, and engagement in activities, improving the overall quality of life for the individual.
- Flexibility and adaptability – Live-in care can be tailored to the individual’s changing needs over time. As a person’s needs evolve, the carer can adapt the care accordingly, ensuring that the individual receives the appropriate level of support at all times.
Live-in care with Country Cousins
Country Cousins is the UK’s longest-serving introductory live-in care agency and have been providing compassionate care to people in their own homes since 1959. With over 60 years of experience, we’re well-versed in a wide range of home care services. From respite care that covers an existing carer’s time-off, to continuous long-term care and support for people with complex health conditions, such as dementia.
Whatever your needs we are here to help. Call our friendly care team today on 01293 224706 to find out how we can help you or your loved one live a comfortable, safe and contented life at home. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form and we will be in touch soon.