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Live-in Care: The Questions You Need to Ask

If you are considering live-in elderly care for looking after a loved one, you will want to carry out some research before to help you make an informed decision on the best care solution that suits your specific needs. Here are a few of the questions you should ask when selecting a qualified care provider.

What does live-in care entail?

Rather than several visits from home care assistants each day, your loved one would have a dedicated carer to provide the care they need twenty-four hours a day, every day. This way they can enjoy independent living in their own home, but with the advantages of care on the spot whenever it is needed. Having a caregiver that they can really get to know can make a real difference and provide much more stability and much need companionship in an older person’s life.

How long will the carer stay with my loved one?

Building a relationship with a carer is important to many people, especially those who find change difficult. People needing dementia care particularly benefit from the stability provided by a familiar face, so it is important to find out how long a provider expects a live-in carer to stay with a care recipient.

What happens when a caregiver is on holiday or sick leave?

Private care providers should be able to assure you that if your loved one’s regular carer is away for any reason, a suitable temporary replacement will be arranged.

How much notice do you need to arrange in-home care?

As providers like to match carers and care recipients carefully to ensure that they match well, the more notice you can give the better. However, the needs of elderly people can change very quickly, and you may need to arrange care at home urgently. Private live-in care providers should have carers ready to step in at short notice when they are really needed, within 24-48 hours.

How do you recruit your carers?

Elderly care providers should ensure that the carers they employ are able to communicate clearly with the people they care for, so a good standard of spoken and written English is essential. Pre-employment screening should include an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and two written references to ensure that the person is suitable for working with vulnerable adults. Previous experience will be taken into account, and care providers will arrange for any additional training that is needed before a live-in carer is placed with a care recipient.

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.

How do you match a carer with a care recipient?

Care providers will look at aspects such as personality, interests and background when finding a carer for somone. It’s important that the mental and emotional wellbeing of the older person are discussed during the care assessment to assist with finding the best match. Real friendships often develop between the carer and the care recipient, as they have many things in common.

What food will the carer prepare?

Diet and nutrition are important in maintaining good health, so you need to be assured that the person providing care at home for your loved one is able to prepare meals well and understands the nutritional needs of older people. They will also ensure that an adequate fluid intake is maintained. The caregiver will also be happy to cook your loved one’s favourite dishes, which will be helpful in ensuring that they enjoy their food and eat well.

How is quality monitoring carried out?

It is important that the 24/7 care you pay for is of the highest quality, so you may like to ask potential care providers what monitoring systems they have in place. It is important that they are in regular contact with you, your loved one and the carer to ensure that everything is going well. Check that the provider has a number you can contact in an emergency at any time. If you have any concerns at all, your provider should be ready to address these immediately.

How will the carer know what care is needed?

The care provider should prepare a care plan that meets all the needs of your loved one. They may use a local authority care assessment as a basis for this and will also consult you and your loved one. You will be able to explain what is important to you both and what you expect from the carer. If your loved one’s needs change, the care plan will be amended so that it always reflects what care is required.

What will the carer need?

A live-in carer will need a room of their own, preferably with TV and an internet connection. Although they are there to provide round the clock care, they will need breaks and a certain amount of sleep. One of the advantages of having elderly care provided in the home is that the carer can be very flexible and arrange their times around your loved one’s needs. The carer will also need their basic food and drink and the use of a bathroom.

Does a live-in care service provide dementia care?

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you will know that one of the hardest things for them to cope with is change. Staying in a familiar place with people they know around them can help someone with dementia to feel safe and less anxious.

Ask if the carers are trained in Alzheimer’s care, as this is important to ensure they understand the disease and how to communicate with your loved one. It is also very reassuring to know that a professional carer understands the wishes and needs of the care recipient.

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