Preparing For Your Live-in Carer To Arrive
Preparing for a Carer to arrive is much like having a guest to stay. Our Carers are mindful that they are coming to support your relative in their home and know that everywhere they stay is different. Here’s a few of our top tips:
A Carer will need their own bedroom, ideally with sets of bed linen and towels, suitable storage for their clothes and belongings and access to a bathroom. If their bedroom has a television then that’s a bonus, but not essential. Wi-Fi is preferred.
Our Carers are responsible for their travel to and from the home. On rare occasions we help people to negotiate a different approach here if required. During an engagement Carers would expect to be reimbursed for travel, parking tickets, fuel etc., if they are transporting their Clients in their personal cars.
Carers are encouraged to make mealtimes a sociable occasion and therefore eat with their Clients, unless expressly asked not to (which sometimes, in the case of couples for example, is 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 typically expected to pay for this, and we will help to agree arrangements for both parties prior to introduction.
The Food Shopping
Some families arrange food to be delivered by a specialist company, others use an online supermarket and many Clients like to go to the shops weekly with their Carer as an outing. Any way that suits you is fine.
There are a few ways to manage a housekeeping fund for a Carer. One of the best 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 receipts for purchases made.
Every working person needs a break during the day and live-in carers are no exception. How they take them and when though is as flexible as the service they provide. This article discusses the typical ‘break pattern’ of a self-employed Live-in Carer engaged privately by the client.
Let’s take a closer look.
One of the main benefits of engaging a Live-in carer is that they are living with you in your home and can support you whenever you need help during the day and night. This can feel incredibly reassuring to you and also give peace of mind to your loved ones, knowing that you are not alone.
Having said that, no Carer can physically or mentally work 24 hours a day and a Live-in Carer’s daily rate is usually based on a ten-hour working day. This will be flexible based on your preferred routine, for example when you like to rise in the morning and go to bed at night, and flexible dependent on when you need support during the day, and to fit around any social activities you like to participate in and any appointments you may have.
A Live-in Carer will ideally expect 2-3 hours consecutive break during a 24hr period at a time agreeable to you. During this time, they would be able to leave the home to do as they wish and not worry about their client. Therefore, it may be necessary for ‘cover care’ to be arranged, either by a family member, or a local hourly care agency. However, the beauty of this ‘model’ of live-in care is that these breaks are entirely flexible and based upon a mutually respectful agreement between Carer and Client. As long as both parties are happy and content then arrangements can be entirely flexible. We have families registered with us who are able to visit their relative at the weekend for a day, so their Carer takes the Saturday to themselves and just takes rest within the home the rest of the week. There are many examples of this. Live-in Carers are wonderful people and happy to accommodate the needs and wishes of their clients.
The only caveat to consider is that having a break each day will enable your Live-in Carer to stay fresh and care for and support you to the best of their ability, so it is important to ensure they take breaks as needed. If they are caring for a client with more demanding care needs it is plausible that the Carer would need more down time than if caring for someone purely in need of companionship. There is no hard and fast rule regarding Live-in Carer breaks other than the fact that they will of course need one.
If there are concerns regarding moving around the home, then it is advisable to consult an Occupational Therapist (OT) who will visit and make some recommendations. This way you can ensure that Client and 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 or you can ask your local GP/hospital.