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How To Prepare A Home For A Live-In Caregiver: Find The Care You Need

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Home caregivers can be a great asset not only for the care recipient and other older adults in the home but for the entire family as well. Whether your need is for yourself, an aging parent or other person, the process of finding a 24-hour live in care provider and preparing for one is the same.

If you are a family caregiver, accepting help from a live-in-carer (caregiver) can provide you with the respite care you need. It can give you and your senior loved one some independence and support.

However, bringing a new caregiver (or any person) into the house can lead to a fair amount of change. Preparing in advance will lead to a smooth transition and set up both you and your carer for success.

Before your caregiver arrives, the first thing to do is to think about how you want them to help and support you. I would recommend to create a list of caregiving duties that you would like help with. This could be things like:

  • preparing meals
  • assistance with bathing and dressing
  • help with taking medication
  • supervision during exercise
  • providing companionship
  • and much more

It’s also important to think about the day-to-day running of the household and to involve your caregiver in this as much as possible. For example, you might want to discuss things like:

  • How you like your meals prepared
  • Your usual routine
  • Any medical appointments that need to be attended
  • What time you go to bed and get up in the morning

Of course, it’s also important to think about your own privacy and to make sure that you have a space in the house where you can have some time to yourself if you need it.

Communicating your needs and expectations clearly from the start will help to ensure that everyone is happy and that your live-in caregiver arrangement is a success.

The idea of live in caregivers is appealing to many families caring for elderly loved ones because they offer an alternative to assisted living or nursing homes by providing around-the-clock or overnight care in the home.

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Home care assistance can be a huge help to families who are struggling with long-term care for an elderly or disabled loved one. It can provide much-needed respite for caregivers, and ensure that your loved one receives the level of care they need.

What Is A Live-In Caregiver (Carer)?

24-hour caregivers are also known as live-in caregivers. They are usually trained medical professionals who provide home care services for elderly or disabled people in their own homes rather than in hospitals or nursing homes.

As we age, many of us may require extensive assistance with activities of daily living. This can be a daunting prospect, but there are ways to make it work.

The aid of a live-in caregiver can help ease this transition, by providing the care and support needed to maintain a good quality of life. This would be beneficial not only for your elderly loved one but for the rest of the family as well.

I do want to understand that there most likely will be some “introduction process” needed so be patient. It takes time for both parties to get use to each other but once that happens, things should start to flow more smoothly.

What Is Expected Of A Live In Caregiver?

If you’re considering hiring a live-in caregiver, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities involved. This will help ensure that you find someone who is capable and qualified to meet your needs.

In addition, there are some important steps you’ll need to take to prepare your home for a live-in caregiver.

The duties of a live-in caregiver will vary depending on the needs of the elderly person they are caring for.

In general, however, their responsibilities can include:

  • Providing personal care, such as help with bathing, dressing, and using the restroom
  • Help with grooming, such as combing hair and shaving
  • Assisting with mobility, such as walking and transferring from a bed to a chair
  • Light housekeeping tasks, such as laundry, vacuuming, and dusting
  • Meal preparation and cooking
  • Running errands, such as grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions
  • Providing companionship and social interaction
  • Experienced in caring for a serious illness or medical condition that you or a senior loved one is experiencing

A live-in caregiver may also be responsible for providing medication reminders, monitoring the individual’s health, and arranging doctor appointments.

An essential component of caring for elderly at home is providing them with companionship. This can involve conversation, playing games, and watching television together. It is important to provide elderly loved ones with social interaction to help them feel less isolated and more engaged in life.

See this comprehensive guide to live-in care for more information.

How Can I Prepare For A Live-In Caregiver?

To prepare your home for a live-in caregiver, you’ll need to create a comfortable and functional living space for them. This may include:

  • Dedicated bedroom with a comfortable bed
  • Private bathroom
  • Quiet work space
  • Access to kitchen facilities
  • Storage space for personal belongings

You’ll also need to consider your care needs and how your live-in caregiver can best help you. This may include:

  • Making sure there is a safe environment free of trip hazards
  • Ensuring all medical equipment is readily available
  • Organizing medications and treatments
  • Identifying emergency contacts

The better prepared you are, the smoother the transition will be for both you and your caregiver.

