Live-in Care: 4 Simple Tips to Find The Right Carer

Nov 16, 2015 3 min

The relationship between carer and client should be built on trust, understanding and compassion. To choose the right carer, you need to follow these 4 steps.

Why live-in care?

Live-in care is a long-term solution that is gaining momentum as a better alternative to a care home. If you’re still exploring your options, you might be wondering if live-in care is the right choice.

If your loved one needs around-the-clock care, your two major options are a care home and a live-in carer. We’ve written before about how care homes are falling out of fashion, and this trend shows no sign of abating. With 92% of seniors preferring to age in their own home, live-in care caters to that need.

Faced with many changes as old age takes hold, the familiarity and stability of a long-term live-in carer can be invaluable. So how do you find that person? It can be easier said than done, certainly, but there are some simple tips that can help.

If you need to find quality live-in care, the hometouch team can help. We can provide you with advice and support, and help you to find a top quality carer in your local area.

Just call: 0207 148 6746.

4 Tips to find the right live-in care

1. Experience, qualifications, references, CRB/DBS checks

The first thing you need to do is check that the carer you’re thinking of hiring has the right skills and experience.

You’ll likely want a carer who has experience working in a similar situation to your own. This is particularly important if your loved one suffers from a particular condition, such as dementia.

Although there is no industry standard, as such, there are various common care qualifications you might look for as well, such as up to date in-house training, NVQ qualifications or nursing backgrounds.

Whatever your ideal carer background looks like, the most important thing is to check references and conduct CRB/DBS checks. You’re entrusting the safety and security of your loved one to this carer; you need to know that they are absolutely legitimate.

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2. Be honest from the start

This might sound obvious, but it’s important to emphasise. Be absolutely transparent about the intensity and length of care you expect to need. It’s expected that your care requirements will change over time, but don’t underplay the situation now or you risk a disgruntled carer who didn’t know what they were taking on. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you find a long term live-in carer who becomes under-qualified as you or your loved one’s care needs increase.

If you’re unsure about exactly what your needs are, most good carers will be able to advise you, as long as you give them the full picture.

3. Conduct a trial shift

No matter how urgently you need someone, you should avoid hiring a live-in carer without running a trial shift.

You want to see how the carer works, and how they interact with your loved one. They could be the best carer in the world, but if there isn’t a synergy there, it’s unlikely to work on a long-term live-in care basis.

Saying that, it’s completely natural for things to feel a little awkward to start with. Your loved one might be resistant to the idea of sharing their home, or struggle with unfamiliar people at first. Listen to your gut; you should be able to tell if the relationship will prosper over time.

4. Be clear over time off and holidays

Live in care is, by its nature, fairly intense. It’s important to clarify with the carer before hiring them exactly when their time off will be, when they can take holiday, and how much notice you need when they do.

Negotiate a schedule that works for both sides. Many carers work full 7-day weeks for a set period (often 4 weeks) and then take a week off, but the options are endless. You need to ensure the carer is able to take appropriate breaks, or they’ll be unable to offer their best standard of care.

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Discussing this from the get-go avoids misunderstandings further down the line, and allows you to make appropriate plans for cover as needed.


>When 24-hour care is required, it can be a challenging time for everyone involved. However, live-in care can make a difficult situation easier, by allowing your loved ones to retain their independence and stay safely in their own home for as long as possible.

hometouch is a service bringing people like you together with appropriate carers in the London and Brighton area, and live-in carers across the UK. We interview all our carers face-to-face, and conduct extensive reference, CRB/DBS checks. Unlike an agency, you have complete control over the whole process and can choose the carer that is best suited to you. 

Find out more about live-in care options:

Dr Jamie WilsonFounder and Chief Medical Officer at Hometouch

Dr Jamie Wilson is hometouch’s founder and Chief Medical Officer. Jamie’s creation of hometouch was inspired by his work as a dementia psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has written about healthcare issues in The Times and the Evening Standard. Jamie has a MBBS from the University of Leeds and has spent a decade in the NHS, working as a Psychiatric Registrar and Memory Specialist at Imperial College Hospital.

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