Live in Carer – What do they do?
More and more people in the UK are realising that caregiving is a rewarding line of work. At the moment, about 1 in 20 people are carers in the UK. Some of these people don’t work at residential homes and instead opt to visit the patients and care for them from home or are caring for their loved one in their own homes.
Caregivers who work from the patients’ homes are referred to as live-in care workers. Some of these people get paid for their services while others simply offer their services voluntarily. The patients are said to receive live-in care.
What Do Live-In Carers Do?
A live in carer does the same job as a regular caregiver, except for the fact that they work from home. Some of these people will provide 24 hour home care while others will work part-time.
Many patients will require care occasionally and will find it unnecessary to hire a 24 hour home care provider. Such people can work with part-time caregivers. Patients with severe immobility or advanced mental illnesses can work with full-time carers.
Here is a video from the UK Care Guide on what a carer does.
Here are some roles performed by a live in care worker:
1 – Provision of Personal Care
An elder or physically impaired person will usually have trouble taking care of their personal needs. They may be unable to dress themselves and even feed properly. A live in caregiver will help the patient take baths and handle their personal care needs
Their main role is to maintain the patient’s quality of life. Live in carers will usually be trained to clean the patient’s clothes, the patients themselves, and even the home environment. They simply need to maintain the appearance of the elderly person.
2 – Provision of Medical Care
There are many illnesses that will require the services of a professional lie in care worker.
Some of these diseases include cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and HIV/AIDS. These illnesses affect a patient’s mobility and their general capacity to take care of themselves.
For such people, a professional nurse will be required to provide live in care. The live in carer, in this case, will not just offer personal care but also medical care. For example, they will monitor the progress of the conditions and ensure that the patient is taking their medication as required.
Live in care providers have to be trained for their roles since a simple mistake can have dire consequences. Also, they need to understand the conditions they are dealing with in order to handle them in ways that don’t worsen the conditions
Mental diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s will especially require the services of thoroughly trained personnel. An untrained person could easily say the wrong things to the patients and suffer severe bodily harm in the hands of extremely paranoid patients. For example, trying to get a dementia patient to remember past events can make them very suspicious of your intentions.
Patients with mental illnesses would especially appreciate live in care as opposed to moving to residential homes. This is because familiar settings help them relax. If they are taken to foreign places with new people, they would get anxious and can get confused.
In some cases, a team of nurses will be needed to provide the patient with adequate care. The doctors would decide which professionals to send to a patient’s home. The nurses should be qualified to administer medication for various diseases.
3 – Reporting Symptoms
To make sure the patients receive the highest level of care, the live in carers will monitor the symptoms of the patients and record any unusual observations. These reports can be forwarded to doctors for further guidance.
Generally, the live-in care giver will liaise with the doctor to make sure the patient improves over time.
4 – Offering Respite Care
Respite care refers to situations where a long-term caregiver takes a break and invites someone else to take care of the patient for a short time.
Respite care is important for the caregiver as it allows them to relax and pursue their other interests.
Usually, family members use this form of care to take a break from their elderly loved ones. During the period of their break, a living care worker can be invited to make sure the senior family member is well taken care of.
You should note that these breaks are also important for the patient. A family member can get exhausted taking care of their loved one and would be too worn out to provide the optimal levels of care. The short break can help them relax and appreciate their roles as living care workers.
Similarly, the patient would have an opportunity to interact with new people. This will help them learn how to adapt to new conditions and environments slowly. In this case, the only change would be in the caregiver, and that is not enough to startle them. It would simply program their mind to be more accepting of change.
5 – Ensuring that the Patient’s Nutritional Needs are Met
Nutrition is very important, especially for elderly or sickly people. The problem is that these people will usually have a reduced appetite and may not want to even touch their food. Another role of the living carer is to ensure that the patients take the required amounts of food on a daily basis.
A carer may start by finding out what the patient’s favourite foods are. They will then go shopping for those foods more often, and they could also cook the foods according to the patient’s preference.
The caregiver will have to find ways of getting the patients to ingest the right proportions of nutrients. For some nutrients, they may even have to get the patient to swallow supplements.
People who care for dementia patients often get them to eat their foods by making the food more colourful. Also, such patients will show more interest in the food if the food can be eaten with the fingers.
For people with difficulty swallowing, the live in carer will need to alter the texture of the foods. Otherwise, the patient will not be able to comfortably swallow the foods. In fact, making the texture too soft or too hard can pose a risk for the patient.
6 – Pet Care
It is a fact that many sickly people are unable to adequately take care of their pets. These people still love their pets but are just too weak or immobile. In such cases, the caregiver will ease the patient’s life by taking care of their pet.
The caregiver will feed, clean, and groom the pets to make sure they are in the perfect conditions. Also, they will deliver the pet to their owner so that the two can enjoy each other’s company.
How Much Is a Live-In Care Giver Paid?
The live in care cost will vary based on the experience and qualifications of the caregiver.
Highly experienced caregivers who work with respected live in care care agencies will usually charge the highest prices. These ones will offer you peace of mind as you will be assured of high-quality services.
That being said, you don’t need to invest a lot of money on your live in carer since the Care Quality Commission regulates the quality of social services around the country. As long as the service you picked is legal and registered, their standards have to comply with the regulations of the Care Quality Commission.
The live in care cost will also vary depending on your location. In larger cities like London, the carers will charge very high prices while those in smaller rural areas will have very low charges.
Another important factor which will determine the cost of live in care is your personal needs. If you have serious needs, you may get a special estimate when you contact the live in care care agencies on the phone. A final quote is usually confirmed after representatives from the agencies visit you in person.
24 hour live in care cost will typically be very high. This is because the agencies have to be available whenever you need help.
Depending on your circumstances, your local council may contribute to your 24 hour live in care cost. Usually, the payments you make will depend on your savings and income.
If your local council ends up paying the live in care agencies for your care, they will have to provide you with a care and support plan. Your personal budget can be sent as a direct payment every month.
If you choose to receive the budget as a direct payment, you will have the chance to work with a familiar caregiver as opposed to live in care agencies.
Live in care providers are special people in the society.
They help to ease the lives of the disabled, the sick, and the elder members of society by providing them with care whenever needed. In some cases, they will offer round-the-clock care, and in others, they will simply offer their services briefly.
There are many benefits of live in care. One of these is the fact that the senior gets to enjoy their own familiar environment and family.
Other benefits of live in care include the reduced costs, the flexibility of the arrangement, and the companionship that the patients enjoy.