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What to Look For When Hiring a Live-In Carer?

When it comes to looking for additional healthcare or social wellbeing support, there are a range of options available. From full-time, residential care to short-term respite care or daily visits from a nurse or carer, you can choose the right set-up to suit yourself or your loved one.

For so many of us, home is where we feel most comfortable, safe and happy. Being able to stay in cherished, familiar surroundings while receiving the care we need really can offer the best of all worlds. Live-in care means that everything you need for your daily routines and medical care can come to you with far less disruption than moving into a residential care setting or nursing home.

Advantages to live-in care

As well as being able to stay in your own home, there are many more advantages to arranging a live-in carer. It is easier to maintain higher levels of independence. You can come and go as you need to and choose what and who to have in your home. You will not have to share a carer’s time or expertise with other nursing home residents and you can continue to live with loved ones, such as your spouse, partner, children and pets. You can carry on enjoying your garden if you have one too, as well as remain part of your local neighbourhood community. This can help alleviate loneliness and prevent isolation, which can be devastating for older and vulnerable people unable to access companionship.

However, you won’t have to worry about domestic chores, working out when medication is due and arranging treatments and therapies that are needed for your physical wellbeing. All of this can fall to the carer to organise on your behalf. You can also keep track of what your live-in carer needs to do, and what resources they may need by using digital care management software such as Care Vision. This works just as well for individual carers as it does for larger residential care settings, with a wealth of tools and functions designed to make a busy live-in carer’s life easier.

Types of live-in carer

The reasons for arranging a live-in carer can be diverse and can also change over time. Knowing what type of carer would suit you best is the first step towards setting up the ideal support for your individual requirements. Long-term live-in care is perfect for people with a severe or degenerative condition that will require expert caring help and support for an extended period of time. It is also good for people seeking companionship from one carer with whom they can build a friendship alongside the caring duties.

Shorter-term live-in care is excellent for post-operation recovery periods, or after an accident or illness. It can get people back on their feet (quite literally in some cases) sooner than if they had struggled alone. However, it is less of a commitment than a long-term arrangement, which can suit people who wish to retain independence and privacy in their own home for longer. Similarly, respite live-in care can be crucial to give a regular carer or loved one a break from caring duties for a while.

Nursing care and palliative care offer more of a medical service, administering medication, injections etc. or supporting specific conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, spinal injuries or stroke. Finally, palliative live-in care can bring comfort, companionship and pain relief in the final weeks or months of someone’s life and allow them to die at home if that is their wish.

Things to be aware of

When hiring someone to work for you, there are several things that must be done to ensure that the arrangement works for both parties, and that everyone knows what is expected of them and feels happy and safe. Always carry out checks on any live-in carer whom you are considering inviting into your home. It is a good idea to search via an agency, rather than look for someone yourself. Always follow up previous employment references, double check qualifications, make sure they can legally work in the UK and ask for DBS and background checks to be carried out at an early stage.

Make sure you are aware of your responsibilities towards your live-in carer, both financial and otherwise. You will need to provide an employment contract, pay their salary and meet other costs such as NI, tax, insurance and possibly pension contributions and living expenses. They must have somewhere safe, appropriate and private to live within your home. It is also a good idea to ask a trusted family member, or agency manager to supervise their care of you, particularly in the early stages. If you choose an agency to hire your live-in carer, much of this can be taken care of for you. An agency can also arrange temporary cover if your regular carer is unwell or goes on holiday.

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