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Live-in Care: How to Find a Carer

If you have decided to employ a live-in carer to provide care and support for your loved one, there are various ways you can go about finding a suitable person.

This form of elderly care offers the best way of helping an older person to remain safe and independent in their own home when their care needs increase.

However much support with personal care your loved one needs, having a resident caregiver will improve their quality of life by looking after practical issues such as housework and providing companionship.

There are several different ways of finding someone to provide private live-in care for your loved one.

Private Arrangements

You may decide to employ someone to provide in-home care directly. This can work out for some people, but there is a fair amount of work to do, and you will have various legal responsibilities that may add to your stress levels rather than reducing them.

Firstly you need to find a suitable candidate for the role. A friend or family member may appear to fit the bill, but problems may arise in your relationship with the carer since you will be their caregiver as well as their friend.

Even if you think you know someone well, it is advisable to get a DBS check and take up two written references before offering them employment. If you have advertised for someone to provide elderly care and employ someone you do not know, this is even more crucial.

As an employer, you will have to meet certain legal obligations. These include providing the person employed to deliver twenty-four hour care at home with a written statement of employment or contract, and paying them accordingly.

In addition to being paid at least the National Minimum Wage, your employee will also qualify for holiday pay and statutory sick pay. You will also need to ensure they are covered by Public Liability Insurance and Employers Liability Insurance.

Other responsibilities include ensuring that the carer does not work over the maximum allowed hours in a week and allowing them adequate rest breaks. You will be responsible for the carer’s health and safety and will need to provide them with written details of disciplinary and grievance procedures.

You may also be responsible for their Income Tax and National Insurance affairs, and for making pension contributions in some cases, so you will need to research your obligations with the HMRC.

Using an Introduction Service

An introduction service for live-in carers is offered by some agencies. This is less complicated and quicker than employing someone directly because the agency will have carried out the necessary pre-employment checks to screen for suitable candidates.

If you opt for a live-in carer who has been introduced by one of these agencies, they will normally be registered as self-employed. This is an advantage, as they will be responsible for their own National Insurance payments and Income Tax return.

You will still be able to select the best candidate, and if your loved one needs specialist care such as dementia care, you can specify your requirements to the introduction agency so that they put forward candidates with the right experience and qualifications.

Dulcie’s care story

Dulcie is one of our longest serving customers. In this video, she and her family talk through their decision to arrange care in the home rather than the care home.

Using a Live-in Carer Employed by a Care Provider

This is the simplest way of finding the right person to provide 24/7 care for your loved one. It is easier and safer to use a reputable care provider to supply a professional live-in carer, and you will not have all the worry of administering their tax and National Insurance matters because you will simply pay the fees to the care provider who then pays the carer’s wages.

Although you will not directly employ the carer, you and your loved one will be able to specify what care is needed and what other tasks are expected as part of the arrangement. This usually includes laundry, light housework, shopping and cooking, but may also encompass tasks such as caring for pets.

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