How do I find a live-in carer?
The best carers aren’t just carers: they’re a part of the family. That’s what makes finding the right one so important.
Fortunately, there are several ways to find someone who fits the bill. You might decide to go it alone and make private arrangements, or, if your loved one is happy to move, you might choose residential care. Or you might decide to go through a care provider, who will find a carer on your behalf and manage the admin that comes with them.
Elder is one of those providers, specialising in live-in care. Not only do we handpick our live-in carers based on their compatibility with your loved one, we can have them on your doorstep in as little as 24 hours.
Use a care provider
Care providers and introduction agencies act as middlemen between you and prospective caregivers.
They’ll do all the legwork for you, making sure any carer on their books has the qualifications and references they need to work with your loved one. Their carers will also likely be registered as self-employed, which means they will be responsible for their own national insurance payments and income tax return.
Still, not all providers offer the same service, so it’s important you do your research into the kind you’re looking for. Some exclusively provide visiting home carers, while others specialise in finding a live-in carer. Some will simply connect you with someone who lives in the area, while others will take the time to learn about your loved one and find the right fit for them.
All of this will affect how much you pay and the level of support. A live-in carer’s costs, for example, are fixed, where a visiting carer’s will vary depending on how regularly they’re popping in, and at what times.
Your GP, local authority or local charities and trusts may have information about particular providers in the area, or you could use online directories, like the NHS or the Care Quality Commission. Alternatively, a quick Google search will throw up all sorts of options.
Make private arrangements
If you’re looking for complete control of the recruitment process, this is what you’ll be after.
First, you’ll need to find a suitable candidate for the role. This might be a family member, a friend or friend of a friend, though be sure to consider how an employer-employee dynamic may put new pressure on existing relationships.
Alternatively, it might mean advertising for the role on online forums or with local charities, and using someone you’ve not met before. In either case, it’s important you ask for references from previous employers and run a DBS check to review their criminal record.
This will also make you the carer’s employer, which means you’ll need to meet certain legal obligations. For a start, you’ll need to draw up a contract of employment, and agree to a salary of national minimum wage or above. They’ll also qualify for holiday pay and statutory sick pay.
On top of these considerations, you’ll also need to make sure:
They’re covered by public liability insurance and employer’s liability insurance They do not work over the maximum permitted weekly hours (48 hours) You manage their income tax returns, national insurance payments, health and safety, and possibly their pension contributions
You can find out more about all of the things you need to think about as an employer on the HMRC website.
Move them into a care home
In care homes, your loved one will be looked after by an assortment of care specialists around the clock.
Like home care agencies and live-in care providers, the home will take care of all the responsibilities that come with the caregivers themselves. But your loved one will, of course, be obliged to move out of their home and into a new place where their freedom – choice of meals, bedtimes and so on – will be somewhat limited.
For a list of care homes within your budget in your area, you should chat to your local authority. Alternatively, there are a variety of helpful online directories, including:
Which? Care Services Directory
The Care Quality Commission (England)
The Care and Social Services Inspectorate (Wales)
The Care Inspectorate (Scotland)
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (Northern Ireland)
When should I start my search?
When you look for a carer depends what you’re looking for in their role.
You may, for example, choose to start looking when your loved one needs someone to do a few odd jobs around the house. Or you may wait until things have progressed a little further, and bring in a live-in carer to provide more comprehensive assistance. It all depends on your loved one’s feelings about their circumstances, as well as the amount of support you’re able to lend.
In any case, if your loved one is struggling with the day-to-day, they’re likely to need some external help sooner or later. And carers – whether live-in, residential or visiting – can help with a whole variety of tasks, including:
Getting up in the morning and into bed in the evening
Getting out and about
Washing and dressing
Doing the weekly shop
It's not just care it's also peace of mind
“It is reassuring to know that my father is being cared for by someone who understands his needs and his dementia symptoms.”
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