1 February 2024 

Live In Carer Costs – How To Find 24 Hour Live In Care In February 2024 

Live-in carers are healthcare professionals who live in the same household as a person in need of support as a private carer. The role provides essential round-the clock care to those who need it, but who still wish to remain in a familiar place.

This article offers an overview of the role of live-in carers, their responsibilities, the challenges they face, as well as offering insight into the cost and future of live-in care assistants in the UK.

  • See if hiring a live in caregiver is the right option for you and your family
  • What options you have when it comes to choosing 24 hour carers
  • How much 24 hour care at home costs compared to residential care home costs
  • How to pay for your live in care services (the different funding options available)
  • How to choose a cost effective care company
  • The benefits of live in care for the elderly
  • What is included in elderly live in care jobs: the types of support that a carer provides day to day

Topics that you will find covered on this page

What is Live in Care?

A live-in carer is a healthcare professional who lives in the same home as the individual requiring care, providing round-the-clock support in the form of personal care and emotional and mobility support. They also spend quality time with the individual, helping with domestic tasks such as meal preparation and even pet care. The role of the live-in carer is not a new phenomenon in the UK health and social care sector. However, demand for such care has increased as more people prefer to receive care in their own homes. 

A live-in carer allows the care recipient to remain in familiar surroundings, something which often provides greater comfort and independence than residential care facilities or a nursing home. This continuity in daily life often leads to improved mental health, as the individual is able to maintain a sense of independence in familiar surroundings.

Live-in carers are typically self-employed, travelling in their own cars and working alongside family members and other healthcare professionals.

They provide person-centred care that focuses on the individual’s needs and preferences that ensures a good quality of life.

The professional live-in carer role requires a compassionate nature and patience, as comes with its own challenges. However, it is also rewarding, particularly when carers are able to observe the positive impact of the care journey and of their support on their care recipient’s life. 

Live in care is basically home care, but it’s where you have a professional caregiver provides personalised care and help to you, or a loved one, 24 hours per day care at home. This could be permanently or where they are providing respite care to cover for an existing carer.

The benefit if this is that the person needing care can stay in their own home.

In England, you will need to pay for your care home costs, home care costs or live in carer costs if you have more than £23,250 in savings.  

This means there is always someone on hand helping you with your daily living, ensuring your care needs are met, and giving you peace of mind. Some care assistants live in all the time whilst others work a rota schedule of one week on and then one week off.  You can read more about the benefits of a live in carer here.

Background to the Live in Carer Role

Professional caregivers undergo a robust recruitment process and are fully vetted, consequently guaranteeing that they can provide high quality care. Two professional references, as well as a care certificate or equivalent qualifications, are typically held. This contributes to enhancing their credibility in the care sector, 

Depending on the level of care required and the provider used, the live-in care cost can vary significantly. The average cost for a live-in carer in the UK is between £800-£1500 per week, and while some of these costs may be covered by local council funding or benefits, potential hidden costs should also be considered.

Although there are numerous responsibilities involved in the care provider role, it also offers advantages like flexible working hours. This is a significant advantage for many people considering employment in the care sector

How much does a live in carer cost for the elderly in the UK

We often get asked, “how much do live-in carers cost?”  There is no easy answer to this. If you, or a loved one, do want 24 hour private live in carer then the care fees can range widely.  

So how much does a live-in carer cost per week? Typically, 24 hour live in care costs, from well-rated providers in the UK, can start at around £800 per week and can go up to over £1,800 per week. This care cost will rise if two or more people need caring for at the same time.

The cost of live in care is this price because you are effectively hiring someone 24 hours a day for 7 days a week. This caregiver may then take on the role that other family members had undertaken and provide round the clock support for you or your loved one.

What you will find is that the costs can also vary depending on the types of services that you want from your carer.  For example, some professional carers have their own cars, which they can make available.  However, if you want the carer to make their car available then there may be an extra cost for this.

If you need a live-in nurse the costs are often higher as you need a specialist carer.  The nurse may be responsible for providing medication or undertaking specific medical tasks which require professional training.  The need for constant care is what typically increases the cost of a live in nurse, but it does mean any medical condition can be cared for.

Depending on your requirements for 24 hour live in care, it is often less expensive than a nursing home. Because the cost of a live in carer is less, we are seeing more demand for this and fewer people are looking to move into residential care. 

One reason the 24 hour in home care cost is often cheaper than going into a residential care home is that you aren’t renting a room from the care home. Instead, you continue to live in your own house and will provide accommodation to the domiciliary care worker.

It is important to determine your budget and the cost of care at home before embarking on choosing live in care. You can find support on financing care and calculating the cost of your live in nursing care in the UK here in our paying for care section.

It is also worth noting that if you’d like to access senior live in care as a couple, it may be a significantly more cost-effective option compared with a nursing home. 