One of the best ways to prepare your home for a live-in caregiver is to make sure that all safety precautions are in place. This means making sure that there are no loose cords or tripping hazards, and that all potential dangers are properly marked and cleared away.

Finally, you’ll need to think about the day-to-day logistics of having a live-in caregiver. This includes things like meal planning, transportation, and communication.

By taking the time to prepare your home and plan ahead, you can make the transition to having a live-in caregiver much smoother and less stressful.

What To Provide For Your Live-in Caregiver

Since the live-in carer will be living within your home, it’s important for them to have their own room with a clean and comfortable bed, a door to provide privacy, and access to bathroom facilities.

This will allow your carer to take time to themselves when possible, nurturing a positive environment for both themselves and you.

Before the live-in carer moves into your home, ensure the following points have been met:

  • A clean and decluttered room with a bed and privacy – Your live-in carer will need their own bedroom. Make sure it is comfortable, clean, and decluttered.
  • Access to bathroom facilities
  • Storage space available for their personal belongings
  • Working Wifi connection – Wifi is an important need for carers nowadays so that they can keep in touch with their family and friends.
  • Functional kitchen facilities – Live-in carers will generally cook and eat with the person being cared for. They will mostly eat the same food that they help prepare for you unless they have specific dietary needs which they will take care of themselves.
  • Available petty cash or a separate bank account – Your live-in caregiver will likely be responsible for various household purchases. It can be helpful to arrange how this will work beforehand. You can use petty cash and ask the carer to keep receipts or you may wish to set up a separate bank account.
  • A list of important phone numbers and contact details in case of emergency
  • A list of doctors and other

Insurance

Your home insurance should include the presence of your live-in carer. Many insurance policies will automatically include this, and if you are unsure you should check with your insurance broker or insurance company.

A carer can also be added to your car insurance policy. This may be necessary if they may need to drive your car as a part of their caring duties.

Contact the insurance company that covers your car insurance to inform them of the details of the caregiver who will be added to the policy. Make sure you have the appropriate level of coverage!

Time Off / Vacation Time

You will also need to make some arrangements for time off and vacation time. These are important times for the caregiver to have a break, and also provide you with an opportunity to check on the state of your home (and everything else).

There are a few options available to you:

  • You can ask friends or family members to come and stay during these periods.
  • You can hire another caregiver to fill in during the times when your regular caregiver is away.
  • You can make arrangements with a home care agency to have someone come in on an as-needed basis.

Whatever you decide, just be sure to communicate your expectations clearly to the caregiver, and make sure that there is always someone available to provide care if needed.

Safety And Security

Before your live-in carer moves into your home, make sure that all expensive and valuable items are safely locked away. This is just a safety measure as your carer will have undergone criminal record and reference checks.

However, it is sensible not to leave valuable lying around. Especially if you are beginning to struggle with memory issues or dementia, you may be prone to forgetfulness and confusion.

You may feel more secure if you know for sure where all of your valuable items are located, especially with a new person in the house.

Learn the signs that a caregiver is stealing from you.

Home Adaptations

If you are receiving care at home, you may need to consider home adaptations for the elderly or for the disabled. If you were moving into a care home, you would already have access to the adapted spaces, such as stair lifts or specialized bathroom facilities.

If you opt to have a live-in carer, it’s possible you may still benefit from these adaptations and will need to install them into your home.

While it is possible that a carer will be able to adequately help you navigate your current home facilities, there are some disability adaptations that can even help your carer support you better.

Sometimes bathrooms need to be adapted to help you and your carer with bathing and showering you.

Battery-powered bath lifts are easy to install and use, they work by securing a mechanical seat to the bathtub.

The bath lift seat will usually move down to lower you into the bath, and it will move up to help you step out of the bath.

Even with this adaptation, you may still require assistance from your carer to get you in and out of the seat or to control the mechanism of the chair. However, bath lifts can give you greater independence overall and will help make the process of bathing quicker.

Disability showers can also provide extra handrail support and space to help with the showering process. In some cases, a wet room may be preferable but this can be a more expensive option.

If you need help with getting in and out of your front door, handrails and ramps can be installed. For access to upstairs rooms, bannisters or stairlifts may be installed to help prevent falls.

