Live-in Care Or Care Home?


Live-in Carer with arm around elderly woman

There are many options when it comes to choosing care for a loved one: family circumstances, illness, disability, or a crisis all impact on the choice you make. Moving your family member into a care home may seem like the only solution - but it's not. There are other types of care available to you and some may be a better option than a care home, for example for those people with dementia or Alzheimer's who may find the move to a new place very stressful and confusing.


Live-in Care is a great alternative to moving into a care home - having a carer live with your loved one providing round the clock care, companionship and support. People living with dementia or Alzheimer's will stay in familiar settings and routines, couples will stay together, and people can stay living with their beloved pets - all whilst receiving one-on-one care from a trusted carer.


What Is Live-in Care?

Live-in care is when a carer lives in the home of your loved one, providing round-the-clock care and companionship. Live-in Carers will help with household chores, cook nutritious meals, look after pets, accompany to appointments, help with washing and dressing, medication prompts, food shopping, hosting friends and family, care for more complex care needs, and so much more. We help you arrange Live-in Carers with similar interests and beliefs to your loved one so they become more than a carer - they become friends and companions.


What Are The Benefits Of Live-in Care?

One of the biggest advantages of Live-in Care is the freedom to live your life your way, in the comfort of your own home. Your loved one will keep their familiar routines and do their favourite activities such as baking, gardening, puzzles; and visit their favourite places and host friends and family with the support of their Live-in Carer.


For people with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's staying in familiar routines and surroundings helps keep them comfortable and reassured, and can help maintain brain function for longer.


You will typically have 2-3 Live-in Carers rotating throughout the year, which means your loved one will build a relationship and feel comfortable with their companion - at Access Care you pick the Carers so your in complete control, unlike in care homes where there can be a high staff changeover and you don't have a say in who looks after your loved one.


Live-in Care also benefits couples: often times couples will be separated due to spaces in care homes, or one partner has to receive more care than the other. With Live-in Care, both of your parents will stay living together at home with the right level of care.


How Do I Pay For Live-in Care?

You can either pay for Live-in Care privately or with financial support - find out all about the costs of Live-in Care and how to get help with funding by clicking here.


How Do I Prepare My Home For A Live-in Carer?

We like to think of preparing your home for the arrival of a Live-in Carer similar to that of getting ready for a friend to visit. Carers need to have space to rest and be comfortable during their breaks.


Your Carer will need their own bedroom with storage space where they can keep their belongings, bed linen, towels, and access to a bathroom. If their room has a TV or wi-fi that's a great bonus, but is not essential.


Our carers are encouraged to make meal times a sociable occasion and therefore eat with their clients, unless expressly asked not to (which in the case of couples is sometimes completely understandable). As we encourage cooking and eating together where possible our clients cover the cost of their carer’s food, so for example, shepherd’s pie for one becomes shepherd’s pie for two! If a carer has any special dietary requirements a client is not expected to pay for this and we will help to agree arrangements for both parties if necessary.


There are a few ways that people typically manage a housekeeping fund for their carer. One of the better ways is for the family to set-up a bank account and have a debit card for the carers. This way, the family can transfer monies online to cover what’s required and keep an eye on spending. The carer simply passes the card and pin to the next carer and so on. Other clients/families are happy to have a petty cash tin in the home that they top up when they visit in exchange for the receipts for purchases made.


Live-in Carers need to have suitable breaks to complement their duties and ensure that they can provide care and support to the best of their ability. Each client is different and therefore each break pattern is too. We will help you establish a pattern that works for both client and carer. If your loved one can’t be left alone carers tend to be flexible and many will be happy replacing their daily breaks with a longer break once or twice a week when the family are visiting. Either way we will do our best to fit in around your routine.


If your relative is finding moving around their home tricky then it is advisable to consult an Occupational Therapist who will visit them at home and make some recommendations. This way you can ensure that they and their carer will have the equipment they need to make the most of their home safely. We can put you in touch with a firm of private OT’s that provide this service if you wish.


If you would like to talk to us about Live-in Care, our friendly advisors are here for you - simply call us on 0800 980 3958 or email hello@access-care.co.uk with your enquiry!