The cost of own home care would be lower for couples in these circumstances because you’ll only pay once for the care service. Whereas if you were each moving into a residential care home, you would be required to pay for two places.

24 hour care for respite cover costs

We researched over 100 respite care service providers and the average cost to have live in care coverage through the week was £700-£800 per week.  

This average live in home carer cost is based on one individual needing personalised care. Where there was a couple, the live in private carer cost rose to the region of £1,200 – £1,500 per week.

How many hours do live in carers work?

The number of hours a live-in carer works can vary based on the client’s needs and the specific agreement between the carer and the client.

As the name suggests, live-in carers typically reside in the home of the individual they care for. They are generally expected to be available around the clock for care and assistance.

Nonetheless, this does not necessarily imply that they are constantly working. Typically, approved carers have some scheduled time off each week, ranging from a few hours to an entire day or more.

In general, live-in carers work 10 to 12 hours daily, incorporating breaks and time off into their schedule. However, the number of hours worked can vary based on the client’s needs and the carer’s preferences. 

However, they can work flexible working hours if needed, and this will often be agreed before care starts.

Notably, live-in care arrangements are highly individualised. The number of hours live in carers for the elderly work will depend on various factors, such as the client’s level of need, the caregiver’s qualifications and experience, and the terms of their agreement.

A useful video on what a live in carer does

live in care

How to pay for 24 hour care costs in the UK

As we have seen, the costs of a 24 hour carer in the UK can be expensive.

If you are looking at ways to pay the costs of a live in caregiver in the UK then we would recommend that you speak to a specialist care costs funding advisor.  They will help ensure that:

  1. You get all the benefits and State help you are entitled to, and
  2. You use the most effective way to fund the costs and ensure that any inheritance tax is minimised, and
  3. Depending on the severity of the care needs, you might find that the NHS is responsible for meeting personal care costs.  This is through NHS Continuing Healthcare funding.  We would strongly recommend that you read up on this subject as if there is a continuing healthcare need, then you may not be responsible for paying and funding the care services.  

Are you looking for live in care? We can help you!

Choose award winning Live in Care from Elder

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Read some recent 5 star client testimonials, on Trustpilot, about Elder’s fantastic care support

Tasks your Elder live in carer can help you with

Help with houshold tasks such as vacuuming and laundry
Preparing daily meals to your taste and dietary requirements
Help with washing, toileting, and prompting medication
Daily companionship, and help getting out and about to see friends

Call now on 0333 567 1606 for a quote or to discuss your care requirements.


Book a call back using the calendar below for your chosen time.


The role of a 24 hour live in carer – What care jobs do they do?

The care jobs that approved carers often do include:

1- Basic care needs and companionship

Many people employ a live in care assistant to assist them with their basic care needs. 

They are independent and may not be seriously ill, but feel they need company and low-level support in their own home. Sometimes these people have long-term illnesses or disabilities, requiring additional support with basic everyday tasks.

If you need more support, the cost of live in care may be higher per week. This is because the care provider needs to have more specialist skills to properly give your home care. 

Sometimes if the person being cared for has challenging behaviour, a professionally skilled carer will be able to cope with this.

2 – Laundry

For people with mobility issues or memory loss, simple tasks such as doing the laundry can become difficult. 

Live in at home care for elderly people can help with tasks like this. A carer can take an elderly individual’s laundry and dry cleaning to be done elsewhere, or help your loved one to do it themself at home. 

You needn’t lose your independence – your carer will support you rather than do it for you if you wish. This is another benefit to consider when looking for care and choosing the live in care provider that’s right for you.

3- Cooking

Cooking becomes a chore as we age, especially for people living alone. The incentive to cook a meal for one is often lacking – and many older people suffer from malnutrition as a result. 

A care provider can cook with you or for you, ensuring you eat properly each day and don’t rely on unhealthy or non-nutritious fast foods. Having support in the kitchen and when it comes to buying groceries can help you or your loved one and take the stress out of the situation and make sure they are having nutritious meals.

4 – Errands

If you need to buy a gift for someone, go to the bank or run an errand, your carer can do this for you or provide transport. This makes running errands quick and easy and means you won’t need to rely on loved ones for these aspects of your needs.

5 – Food Shopping

Food shopping can be tiring – and many older people struggle to shop big without transport. Your live in care worker will do your food shopping on your behalf or come with you to help with the heavy lifting.

6 – Transport

Most live in care givers are required to have their own transport and a full driving licence, so they can take you where you need to go when you leave home. 

7 – Companionship

Elderly people are especially vulnerable to loneliness. A live in carer provides companionship. Many have a compassionate nature so can naturally show empathy for those needing care. 