This can be particularly important if you are more prone to falling or if you struggle with mobility issues.

That being said, walking up and down the stairs can cause strain and discomfort to any elderly person, and these adaptations can be useful to many types of people.

Disabled Facilities Grant (available in the UK)

If you need to make changes to your home, the council may provide a grant if you are disabled. This is called a disabled facilities grant. It may be used to cover things like:

  • Widening of doors and installation of ramps
  • Improving access to rooms
  • Facilities that can improve access such as stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom
  • Provision of a heating system to suit your needs
  • Adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use

How much money you receive will depend on your household income and savings. You may need to contribute to some or all of the costs.

You can apply to your local council through the government website.

Supplemental Security Income (available in the USA)

If you have a low income and few resources, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). There are strict requirements that must be met in order to qualify for this program.

These requirements include having a certain level of income, being a certain age, and being a U.S. citizen. If you do not meet these requirements, you will not be able to participate in the program.

  • This is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to adults and children with disabilities.
  • To qualify, your disability must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
  • You will need to provide proof of your disability, such as a doctor’s letter or medical records.
  • You can apply for SSI online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security office.

If you have a disability, you may be able to get help with the costs of a live-in caregiver. There are several government programs that can assist you, as well as private companies.

The Social Security Administration offers a program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to adults and children with disabilities.

To qualify, your disability must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death. You will need to provide proof of your disability, such as a doctor’s note or medical records.

You can apply for SSI online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. If you are approved, you will receive a monthly cash payment that can be used to help pay for a live-in caregiver.

Another government program that can help pay for a live-in caregiver is Medicaid. Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income adults and children. Each state has different guidelines for who qualifies for Medicaid.

To see if you qualify for Medicaid, contact your state’s Medicaid office. You can find your state’s office information on the Medicaid website.

If you have private health insurance, you may be able to get help from your insurer to pay for a live-in caregiver. Check with your insurer to see if this is an option for you.

There are also a number of non-profit organizations that may be able to help you pay for a live-in caregiver. The National Family Caregivers Association has a list of these organizations on their website.

How Do I Find A Live-In Caregiver?

Caring for an elderly loved one can be both rewarding and challenging.

One of the most challenging tasks can be providing around-the-clock care. This can be physically and emotionally exhausting, but it is often necessary to ensure that your loved one receives the best possible care.

If you are beginning to struggle with personal care or achieving everyday activities on your own, and if you are able to properly adapt your home, it may be time to look for a live-in carer. You can find a suitable live-in carer in a couple of ways.

On Your Own

When you’re looking for a live-in caregiver, it’s important to find someone who is trustworthy and reliable.

One way to ensure that your caregiver is trustworthy is to conduct a background check. This will help you determine if they have any criminal history or if they have been accused of any misconduct in the past.

Some people look for a live-in caregiver through online job sites. However, this can be very stressful and time-consuming. You may want the help of a friend or family member in order to find the right person for you and your home.

Support Groups

You can ask for references from other families and your support groups amongst your friends, church, etc.

Social Worker

You can also talk to a social worker. They can help you find the right caregiver and get them set up with the proper credentials. They can also help you figure out what type of care you need and how much it will cost.

Using An Agency

Another option is to go through a caregiver agency. They will do all of the hard work for you in terms of finding potential candidates for your live-in care.

They will be able to vet, reference check, and ID check potential carers while taking the time to understand your individual preferences, needs and circumstances.

If you would like a straightforward and stress-free process when it comes to live-in care, feel free to contact a live-in care company They should be able to match you to a skilled and experienced live-in caregiver and give you helpful advice about every aspect of preparing and adapting your home for live-in care.

Useful Resources

You may find these books helpful for yourself and/or your live-in caregiver.

The Handbook Of Live-in Care


Notebook For Journaling

Final Thoughts

Using an in home caregiver can help your elderly relative age in place in their home. It can give you and other family members peace of mind, knowing that they are being cared for by a professional.

Having someone there provides reduced risk of injury and can even improve mental health. This is an important decision and you want to be sure that you are finding the best possible care for your loved one.

An article you might be interested in as well is How Much Do You Give Your Caregiver For Christmas?

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