Help and support for carers

We’ve shared our guidance to help you get started with Elder, as well as practical tips and advice to get the most out of your placements. 

We’re here to help you get the most out of caring

Caring can be incredibly rewarding – there’s nothing quite like seeing the spark come back in the person you’re caring for, or hearing stories from their lives. However, we also know that being a carer can come with some challenges too. 

We’ve answered your most frequently asked questions, and shared our guidance to help you feel confident about delivering exceptional care that not only enriches the lives of the person you are supporting and their family, but enriches yours too. 

The role of a live-in carer

As a live-in carer, each person you care for will probably need your help in different ways. However, when you become such an important part of family life, it might be tricky to know if an additional duty asked of you is actually part of your responsibility as a carer. 

Things you’ll help with:

  • Washing, grooming and personal care 
  • Preparing meals
  • Supporting their night time routine
  • Helping them to stay active and keep up with their hobbies
  • Running short errands, such as shopping 
  • Keeping the house clean and tidy

Things you won’t have to do:

  • Administer medication 
  • Change a catheter or help with a stoma
  • Assist with PEG feeding
  • Deep clean the home
  • Handle or withdraw money for the person you’re caring for

I cannot imagine I would do any other work now which doesn’t involve care, I’m in my sixties and I hope to keep my energy, drive, and enthusiasm going for a few more years.

Stephen, Self-employed carer with Elder

Getting started with Elder

What’s the application process?

Our application form has been designed to be as easy as possible. You’ll start by completing a short form –it’s made up of 2 sections, and should take around 10 minutes to complete.

If you look like a great fit for the families we help, we’ll arrange a short 10 minute phone interview with you, to get to know you better and answer any questions you may have about Elder, or what it’s like to be a self-employed live-in carer with us.

The next stage is to get to know each other face to face. If all goes well during your phone interview, you’ll be invited to book a 20-30 minute video interview through Zoom at a time that works best for you. At this stage you’ll also be able to start sending us your references and relevant documentation, so you can start creating your profile on the Elder Hub. 

To start your application process, visit apply now.  

What checks or documents do I need in order to work through Elder?

Right to work

If you’re not British, Irish or EEA/Swiss, you’ll need to provide us with a current and valid visa that allows self-employment in the UK. If the visa is in a passport, the passport needs to be current.

If you’re British or Irish, you can demonstrate your Right to Work with your passport (it doesn’t need to be in date), or a birth certificate, together with a National Insurance number document.

If you’re EEA/Swiss, we just need to see your passport or ID card (doesn’t need to be in date), along with details about your settlement status.


In order to apply for work on Elder’s placements in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, carers are required to have a clean Enhanced DBS with Adults Barred list checks, that is no older than 2 years and 6 months.


In order to apply for work on Elder’s placements in Scotland, carers are required to have a clean PVG no older than 3 years.

Obtaining a DBS or PVG

Elder can help you arrange for a new DBS or PVG through a third-party service (Verifile). Please contact [email protected] if you would like us to support you with this.

Carers are expected to cover the cost of obtaining their new DBS or PVG. Prices are as follows:

  • DBS: £55.20 total (inc VAT)
  • PVG registration: £93.60 total (inc VAT)
  • PVG update (for existing members of the scheme): £44.40 total (inc VAT)

If you have any queries about an existing application through Verifile, please contact them directly. Email: [email protected] or Phone: (0) 1234 339 300.

What type of placements can I work on?

Elder offers two types of placement – fixed-length and ongoing.


A fixed-length placement is typically used for respite care or to cover a primary carer whilst they’re on a break. These placements vary in length, but there will always be a clear start and end date.


Carers on an ongoing placement will typically be considered the primary carer for the person they’re caring for. However, they differ from fixed-length placements as the carer returns to the same placement at regular intervals for the foreseeable future. Carers typically stay with their client in cycles of 4 to 10 weeks and then return after a break. When applying for ongoing placements, carers can state their preferred work schedule and will be able to arrange breaks once they’ve started.

Useful information

How do I succeed with Elder?

We believe quality, person-centred live-in care can change lives – it helps keep older people happy at home, surrounded by their memories, family, and friends.

Great carers:

  • Encourage independent, active living
  • Respect boundaries and show flexibility
  • Are excellent, proactive communicators
  • Show companionship and kindness
  • Deliver professional, person-centred care
  • Are reliable and competent while delivering care

Whether you’re on a placement or taking some time off, try to keep conversations polite, professional and respectful. Always aim to be reliable, and give us plenty of notice if your circumstances or commitments change.

How do I organise breaks and time off?

Caring can be tough. It’s essential that you give yourself some downtime to rest, recharge, and look after yourself.

During a placement, you should try to find time for a break every day by coordinating with the family to ensure your care recipient isn’t without care. We also encourage you to organise longer periods away from placements so that you can return feeling refreshed.

Managing breaks on placement

You’re free to manage your own time during the day, alongside ensuring that the needs of the person you’re caring for are met. When planning your day, we encourage you to organise some short breaks for yourself. You’re entitled to 2 hours of break time each day, and it often works best to split this time into smaller segments (e.g. four 30 minute breaks).

If there are any issues with your breaks whilst on a placement, please inform Elder as soon as possible so that we can help ensure you’re getting the rest time you need. We recommend discussing these needs with the care recipient’s family too.

Taking time off

Whether you’re a primary or respite carer, it’s important to take some time away from placements every so often. This helps to ensure that you are physically and mentally rested when delivering person-centred care.

If you’re working on a placement, remember to give us plenty of notice when arranging a break. Carers should notify Elder about their breaks at least two weeks in advance, as this will allow us enough time to arrange for another carer to take over.

Will Elder help me travel to and from my placement?


At Elder we cover all your travel expenses to and from your placement, as well as any costs for getting out and about with the person you’re caring for. 

Claiming your travel costs is simple, all you need to do is email a copy of your travel receipts or tickets to [email protected]

What’s the best way to reach Elder?

If you have a question, or would like support from our team, you can email us at [email protected]. Our team will always aim to answer emails within 24 hours of receiving them.

If your issue is more urgent then it’s always best to give us a call on – 0330 134 7997

Become a carer

Join the thousands of experienced care professionals turning to live-in care for a flexible career in which you’re your own boss. Follow the link below to apply online in minutes.