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Dementia Live-in Care: How to Choose a Provider

There are many things to consider when deciding on a live-in care provider for your loved one. The right support can help those with dementia to continue to live their lives as independently as possible. There are various details that you will want to check before selecting a provider so that you can find the best possible option for your family member.

There are two main types of private care providers - those who source and introduce the home care assistant to you but leave you to deal with all the details of their employment, and those who employ carers directly and manage the day-to-day elderly care service.

Agency Providers

An agency provider will recruit suitable carers and carry out checks on their background. They should take up references and may also arrange training, but many agency providers do not do much more than facilitate an introduction. If you decide to employ a carer directly, you will want to satisfy yourself that the company who introduces them has robust recruitment procedures and that you can trust them to supply a suitable carer. You may also want to find a second caregiver to provide cover when your employee is sick or on holiday.

Private Care Providers

Going to a private care provider can eliminate a great deal of the stress associated with arranging dementia care for your loved one. You may know someone who can give a personal recommendation, or a health care professional may be able to suggest an appropriate provider for the care your relative needs.

Ask a prospective provider how they recruit their staff and what checks they make on them. A reputable company should ensure that anyone they employ to provide in-home care has a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check to ensure there is no known reason they should not work with people with dementia or other vulnerable adults. They also need to check references and ensure that the carer has completed a recognised Alzheimer’s care training course before offering them a post as a live-in carer.

Some providers train their own staff for the roles they will be expected to take. They should also provide ongoing supervision and be available for you to contact 24 hours a day if you need to discuss any concerns.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

Care Planning

When choosing a provider of dementia live-in care, ask how they provide support for each individual. Ideally, you and your loved one will be involved in the care-planning process, and any professionals such as Admiral Nurses or other dementia care specialists who visit your loved one.

Before putting the care package in place, all parties should understand what assistance the carer will be expected to deliver and if there is anything that they would be unable to do. For example, not all carers would be willing to help with pet care if this was required.

The provider should be able to show you what kind of documentation the live-in carer would be expected to complete each day and how you can use this to find out how your loved one has been since you last saw them. New developments should be recorded in the care plan, as people’s condition can change.

The Individual Carer

Ask the provider how they choose the carer for any placement. They should try to match the carer and the care recipient with a sensitivity to background, interests and other aspects that might have a bearing on how they relate to each other. The provider may arrange for you and your loved one to meet the carer before finalising the home care placement. This meeting can be a valuable opportunity to assess how 24/7 care might benefit your relative and how they will relate to the carer.

If you choose a provider of live-in care at home, ask them what the working arrangements for the care assistant are. Not all providers are the same, and you want to ensure that safe and reliable care is always available for your relative. Sometimes two carers share a position, each working for two weeks and then changing round. This can provide valuable continuity for your loved one as they will not have a stranger delivering their care at any point. When one carer is on holiday or is off sick, the other will be able to cover the hours.

It can be difficult to choose a provider initially, but if you ask for all the information about the service beforehand and are happy with the answers, you can be sure that you are doing the best you can for your loved one.

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"I love knowing someone is going to bed happy at night because they have a great carer."

Bridget, Care Professional at Elder

Bridget Elder Carer

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