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Live in Care Agencies – How to choose one

Even though care homes have been here for quite some time, providing care and support to our loved ones, they never feel quite like home. That’s why using live in care agencies has become a perfect alternative. In this article, we will guide you on:

  • what live in care is
  • how you choose a live in care agency
  • who the leading agencies are
  • how a live in care agency works
  • what a live in carer does
  • how much live in care can cost

What is Live in Care?

Live in care is when a fully trained caregiver lives in your home. This means that there is always someone around, day or night, to ensure your needs or those of your loved one are met. Elderly live in care is increasingly replacing care homes as they allow the elderly to receive the care and support they need in the comfort of their home. For some, it offers the opportunity to continue living an independent life as much as possible.

Here is a useful video from Elder which highlights the benefits you get from using a live in carer.

How Do Live in Care Companies Work?

First, you can organise live in care in different ways, including privately, via a company, or through an introductory agency.

Live in care agencies and companies are better options since they are able to choose someone, from a wider pool of care workers, with similar interests to your loved one, which allows both parties to get along more easily. They also have a team on call to support care workers and clients as well.

The amount of time a live in carer works varies depending on the type of services you choose and your needs. Some work full time, while others work on a rota of teams of two. A good agency will fully assess the needs of their clients and help the family with choosing the perfect caregiver.

It’s important for care workers to have their own space in your house, which may include their own bedroom, a TV, and internet access. This allows them to escape the inevitable stress that comes with the job and have some time to themselves.

Who are the leading Live in Care agencies in the UK

Over the past 5 years we have a significant increase in the number of live in care providers in the UK.  This has been driven by:

  • the cost of care homes increasing significantly – Live in care can be much cheaper
  • people wanting to stay in the comfort of their own home
  • people wanting more focused 1 on 1 care rather then just being one of many in a care home

Some of the leading providers in the UK are:

  1. Elder.Org
  2. Good Care Group
  3. Home Instead
  4. Right at Home
  5. Vida

What Does a Full Time Live in Carer do?

There is a lot that live in carers can do for you or your loved one, including everyday tasks, which allows you to continue living comfortably in your home. Offering round-the-clock support, a full time live in carer provides services that include:

  • Administering medication or regular promptslive in care providers
  • Running errands
  • Companionship
  • Offering emotional support
  • Completing household chores
  • Laundry and ironing
  • Preparing meals
  • Support with bathing, dressing and toileting
  • Caring for a pet
  • Support getting out and about, and much more.

Standard live in carers are appropriate for individuals with low-level medical needs, however, those with moderate to mild-severe care needs, or require mobility support, or need personal care should look for 24/7 live in care.

Individuals with more complex medical conditions can ask their live in care providers for a team of nurse-led clinical carers, since they are specially trained to meet complex needs like giving insulin injections. Generally, live in carers are a rock to their clients, enabling them to live the way they want every day.

Who Might Live in Care Agencies Suit?

Live in care is suitable to different kinds of people for a number of reasons such as if they need help with short-term residential care, companionship, taking medication when other aids aren’t effective, caring for a pet, continuing some lifelong passions, housework, and mobility support.

This option is also ideal for individuals who may become confused by a new environment in care homes or find it difficult to adapt to change. In addition, live in care is ideal for people who’ve just undergone an operation or those who suffer from certain medical conditions where continuity, routine, and familiar environments can be reassuring and improve quality of life, for instance, Dementia.

Why Choose Live in Care Services?

There are several reasons why choosing live in care would be ideal for you or your loved ones. Some main ones include:

  • Keeping the same daily routine, which can very helpful as many people don’t want to feel like their independence is slowly fading away.
  • Live in carers become more like a friend to their clients, offering emotional support and companionship
  • Avoiding change and staying in a home you love and are familiar with
  • Peace of mind: you live stress-free, knowing someone is always available to help your loved ones
  • Less pressure on relationships: being a caregiver can be emotionally draining, stressful, and time-consuming. That’s why you need a live-in carer to relieve you from being drawn into being a full-time caregiver. This takes the pressure off family members and friends, allowing for a quality family time without feeling you have to cope with your loved one’s needs all the time.
  • Dedicated care: when you hire live in care providers, their sole responsibility is caring for your loved ones.
  • Specialised training: many live in carers are specially trained to handle even complex needs, including serious medical conditions like dementia and stroke. Some live in care providers even offer live in nursing staff.

live in care agencies

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Live in Care Agency?

Choosing a live in carer can be a bit challenging since the care worker will be living in your house, and you need to be able to feel comfortable and safe with them. Here are a few key elements to consider, ensuring you get the best live in care services:

  1. The type of care support you need

Determining what you want from your caregiver is the first step to getting the perfect live in care agency. Live in care can come in different forms, including home help, personal assistants, and carers. Carers can provide long-term care, short-term care, or even emergency care services.

  1. Experience

The intuitive aspects of care giving are simply invaluable. That’s why in this profession, there are certain things you can only learn through experience. For instance how to handle difficult topics or knowing when something is wrong. So, ensure your agency and the caregivers both have plenty of experience.

  1. Flexibility

Care giving is not a one-size-fits-all methodology. Different clients have different needs at different times. And, clients need the assurance that these needs will be met anytime they need them. So, ensure your caregiver is able to fit in around your needs.

  1. A friendly attitude

A simple smile goes a long way, especially in the care giving industry. People you encounter in live in care companies should be personable, friendly, attentive, and understanding. They should make you feel comfortable discussing your needs, be interested in your thoughts, and most importantly answer all your questions.

  1. Costs & Fundinglive in care agency

Any decision about care giving is greatly influenced by the cost of services. Thankfully, the cost of live in carers varies widely in the UK, fitting every budget.

Most services are met through hourly rates, ranging from £10 – £20 per hour. Full-time services start at around £700 per week.

However, determining the precise amount you’ll pay for a live-in carer can be a bit challenging as it depends on a number of things like the number of people being cared for, your requirements, and where you are in the country. So, go for one within your budget.

Many people find 24-hour care services quite costly, and with minimum or no financial support from the local authority, clients are left responsible for paying for these services. When it comes to funding live in care costs, there are a few options you can consider:

  • Personal property: When using your property to pay for care giving services, you can either use the deferred payment scheme; where the local authority gives you a loan against the value of your property, equity release; where you can use your lifetime mortgage to borrow against the value of your property, or simply rent out your property.
  • Using your savings
  • Using your income
  • Buy a ‘Care Annuity’, which is where you can swap a certain amount of cash with an insurance company and in return they pay you a guaranteed income for life.

Can I Use Equity Release to pay for my live in care?

The simple answer is, Yes, you can.  In fact equity release is one of the most popular ways that people are using to pay for care.  You can use the calculator below to see how much money you could get.

live in care costs calculator

You can read more about how equity release works here. 

You can read more about the different options when it comes to paying for care here.

Live in care agencies come with several benefits. Since they are flexible, it’s best to give it try and probably start with short-term service. As we’ve seen before, their carers provide dedicated and personalised services, which mean they can work with you to fulfil your needs or those of your loved ones.

About the author and her expertise

This article was written by Rose Walters a published writer that has written on a range of care related topics.   Rose writes from a lot of personal experience and is able to bring this in to the writing alongside the specialist knowledge she has on these topics.

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