They are a person to talk to, someone to accompany you on days out, and it is reassuring knowing that someone is there to provide round the clock care if you need them. 

8 – Cleaning and domestic tasks

A live in carer can help you to keep your house clean and tidy. They can also handle everyday household chores and domestick tasks, such as taking the bins or washing up.

As you can see, a live in care package can be very cost effective. The cost of live in care includes support for a wide range of needs, from companionship to chores, to errand

24 hour care at home

The benefits of a live in carer

When looking for quality care and asking ‘What does a live in carer do?’ it’s also worth considering the benefits of what they do. There is a lot of value included in the cost of live in care per week, as live in carers will support the person in many areas of their everyday life.

It’s good to be aware of the positive impact a live in carer can have, as well as being aware of the roles and responsibilities a carer would typically undertake.

Associated benefits include:

1 – Reduced loneliness

One of the main benefits of a live in home care service is the impact it can have on loneliness. Carers will often have a compassionate nature which means they will engage with the person needing care and therefore reduce loneliness.

Loneliness affects over two million elderly people in the UK. More than a million told Age UK that they regularly go a month without seeing or speaking to anyone. 

A carer is with you all the time, so you never have to be on your own. Of course, you still can have some me-time if you want, though! Having this companionship can provide a much needed boost to your loved one.

2 – Safety and security

Having a person in the house 24/7 can be a great source of comfort for the person receiving care as they will feel safe and know their needs are being met. It also provides peace of mind for their family.

Most importantly, a carer’s presence can help prevent falls – which can have catastrophic consequences for an elderly person. From a safety and security perspective, a carer is a sensible option, especially when an older person is particularly vulnerable. 

The live in care costs for elderly people are well worth the amount of money you pay per week in this respect.

3 – Better mental and physical activity

As per the health experts at Click Pharmacy, loneliness has been shown to hurt mental health – but it also causes a lack of stimulation for the brain. This can be problematic, especially for people needing advanced dementia care.

Having someone around your loved one ensures better mental and cognitive health, as conversations, activities, hobbies – even holidays- can be shared together. 

Physical activity can be improved too – as having an escort means you can get out of the house more often or even feel more confident moving about indoors. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend fitness classes with the support of your carer if you want to.

Improved nutrition – Many older people find that they eat less or reach for unhealthy foods, especially if they live alone. A live in carer can cook nutritious, wholesome meals and ensure that the person eats well daily.

4. Enhanced quality of life

Lots of people who access live in nursing care in the UK report an enhanced quality of life overall. This is often because they can get out more and do the things they love – like attending social groups, classes and getting out of the house on a more regular basis. Having constant care allows people to have this freedom to do their own things.

If you have pets you can also keep them with you, which significantly enhances the quality of life for animal lovers. Live in care costs per week are well worth it when you consider the increase to your loved one’s quality of life and how much does a live in carer do.

5. Improved appointment attendance

Without transport lots of older people miss important check-ups, such as podiatry appointments, blood pressure monitoring and wellness clinics. A carer can take you to your appointments, ensuring better health and wellbeing overal

live in carers

The disadvantages of live-in care

Although it has many positive points, live in care for elderly people does have several disadvantages that need to be considered carefully before making a decision.

It isn’t suitable for everybody – so it’s essential to look at live in care realistically and holistically.

1/ Cost of home modifications

If you plan on staying at home for an extended period of time, will it still be suitable in years to come? For those living in a large or older property, it’s essential to consider whether modifications must be made, as they may not be suitable for a wider family life. 

Therefore, if you have other family members to consider, modifications may be something you cannot do.

These kinds of changes can be costly and disruptive. Many older people experience mobility issues later in life – so curved stairlifts, specialist showers and ramps may be required now or in the future.

It’s worth bearing in mind that small properties or homes in need of renovation may need changes to be made to access live in care in the first place.

You’ll need room for your live in carer to spend time in when they aren’t with you – a bedroom and, where possible, a private bathroom. You may even decide to move home before accessing live in care to combat these issues.

2/ Fewer funding options

Live in care is mainly funded through savings or selling valuable assets to build a pot of money that can be drawn from over time. It is cost-effective for couples – but it is also expensive. Live in care generally costs between £800 and £1200 per week.

As you stay in your own home it’s harder to use your property to fund care. If you don’t have sufficient savings built up it will be hard for you to pay for live in care.

Equity release is an option for those who are mortgage-free and own their own home – but this will need to be paid back upon your death. You should also make sure that the amount released is sufficient to cover your care in the long term.

3/ Lack of funding support

Live in care isn’t supported by as many funding options as residential care. It is classed as private care, so you must pay for most or all of it yourself.

Personal budgets or direct payments may be provided depending on eligibility. With or without this, you’ll need to have sufficient funds to pay for live in care in the long-term.

