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  • Live In Care for the Elderly: A Comprehensive Guide

    Choosing Live in Care for the elderly
    Choosing a live in care provider can be a difficult task.


    As the population ages in England, the demand for elderly care is rising, and families are exploring various options to ensure their loved ones receive the best possible care. One increasingly popular solution is live-in care, a service where a carer resides in the home of the elderly person to provide round-the-clock care and support. This arrangement offers numerous benefits, ensuring that seniors can enjoy their golden years in the comfort of their own homes.

    What is Live-In Care?

    Live-in care involves a professional carer moving into the home of an elderly person to provide continuous support. This arrangement allows the carer to assist with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication management, and companionship. The carer usually works in shifts, ensuring that the elderly person has someone available around the clock to attend to their needs.

    Benefits of Live-In Care

    1. Personalised Attention and Care: Live-in care provides one-on-one attention, which is often not possible in care homes or assisted living facilities. The carer can tailor the care to the specific needs and preferences of the elderly person, offering a more personalised and effective service.
    2. Comfort of Home: Many seniors prefer to stay in their own homes, surrounded by familiar environments and cherished memories. Live-in care allows them to maintain their independence and continue living in a place they love, which can significantly boost their mental and emotional well-being.
    3. Companionship for the Elderly: Loneliness and isolation are common issues among the elderly. Having a live-in carer ensures that they have constant companionship, which can enhance their quality of life and reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
    4. Continuity of Care: With live-in care, there is continuity in the carer-patient relationship. This consistency helps build trust and understanding, making the caregiving process smoother and more effective.
    5. Safety and Security: Elderly individuals often face mobility issues and other health-related risks. A live-in carer can help prevent accidents, manage emergencies, and ensure that the home environment is safe and secure.

    Challenges and Considerations

    While live-in care offers numerous advantages, it also comes with certain challenges and considerations:

    Live in Care health costs....one of the considerations when choosing live in care

    Cost of Live-In Care: Live-in care can be expensive, especially if specialized medical care is required. Families need to carefully evaluate their financial situation and explore various funding options, such as long-term care insurance, to make it a viable option.

    Carer Compatibility: Finding the right carer who is compatible with the elderly person’s personality and needs is crucial. It may take time and effort to find a suitable match, and there might be a period of adjustment.

    Privacy Concerns: Having someone constantly in the home can be intrusive for some seniors, especially if they value their privacy. It’s important to set clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning to ensure a harmonious living arrangement.

    Carer Burnout: Caring for the elderly is a demanding job, and live-in carers can experience burnout if they do not get adequate rest and support. It’s essential to have a plan for carer respite and ensure they have the necessary resources to perform their duties effectively.

    How to get live in care?

    Selecting the right care worker or care provider involves several steps which should be followed so you and those involved in the selection process can make an informed choice.

    Live in Care from a Care Provider, agency or to directly employ a carer

    Live in Care Provider

    Live in Care providers are regulated by the Care Quality Commission in England and Wales. This regulatory body sets a clear framework for which care providers need to adhere to focusing on outcomes for those that use their care services. Care providers recruit, train and employ their own care workforce. You will most likely have a care manager from them and recevie regular care service reviews to ensure the care and support is meeting the needs and achieving the desired outcomes of the person receiving the care service. Care providers have strict guidelines on recruitment checks and must ensure their care workers recevie regular updated training. Care providers will produce an accurate, tailor made care and support plan detailing all the requirements of how you would like to recevie the care and support service, which also instructs the carers of what to do.

    Care agencies

    Care agencies offer a recruitment service to assist you in selecting a live in carer. They will usually complete the relevant checks and may offer some training to the care workers. You will be required to instruct the care worker regarding what and how you would like the service delivered. Agencies will either charge an intiial finders fee and/or a periodic management fee for while the carer is engaged to complete the service. You may have to pay the carer directly and also consider a replacement for when the carer takes a break.

    Employ a live in carer directly

    Directly employing a live in care can be completed without too much difficulty these days with many websites available promoting independant carers. It is important that you complete some checks when selecting a carer. These would include: Enhanced Police disclosure, references for past positions and querying any gaps of employment, the level of training that the carer can show which is accrediated and right to work documents to ensure that they are legally allowed to work. You will be required to negotiate the fee for the care service directly with the carer. It is recommended to have a written contract of engagement agreed with you and the carer before the care service is provided. As a direct employer, you may be liable to employment taxes and NI payments on the carers behalf.

    Which type of live in care is best for you?

    Selecting one of these options would depend on your own individual circumstances. For example, if you are a family member living in the same household as the person who requires the care service, it may be suitable and managable for you to directly hire a live in carer as you will be on site to manage and provide daily instructions to the carer regarding what to do and when. You may also have time to complete the background checks for any applicants also. Some may seek a care agency who would complete the background checks and then you could manage the care instructions for the care worker. A care provider will offer a fully managed serviced. This is often preferable for those who have families far away or if they have families of their own and are busy with day to day living.

    How to Choose a Live-In Carer

    Assess Needs for Elderly Care:

    Determine the level of care required, including medical, personal, and emotional needs. This assessment will guide the selection process.

    Research Home Care Providers & Agencies:

    for reputable home care agencies that specialise in live-in care. Check their credentials, reviews, and the services they offer.

    Conduct Interviews with Carers:

    Interview potential carers to assess their qualifications, experience, and compatibility with the elderly person. Involve the person who will be receiving the care in the process to ensure they feel comfortable with the carer.

    Check References and Background:

    Verify the carer’s references and conduct a thorough background check to ensure they have a clean record and are trustworthy.

    Trial Period for Live-In Care:

    Consider a trial period to observe how the carer and the elderly person interact and to make any necessary adjustments.

    In summary

    Live-in care for the elderly is a compassionate and effective solution that allows older persons to age in place while receiving the support they need. It offers personalised care, companionship, and the comfort of home, enhancing the quality of life for elderly individuals. By carefully considering the needs and preferences of their loved ones, families can find a live-in care arrangement that provides peace of mind and ensures the well-being of their elderly relatives.

    Live in Care & Support by Kent Home Care

    Kent Home Care are a local, family managed care provider based in Canterbury, Kent. They provide a full range of personal care and support solutions which enable older people to live at home, as independantly as possible, with the support of a live in carer.

    If you require some further advice about Live in Care and which option is better suited for you, call Kent Home Care on 01227 788700 for free advice. You can also send us a message by visiting our contact us form.

    Kent Home Care
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