The option of live in care is an alternative to the traditional nursing home. It normally entails the carer living in the home of the client on a full time basis for the duration of the care contract.

Carer having a cup of tea with an elderly retired woman

24 hour care at home allows the client to maintain a degree of independence while benefiting from having a carer on hand round the clock for essential needs, as detailed in their plan of care.

The one-on-one experience can be incredibly satisfying for many carers because they can focus on providing the best possible care for the individual in their charge. It also allows them to build long term relationships, trust with their client, and deliver the highest possible standard of health care.

Being a live in carer is not easy work; it is challenging and demanding, and requires a great degree of personal responsibility. However, it is also extremely rewarding work.

It’s a vocation not a job

Caring is not just about earning a living – it is much more than that and as such requires a special kind of person to be a successful live in carer. So what should you expect to deal with if you want to become a live in carer?

Matching carers with clients

Care agencies such as will often take the preferences of carers into account when assigning work. Some live in careers prefer to be assigned to clients living in a city environment while others prefer to be in the countryside. Care agencies also match carers with clients based on experience, personality, and abilities. As a carer you should be prepared to be flexible though when considering work options.

Being able to drive is a distinct advantage and opens up more work possibilities for carers, especially in more remote locations. Although the need to own a car is not a prerequisite, being able to drive means an enhanced package can be offered to clients who have their own car.

Time off

Although carers may live in the client’s home on a permanent basis for the duration of the contract, this does not mean that they will have no free time. Many care agencies ensure that carers have regular time each day when they can enjoy a break from the responsibility of looking after the client. This is normally done through a scheduled relief carer at certain times of day or possibly a family member who will relieve the carer at designated times.

Becoming a live in carer

You should be a compassionate and responsible individual. While experience is not always essential, many live in care positions do require some previous care experience. You should be prepared to take on light household tasks, cooking and meal preparation, laundry and grocery shopping typically, although exact details of duties can vary from one client to another, depending on their personal circumstances.

You must also have the right to work in the UK and you will be required to pass an advanced DBS check.


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