You can of course use benefits, welfare payments and pensions towards the cost of care. As a couple you can combine funds, which may make it easier to pay.   

5/ Reduced inheritance  

Using a finite fund such as savings to pay for your care naturally reduces the amount you’ll have to pass on as inheritance. You may need to sell valuable items you saved for specific family members.

If you choose to pay for live in care by releasing equity in your home you also won’t be able to leave your property to your loved ones. This can be a big concern for many – but it’s essential to prioritise your needs now rather than worrying about what you will leave for your relatives.

6/ Space and privacy

Your live in carer will require a sufficient private space of their own to spend time in by themselves and have breaks away from the role. You might not want to make space or can’t if you have a smaller property.

You should also consider how comfortable you share your space with a stranger. Cohabitation can be difficult, especially when you don’t know the person or have lived alone for some time.

Where can I find more information to help me make a decision?

You can find more information here on the __ website. If you require hands-on support and personalised advice speak with your healthcare professional or social worker. Charities such as Age UK can also provide face to face guidance.

Attendance allowance and Live in Care

Attendance Allowance is a government benefit in the United Kingdom that provides financial assistance to individuals over 65 who require assistance with personal care due to a physical or mental disability.

It is a tax-free, non-means-tested benefit that can be used to help pay for hiring a carer or other related expenses.

On the other hand, live-in care is a type of home care in which a professional carer resides in the individual’s home to provide 24-hour care and support. People who require constant care may find live-in care to be more affordable and flexible than residential care facilities.

Attendance Allowance and Live-in care are related in that Attendance Allowance recipients can use the benefit to pay for Live-in care.

However, it is important to note that Attendance Allowance is not intended to cover the total cost of Live-in care, and recipients may need to supplement the benefit with funds from other sources to pay for their care.

Using a live in carer for dealing with mid-level care needs

This kind of care is most common. It involves a mixture of basic care needs and more specialist assistance.

1 – Personal care

Personal care services is an umbrella term that covers a variety of things including help going to the toilet and having a bath. You only need to access personal care when you are unable to do it yourself.

2 – Medicine

Most caregivers can help you to take basic medicines, such as tablets, and remind you when to take them, so any medical condition can be looked after. 

Some may need special clearance for certain types of medicine such as creams and injections.

3 – Washing and dressing

A carer can help you get up in the morning, get washed and dressed, and help you go to bed at night.

4 – Help with eating and drinking

If you struggle to eat and drink a carer can prepare special meals and sit with you to ensure you are eating and drinking enough. They can also work with you to find ways to make eating and drinking easier – such as straws, special cups and finger foods.

5 – Cleaning and changing (toileting)

Where incontinence is an issue, carers can help you to stay clean and fresh at all times. They can monitor you and change you, cleaning up when needed.

Dealing with specialist or severe care needs

These kind of care services are almost exclusively handled by a registered nurse or specialist caregiver.

1 – Administering medication

Some medications must be administered by somebody trained and vetted to do so. Specialist caregivers can handle this – especially if different medications must be taken throughout the day at specific times.

2 – Changing dressings

A specialist carer can change, check or alter dressings regularly if needed – ensuring any sores or wounds are kept sterile, clean and dry.

3 – Working with colostomy bags, sharps and catheters

Caregivers usually need professional training to work with specialist equipment and medical aids such as catheters, needles for injections and colostomy bags. There are care givers who are qualified nurses who can take care of this for you – so you can remain in your own home and get on with daily life without worrying about waiting in for medical staff.

4 – Consulting with medical professionals and social workers

A specialist caregiver can work together closely with your team of medical professionals and social care professionals to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

5 – Co-ordinating medicines, appointments and healthcare professionals

If you are dealing with a disability or long-term medical condition you’ll likely have several healthcare professionals looking after you. You may also have a social worker. Your condition may involve taking many different medications and seeing many different people.

A specialist caregiver can manage all of this for you, ensuring you are up to date and seen by all relevant medical professionals.

6 – Managing fluid charts and feeding plans

If a fluid chart is in place, a more advanced carer can track this and add comments and notes regularly. They can also manage special diets and feeding plans, ensuring you get the right amount of food in the right way.

live in carer cost uk

Challenges Faced by Live-in Carers

A key challenge faced by live-in carers is the maintenance of a work-life balance, as the job involves providing round-the-clock and often advanced care in the client’s home.

Consequently, the setting of clear boundaries regarding working hours and personal time is vital.

Dealing with the emotional strain which comes with the role can also be difficult, as providing constant life care to someone who may be seriously ill or nearing the end of their life can prove emotionally draining.

However many live-in carers still find the role extremely rewarding despite these challenges. It provides an opportunity to form close relationships with their care recipients, and to see the direct impact of their work remains. However, it is still crucial for the care assistant to take care of their own mental health, seeking support when needed.

