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Elderly Care at Home: How Do I Find a Live-in Carer?

With an increasingly elderly demographic there are now more older people in the UK than ever before, many of whom require assistance with their day-to-day lives. Many of us will face the prospect of our parents or other relatives needing help, and knowing the best options for care can be a great comfort.

Care Home or Caring at Home?

Many older people are fearful at the prospect of entering institutional care homes, yet most families still believe that the only alternative is to take the elderly relative into their own homes. While this is an excellent choice for some families, there are many for whom this is simply not practical.

Even where personal or practical circumstances allow, there are still times when the arrangement can break down - when you and your family go on a holiday that is not suitable for your elderly relative, for example, or if you require medical attention yourself and are unable to perform your usual caring duties. Worrying who will care for your loved one during the times when you are unable to can be stressful for everyone concerned.

Familiar Surroundings

Most older people would prefer to remain in their own homes and in a familiar environment. Thanks to a rise in home care options this is now becoming an increasingly attractive option for many families. Care at home solutions range from a little light help with shopping, cooking and gardening through to 24/7 care from a dedicated live-in carer.

Even if your loved one moves into your home, you can still arrange for a live-in carer to provide assistance for a short time to give you a break. Caring for an elderly loved one can be demanding, and arranging live-in care gives you the chance to meet your own needs as well as those of your loved one.

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.

Independent Living

Personalised care is something that is not always possible in a care home; even with dedicated staff. Nothing beats one-to-one assistance from an experienced caregiver, who can spend time getting to know your loved one as an individual. With in-home care, they can maintain a good quality of life, and enjoy the company of a friendly person always on hand for conversation and help with social events.

Arranging Care in the Home

Local authorities can direct you to your social services department which will arrange for a free home assessment for your elderly relative. This assessment will determine the level of assistance that the department deems relevant. Financial support is available in some cases, which can be used on local authority or private services, depending on what you choose. However, most local authorities are only able to supply a very limited form of support which tends to focus on the basics of personal care, such as help with dressing, bathing and toileting. Some authorities now offer a Personal Budget, so contact your local department to find out what assistance is available to your relative.

If you choose private elderly care then take the time to assess several different care providers to see what level of support they provide. Websites such as goodcareguide.co.uk are a good starting point, so make a list of suitable agencies and approach them with a list of questions. You will need to know about staff training, and whether they check references thoroughly. Ask to see testimonials from other families, and follow them up if possible. Find out whether there is an out-of-hours number in case of problems, and establish the procedure in the event of an emergency involving your relative. You will need to understand the company’s pricing policy and what is included, along with how often to make payment.

Depending on the health of your loved one you may require an experienced live-in dementia carer. Ask about the agency’s training policy for these conditions, as sufferers can sometimes show challenging behaviour and even become aggressive and it is crucial that a carer can deal with this.

Ask what happens if the caregiver and your loved one don’t hit it off. Will the agency offer an alternative? Some offer a trial period so that you and your loved one can assess whether private live-in care is an appropriate option for your circumstances. Having someone else living in your home or your relative’s home requires adjustments, and it’s important that everyone is happy with the arrangement.

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"Knowing how happy someone is with their care package makes all the hard work worthwhile!"

Katherine, Care Professional at Elder

Katherine Elder Carer

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