In recent years, investing in live in care (also known as domiciliary care) for service users has become an increasingly popular alternative to investing in a residential care home. The care option has a number of benefits. A live in carer provides service users with around-the-clock care in the comfort of their own home environment. While moving into a residential care home has many benefits for the elderly people, it is an exceptionally difficult transition for them to adjust to because it involves new people, a new environment and a new routine to adapt to.

Live in carers not only offer a service user personalised care service in familiar surroundings, but they also offer companionship to them during a difficult time of need in turn benefit their family. With homecare services becoming hugely popular over the last five years, the question of how to choose the right live in carer is at the forefront of people’s minds. Trusting a live in carer to live in your loved one’s home and look after them is a huge responsibility.

We understand that choosing live in carers for the elderly is not an easy task: How do you find the live in care for your loved one? How do you ensure that this person will bring your loved one both care and happiness? There are several ways you can sift through all the potential live in carers to choose the perfect one for you and your loved one. 

1. Complete an in-depth background check on the live in carer

You need to make sure that the carer you are hiring has the experience and qualifications expected to fulfill a role with such a high level of responsibility; you want a live in carer has integrity and empathy to understand your loved one’s specific needs, and has the right personality fit to develop a trusting relationship with your loved one. For example, if your loved one has dementia, you want to find a carer with prior work experience in dealing with people with dementia. There are standard checks in place to ensure that carers have the right experience within homecare services and within specialist areas. These include Care Certification, NVQ qualifications or nursing backgrounds as required for specialist conditions. Always check the live in carers’ references and that they have valid CRB and DBS check certificates. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) mandates these checks to ensure that the carer is legitimate, qualified and certified to carry out health and social care duties so that your loved one is in safe hands. 

2. Give the live in carer a trial shift

Like any job, a trial shift helps people understand a worker’s capabilities, level of skill in a specific area and their personality fit. Ask the live in carer if they are open to completing a trial shift, with you present as an observer. This trial shift will enable you to see how friendly the live in carer is toward your loved one, how well they adapt to your loved one’s environment, personality and lifestyle preferences, and whether or not they are experienced enough to cater to your loved one’s needs.

3. Trust your gut

It sounds obvious, but often you can tell whether or not you like a person when you first meet them. Of course, background checks should be made and formal discussions should take place when choosing live in carers for the elderly, but one of the best ways to make an informed decision is to trust your gut.

4.  Make sure the live in carer feels happy with the situation

Live in carers for the elderly are often recruited by home care agencies who strive to deliver a managed service so that you don’t have to. You should also let carers know exactly what you will expect from them on a daily basis and how they should treat your loved one according to their specific needs and treatment plan.

5. Make sure that their live-in needs suit yours

When considering the wellbeing of the live in carer you choose, you have to think about their live in needs as well as the health needs of your loved one. They will be working for your loved one full-time and putting all of their energy into caring for them, so you need to ensure that their live in expectations are met within reason. This includes making sure that the live in carer you choose is happy with the holidays and time off around the schedule of your loved one. Everybody needs to be in a happy balance for it to be a success.

6. Using a Homecare Agency – Care24Seven

Of course, if you use a homecare agency like Care24Seven, which provides a managed service, you will not have to worry about these. They know how difficult, and sometimes even time-consuming, it can be to carry out these in-depth background checks to make sure everything is legit. We would rather you spend that time with your loved one, and let us run very thorough background checks on the carer on your behalf. Moreover, we also run a certified training centre, so not only do we make sure the carers we match with your needs and supply have the necessary experience but also train them ourselves to ensure that they meet the required care professional standards.

Further, you won’t have to worry about discussing trial shifts as you will be able to switch carers or even stop care at any time. We’re super flexible and only have a 48-hour cancellation policy on our contract. But of course, you should still spend the first few days getting to know the carer and how they work, so that if there’s anything you’re not happy with – we can adjust, or even switch the carers or withdraw the care. 

At Care24Seven, we ensure that carers feel happy with the situation by communicating with them extensively before and after they begin their role.

Finding the right live in carer is a difficult responsibility, but these 5 pointers should help shape your decision. For more information about live in care services provided by Care24Seven, click here.