Moreover, a potential lack of privacy and personal space can also become an issue. This is because live-in care involves residing in the client’s home, meaning that setting boundaries and sourcing occasional respite is essential for carer wellbeing.

In addition, isolation can also be challenging for live-in carers, as they have limited social contact outside of work hours. Consequently, building a support system is also important.

Live in Carer qualifications

In the United Kingdom, no certification or qualification is required to become a live-in carer. However, many professional live-in care providers require their carers to have training and experience in the pitch.

Various courses and credentials can assist carers in acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality live-in care. These consist of:

Care Certificate

The Care Certificate is a set of standards that all healthcare assistants and social care support workers in England must meet before unsupervised employment. It includes communication, health and safety, and person-centred care, among other topics.

Health and Social Care NVQ/QCF

The NVQ/QCF is a vocational qualification that equips learners with the skills and knowledge required to work in health and social care. It is available at various levels and covers a vast array of subjects.

Dementia Care Mapping

Dementia Care Mapping is a tool used to assess the quality of care provided to people with dementia. It is intended to assist carers in identifying areas for care and support enhancement.

End of Life Care and Palliative Care

End of Life Care is a training programme that teaches carers how to provide compassionate care to terminally ill patients. It includes pain management, emotional support, and spiritual care, among other topics. Palliative care is a specialist area and one that needs a specialist skillset. 

The best way to become a professional live-in carer is to gain experience working in the care industry and to seek out training opportunities that will allow you to develop your skills and knowledge.

How to find someone to provide 24 hour care at home within a budget

If you, or a loved one, are self funding the costs of 24 hour care at home then you will want to ensure that you get value for money.  However, we have found that there have been several new personal care service providers emerge in the UK over the past couple of years.

This makes choosing a carer that is within your budget potentially even easier as in some areas costs are falling.

If you want some help with finding a carer within your budget we can help you – You can have a chat with the chatbot below (or clicking the icon of the man in the bottom right corner).  He will ask you some questions and then based on your answers recommend a live care agencies to you to look at in more detail.

Using equity release to pay for live-in carer fees

Equity release is becoming, by far, one of the most popular ways to fund the cost of live in care or care home fees for the elderly.  You can read about how equity release works here.

Due to how much does a live in carer cost, many people are increasingly using equity release to fund their live in care. You unlock tax-free money tied up in the value of your home and can spend it how you like: whether its paying the cost of live in care, or making home adaptations to improve your comfort. 

In particular, you could use the money to help make your home more accessible with a stairlift company. This support would help you modify your home and make moving between upstairs and downstairs easier. 

Equity release works by borrowing a lump sum, tax-free against the value of your home. 

The loan is then usually only repayable on death or if you move into a long-term residential care home. Releasing equity can be a big decision, so you should always discuss the impact of it with your family as well as an independent financial adviser.

The most popular types of equity release schemes are:

If you want to explore this option to pay your live in carer cost please leave your details on one of our equity release pages. We’ll get in touch to discuss how you can pay your care costs with equity release products.

Using this equity release calculator, you can also see how much money you could get.

You can click the calculator below to get an instant idea of how much money you can get tax free from the value of your home.  Give it a go as it can often be more than you think and may make paying the per week live in carer cost more feasible.

How much equity release can I get from my home to pay for live in care?

If you want to know how much money you can take from your home, please click on the equity release calculator below.  This will help you estimate how much money you can take from your house, tax-free.

You will be able to choose how you spend the money. It can be put towards paying the live in care cost, used to improve your home environment, to go on a lavish holiday, or to help out a younger loved one who is financially struggling and needs some extra cash to get by.

We recommend that you try out the calculator as it often surprises people as to how much cash they can receive.

How to choose between living in care agencies

In essence, there are three live in care options you have when it comes to choosing a live in carer.  The per week care live in cost may range between providers.

The care agencies to choose between are:

  1. Source a living in caregiver independently
  2. Use a live in care agency
  3. Use a specialist living in care services agency

Source a live in carer independently

Many families start by looking for private carers independently, as previously this was the only way to source 24 hour per day home care provision.

Advertisements can sometimes be placed in local papers or online directories, and carers can also be found through word of mouth recommendations from friends.

Although this method allows you greater control, it is also very labour-intensive and time-consuming. It may take a while to find someone suitable for your health issues needs who charges within the per week budget you set out for your live in care cost. 

Once you find someone right for your needs, you’ll need to interview them and ensure that they have been properly vetted. It is very important to approve them and check their background before they start working for the care recipient.

When you source a live in carer independently, you’ll also be responsible for paying their wages and arranging shifts and rotas.

