FAQs about live-in carers providing care at home

Are you unsure what having a live in carer actually means? According to the non-profit organisation The Live in Care Hub you’re not alone so we asked them what their seven most frequently asked questions are and answered them for you.


What exactly is live-in care?

With live-in care a professional carer will tailor the exact level of care to the care needs of their client. They will usually expect to take over running the household – light housework, cooking nutritious meals, laundry and ironing as well as supporting their client with daily tasks such as washing, dressing, going to the toilet and taking medication. They may also provide a taxi and chaperone service to appointments – or just for a day out!


As well as the core functions a live in carer will become a companion, taking time to share a cup of tea and chat, play a game or share a hobby.


What can’t a live in carer do?

There are many good reasons to work as a live-in carer but they aren’t nurses so can’t do any nursing care such as giving injections or wound dressing, although some agencies can provide nursing care when you need it. They can’t lift a client, unless a suitable hoist is provided, and extra carers may be needed for bed to wheelchair transfers or similar. They also can’t work a 24 hour shift so while the occasional nocturnal trip to the toilet can be covered, full-time night care requires a different solution.


They also can’t witness legal documents such as wills or accept any sort of gift including tips. Carers that smoke will only do so if their client also does and is happy for them to continue. They will never drink alcohol or take drugs whilst working.


Do they need their own room?

Yes. They need a bed, bedside table and a space where they can keep their personal items, as well as TV and internet access. If you can provide a separate bathroom your carer will think they’re very well cared for!


How does the carer have a break or holiday?

In order to provide 24-hour cover, and not exceed working time regulations, carers work on a rota so you will have two or three faces to get to know. The care agency will provide extra carers to cover gaps caused by holidays.


What happens if the carer doesn’t get on with our family?

Agencies have complex matchmaking systems, but if it’s not working for some reason after a few weeks you can request a change.


Can my spouse and I share a carer?

In most cases it is possible for a single carer to meet the care needs of a couple living together. Your agency will perform a care needs assessment and advise you on the number of carers you need.


Will they feed the cat or walk the dog?

As long as you let the agency know there are pets in the household they will match you with a carer who is prepared to care for them.