Use a live in care agency to provide 24 hour home care support

Live in care agencies are often specialists in this type of care alone.  However, many traditional home care service providers also often offer 24 hour home care support.

Understandably a lot of work, experience and know-how are required to ensure that you are matched to a carer who perfectly suits your needs. For this reason, agencies are regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) and must employ workers who have been fully vetted and DBS checked to ensure that they can work with vulnerable people.

Some live in care agencies only offer nursing care services support, some provide companionship; others have specific experience with dementia. This experience of different health conditions, as well as the total live in care cost for your care plan, should also influence your final decision.

Once you’ve introduced yourself to several agencies they should invite you to visit them or arrange a home visit. They should be interested in learning about your care requirements and personal preferences.

Then as you progress, you should be consulted on who will be administering your care – with a proper introduction and trial period to ensure they are right for you.

If you don’t feel that they are for you, you can source a carer independently. Private live-in carers are still subject to certain regulations, but you should put appropriate steps in place to protect both you and them.

Use a specialist living in care recruitment agency

The third and final option involves approaching specialised recruitment agencies that deal specifically with experienced live-in carers.

They source and match professionals based on the criteria you provide.

The main difference between recruitment or introduction agencies and live-in care agencies is that in this instance professionals operate in a standalone capacity – and are self-employed.

As live in care is being considered by an increasing number of people each year, more of us are asking the question: ‘What does a live-in carer do?’

The answer isn’t straightforward – but that’s actually good news. Live in care is incredibly versatile – so it’s a great option for a wide variety of people with differing care needs. 

24 hour live-in care cost uk

Do you have to pay for care with dementia?

When it comes to care for individuals with dementia, there are costs associated with in-home care. In-home dementia care costs can vary depending on several factors, such as the level of care required and the specific services provided.

Live in dementia care costs typically involve a caregiver residing in the individual’s home to provide round-the-clock support. The cost of live in dementia care can range significantly, depending on factors such as the location and the qualifications of the caregiver.

Generally, 24 hour dementia care can be more expensive than part-time or intermittent care. It’s advisable to research local home care agencies or providers to get a better understanding of the cost of in-home dementia care in your specific area. They can provide accurate information and help you navigate the financial aspects while ensuring your loved one receives the necessary support and assistance they need.

The Future of Live-in Care in the UK

The UK’s ageing population is likely to drive increased demand for quality homecare options such as live-in care in the coming years. However, growth in the sector does not simply rely on this. Rather, sufficient funding and the recruitment of skilled carers is also needed. Further challenges abound for the sector, including the need for more trained carers, better regulation, and more funding to cover the costs of care. 

As the live-in care sector evolves, it is essential to continue to prioritise the needs of care recipients. This will involve ongoing improvements in care quality, regulation, and support for carers. Further technological advances may allow aspects of care to be supported remotely, yet human carers will remain at the core of quality live-in care provision due to the quality of care that can be provided.

The future of live-in care in the UK will depend on various factors such as policy decisions, funding levels, and the ability to attract and retain skilled carers. However, it is certain that live-in care will continue to play a vital role in the UK’s health and social care landscape for years to come.

Understanding Person-Centred Care

Person-centred care is the inclusion of the client and their family in care decisions whenever possible, promoting dignity and comfort. This care model is a vital aspect of a live-in carer’s approach as it prioritises the individual’s needs, preferences, and experiences. This means that the care provided is tailored to the person’s unique needs, and that they receive not just professional care, but compassionate and respectful support. 

As an approved carer, providing person-centred care requires a high level of adaptability. You need to be able to respond to the individual’s changing needs, adjusting the care package accordingly. This is because both you and the individual are reaching a decision about the best level of care together. This could mean altering the type of support provided, the hours worked, or even the way in which care is delivered. 

It is also important to note that part of providing personalised care involves spending time interacting with and getting to know the client as an individual. Therefore, simple activities like having a conversation can lead a client to feel valued.

Person-centred care is beneficial for the individual receiving care, as well as providing the carer with a sense of job satisfaction. Seeing the positive impact of their work can be rewarding and consequently, make the challenges of the role more manageable. 

Meeting the Demands of Emergency Care

Live-in care jobs often require the ability to provide emergency care, which is being able to respond swiftly and effectively to sudden changes in the individual’s health condition. These changes could be a bad fall, a sudden illness, or a worsening of an existing condition. 

It is important to note that emergency care can be challenging, even for an experienced carer. It requires a strong presence of mind, the ability to make quick decisions, and the skills to provide immediate and appropriate care. This means that it is an area where professional training, such as in first aid or handling medical emergencies, can be invaluable. 

The ability to provide emergency care is a significant advantage for a live-in carer, as it provides peace of mind to the individual and their family members to know that immediate medical help is always available. 

Providing emergency care can also contribute to the cost-effectiveness of live-in care as it prevents unnecessary hospital admissions, reducing healthcare costs and the stress associated with hospital stays. 

The Role of Respite Care in Live-in Care

Having time to recover can help to  prevent fatigue and burnout, consequently supporting the continuity of quality care. This highlights the necessity of respite care, which offers live-in carers necessary breaks from their demanding role, cannot be understated.

Respite care can be provided by another professional carer, a care agency, or even a family member, and can last a few hours, a week, or even longer. This depends on the needs of the carer and the individual receiving care. 

The provision of respite care is a recognition of the demanding nature of live-in care jobs, emphasising the need for carers to have time for themselves. This will allow them to rest, engage in their own interests, and attend to personal responsibilities. 

In the long run, respite care can contribute to the sustainability of live-in care. This is because it helps to prevent career burnout, as well as maintaining high standards of care and ensuring continuity of care for the individual. 

The Role of a Care Team in Live-in Care

Live-in care is often delivered as part of a wider care team, consisting of other healthcare professionals, such as nurses, therapists and a healthcare assistant, as well as family members of the individual. Consequently, working as part of a care team ensures a holistic approach to the loved one’s quality of care.

Although live-in carer remains focused on personal and daily care tasks, care teams allow different healthcare professionals to contribute their specialised skills as needed. For instance, nursing for clinical needs or physical therapy for mobility. 

Communication is obviously crucial within these care teams, and is maintained via regular meetings or communication via phone or email. This ensures that everyone is updated on the individual’s condition and on any changes in care needs. In addition, it provides an opportunity for team members to offer support to each other and to share their experiences and insights, all of which together can enhance the overall care. 

Working within a care team can also provide a sense of professional support for the live-in carer, offering opportunities for learning, sharing of responsibilities, and a sense of belonging. Therefore, this can enhance job satisfaction and retention. 

Navigating the Care Industry

The care industry in the UK is complex and offers various options for arranging care. For example, introduction agencies help to connect individuals and families with live-in carers. These agencies typically have a pool of vetted carers, matching a carer based on the individual’s needs and preferences. 

Some clients opt to recruit live-in carers independently rather than via an agency. ALthough this offers more control, it also involves taking on HR responsibilities like pay and conditions.

Additionally, family members play a significant role in arranging care. They may help choose the carer, liaise with the care agency, and be involved in decisions about the care package. Their involvement can ensure that the care provided aligns with the individual’s wishes and needs. 

Although navigating the care industry can be challenging, the right information and support will equip you to arrange high-quality live-in care. It’s about finding the right fit for the individual and their unique needs, making sure that they can continue to live their life with dignity and respect in their own home.

The Scope of Nursing Care in Live-In Care

Live-in care does not only involve assistance with daily tasks or providing companionship but encompasses elements of nursing care too. This is particularly relevant when the care recipient has more complex health needs. An approved live-in carer can take on tasks such as administering medication, wound care, and monitoring vital signs.

Alternatively, some complex cases require significant collaboration between a live-in carer and visiting nurse, with the latter handling clinical needs and the former providing daily personal care. The frequency of visits varies based on the developments in the client’s condition.

However, it’s important to note that not all live-in carers are equipped to provide intensive nursing care. Rather, in some cases where the health needs are highly complex, a professional nurse may be required to provide round-the-clock care. This is an aspect to consider when calculating care costs and assessing the viability of live-in care.

Live-In Care Assistants and Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are a regular part of the work of live-in carers, a role which involves identifying potential hazards in the care recipient’s home and taking measures to mitigate these risks. This mitigation could include checking for trip hazards, ensuring that the kitchen  is safe for use, or assessing the safety of the bathroom for an individual with mobility issues.

It is essential to conduct routine risk assessments, maintaining the safety and well-being of both the care recipient and the live-in carer. These assessments can prevent accidents and injuries that have the potential to exacerbate health complications.

Furthermore, comprehensive risk assessments can contribute to a more personalised care plan by understanding the individual’s unique risks and needs. Consequently, the live-in carer can provide care which is comprehensively tailored to the individual.

Personalised Care and Quality of Life

One of the greatest advantages of live-in care is the personalised care aspect. The approach goes beyond simply meeting the individual’s physical needs, as it encompasses their mental, emotional, and social well-being. This can greatly enhance the quality of life for the care recipient, making them feel valued and respected.

A live-in carer who provides personalised care takes the time to truly understand the individual. They learn about their likes and dislikes, their routines, their hobbies, and their values. Consequently, this knowledge allows them to provide care that aligns with the individual’s lifestyle and preferences.

For example, a person who loves gardening may appreciate assistance to continue this hobby. Alternatively, someone who values their independence may prefer to do certain tasks themselves, with the live-in carer providing support only when needed. By respecting these wishes, the live-in carer can help to maintain the individual’s sense of self and dignity, all contributing to a better quality of life.

A Case Study on a Week in the Life of a Live-in Carer

Below is a case study that will help to bring the role of a live-in carer to life in a real-world context. This example should be relevant to those considering this career path, or anyone who is interested in understanding the daily routine of a live-in carer.

Sarah is a self-employed, professional caregiver who has been providing live-in care for the past five years. She is one of the many approved carers working in the UK, providing person-centred care to individuals in their own homes. 

Sarah’s client is 80-year-old Mr. Smith who has complex care needs. Despite his conditions, he wishes to remain in his own home. Consequently, Sarah provides around-the-clock support to make this possible.

Sarah’s work week begins on Monday morning. She lives in her own home during the weekend and uses her own car to commute to Mr. Smith’s house. Once there, she assists Mr. Smith with his morning routine. This includes personal hygiene, dressing, and medication administration.

Throughout the week, Sarah provides constant care to Mr. Smith. For instance, she helps him with his meals, medication, and personal care. Furthermore, her company greatly enhances Mr. Smith’s quality of life. They often spend time together in the garden, one of Mr. Smith’s favourite pastimes.

As part of her role, Sarah also handles some household chores. This includes shopping for groceries, cooking meals, and cleaning. She also liaises with Mr. Smith’s healthcare team, ensuring that they are updated about his condition and any changes in his care needs.

Sarah is paid weekly. Her remuneration takes into account her living costs, as she lives in Mr. Smith’s home for the entire week, and she also receives an attendance allowance. This is a benefit which provides financial help to older people who need assistance due to severe disability.

It is also important to note that Sarah takes respite or has time off on weekends, preventing burnout. Consequently, cover arrangements are made during this time.

Sarah’s situation illustrates how live-in care can be a cost-effective solution for individuals with complex care needs, allowing them to receive high-quality, personalised care in their own homes. Additionally, the role provides peace of mind to loved ones. For Sarah, being a carer means making a real difference to someone’s quality of life.

Key Takeaways and Learnings

To bring together the insights gathered throughout this article, the key aspects of the live-in carer role are summarised below. This summary will help to illustrate the necessity of live-in care and the various considerations that come with it.

Here are the main points to remember:

– For those who need constant care but wish to remain in their own homes, live-in care is a viable option . 

– The role of a live-in carer is broad and encompasses personal care, emotional support, assistance with daily tasks, and sometimes nursing care.

– Person-centred care is at the heart of a live-in carer’s approach, prioritising the individual’s personal needs and preferences.

– Live-in carers often work as part of a wider care team, including other healthcare professionals and family members.

– Regular risk assessments are vital to guarantee the safety and well-being of both the care recipient and the live-in carer.

– Live-in care can be cost-effective, particularly when compared to the costs of residential care or nursing homes. 

– Whilst a live-in carer’s role is usually demanding and requires a high level of commitment, it can also be rewarding. This is particularly relevant when the carer sees the positive impact of their work. 

The role of a live-in carer is therefore a vital one in the UK’s health and social care sector, providing invaluable support to individuals who need constant care and helping them maintain their independence and quality of life. 

Whether you are considering becoming a live-in carer, seeking one for a loved one, or simply interested in understanding this crucial role, this article has hopefully offered a comprehensive overview. The live-in carer role is a challenging, rewarding, and indispensable one, playing a necessary role in enabling individuals to maintain dignity and respect in their own homes.

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Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does live-in care differ from other care types?

Live-in care is a form of home care in which a professional carer resides in the patient’s home. This allows the individual to maintain independence and remain in their home by providing around-the-clock care and support. Live-in care is distinct from hourly care and residential care in that the carer is always present and able to respond to the individual’s needs as they arise.

What credentials and experience do live-in carers possess?

Professional live-in carers typically have some form of training or qualification in health and social care, although the specific requirements can vary. The Care Certificate is a set of standards that all healthcare assistants and social care support workers in England must meet. In addition, live-in carers typically have years of experience in the care industry.

What is the cost of live-in care?

The cost of live-in care can vary based on a variety of factors, such as the required level of care, the location of the client’s home, and the qualifications and experience of the carer. In-home care is typically more expensive than hourly care but less expensive than residential care. According to the UK Home Care Association, the average weekly cost of live-in care in the United Kingdom is between £900 and £1,500.

How do I pay for in-home care?

There are various options for paying for live-in care, including private payment, government funding, and charitable assistance. Private pay entails paying for care out of pocket, whereas government funding may be available via local authorities or the National Health Service. Charitable organisations, such as Age UK or the Alzheimer’s Society, may also offer financial assistance to assist with care costs. It is crucial to consult a financial advisor or a professional care provider to explore all of your options for paying for live-in care.

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