If you have decided that receiving live-in care at home is the best option for you and your family, there are several ways that you can go about arranging a live-in care service. Here you’ll find information about the different live-in care options available including guidance on how you can obtain funding to help cover some or all of the costs of your care.
For over 10 years, The Good Care Group has supported families across the UK with our award-winning, live-in care service. If you get in touch with us, you can have a free consultation with a member of our expert care team to discuss the options available for your family.
What is live-in care for the elderly?
Live-in care is when a professional and highly-trained carer moves into your home to provide care, companionship and social support around the clock. It is an increasingly popular alternative to moving away to a care home that allows people to continue living independently in their own homes whilst receiving the dedicated care and support they need.
Here we provide detailed guidance on what live-in care is and what you can expect.
What are the benefits of receiving care at home?
There are many benefits to receiving live-in care at home as opposed to enduring the potential stress and uncertainty of moving into a care home, including:
Round-the-clock care and support provided in the comfort of your own home – this is something that is difficult to achieve even in the best care homes.
None of the rigid routines and timetables experienced in a care home – you’ll receive a highly-personalised care plan completely tailored to how you wish to live your life.
The costs of live-in care are comparable to that of a care home and may be significantly less for couples.
If you have decided that live-in care is the right decision for you and your family, your first step should be to reach out to the NHS or your local council to see if you qualify for either NHS Continuing Healthcare or social care funding.
Although the qualification criteria are strict, we recommend starting with NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding (CHC). This is a package of care for people with ongoing or complex healthcare needs that are arranged and entirely funded by the NHS. Many people do not apply for this form of funding simply because they do not know that it exists or they assume they will be ineligible.
Speak to your GP or district nurse and ask them to refer you to your local continuing healthcare team. Even if you do not pass the NHS criteria, you will still be able to apply for social care funding. The Continuing Healthcare team can also help you apply for a social care needs assessment by the council, which can significantly speed up the process.
The care needs assessment
Every one of us is entitled to an assessment of our care needs from our local authority. This assessment is free and anyone can request one. Your local authority will assess your individual care needs and recommend services that can help you manage day-to-day.
Unlike healthcare funding, social care funding is means-tested. This means that once your care needs are established, a financial assessment will determine if you will need to fund all or part of the costs of your own care. If your financial assets (savings, investments and property if you live alone) are worth over £23,350, you are deemed to be a full cost payer and will not receive any state funding for your care needs.
The first thing to do is visit your council’s website to confirm their exact application process. Once you have applied for a care needs assessment, the council will contact you to discuss the next steps.
Requesting direct payments
If it is determined that you are eligible to receive social care funding, you will be given a personal budget. A personal budget is simply the money that your local council has allocated to cover the costs of your care needs. The council has a responsibility to keep you closely involved in decisions regarding the type of care and support you receive and how your personal budget is spent.
Direct payments are one of four ways your personal budget can be controlled and spent. A direct payment is when the council pays your personal budget directly into your bank account. This allows you direct control over how your budget is used rather than the council picking and choosing a care service for you.
You can use your direct payment to pay for services, equipment, or activities that meet your eligible care needs. This includes paying for a live-in care service either privately, through an introductory agency or through a fully-managed live-in care service provider.
As long as you can demonstrate that you or someone acting on your behalf can properly manage your personal budget and that you have identified a suitable care service that is within your budget, your request for direct payments should be accepted.
What options are available for live-in care for the elderly?
When considering care at home, it is important to know that there are several ways to arrange for live-in care services – privately, through an introductory agency or through a fully-managed service provider. Here we explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of each option for you to consider.
Private live-in care
You may choose to privately employ someone to provide live-in care in your home. While this is a suitable arrangement for many people, you will be required to find and vet your own carer and then manage the care they provide.
You will first need to find a suitable candidate for the role. That includes finding, vetting and interviewing carers. While a family member or friend may seem like the appropriate choice, know that problems may arise as your relationship changes from family member or friend to that of an employee.
Once you find a suitable candidate, you will need to become an employer with all the legal responsibilities that brings. This includes providing your employee with a written statement of employment or contract, paying them and managing holiday pay and statutory sick pay. You will also need to ensure they are covered by Public Liability Insurance and Employer’s Liability Insurance.
You will also be responsible for the health and safety of your carer including ensuring they do not work over the mandatory weekly hours and that they receive adequate rest breaks. If for any reason the care arrangement doesn’t work out, you will need to start the entire process over again.
Using an introductory care agency
Some agencies provide a live-in carer introduction service. For a one-time fee, they will introduce you to a professional carer that has been vetted and deemed suitable by the agency.
The benefit of using an introduction service is that carers are typically registered as self-employed and therefore take care of their own tax and National Insurance arrangements. This provides an easier and often cost-effective alternative to hiring a live-in carer independently.
Once a live-in carer agency introduces a carer to you and you pay them for this service, that is typically the end of their involvement in the arrangement. Families are then left to supervise, manage and organise all aspects of the care for their loved ones. This can be time-consuming and frustrating and often increases the stress placed on families during what may already be a delicate time.
A fully-managed service provider
Few live-in care arrangements provide as much security and peace of mind for families as using a fully-managed live-in service provider like The Good Care Group.
There are many reassuring benefits to using a fully-managed service. Fully-managed service providers recruit, employ and manage all their professional carers, making the process as easy as possible. This removes the burden from families of becoming employers with all the practical and legal obligations that brings
Unlike introduction agencies, live-in care service providers are fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England and the Care Inspectorate (SI) in Scotland. This means that they are regularly inspected to ensure the quality and safety of the care being provided. Even the best introductory agencies are not inspected by these bodies.
Many live-in care service providers like The Good Care Group provide regional care teams and 24/7 emergency support, something that is not offered by introductory agencies. With a fully-managed service provider, you will have all the reassurance you need about the quality of care being provided and the level of service you will receive. This makes life easier for all the family.
Outstanding’ live-in care from The Good Care Group
The Good Care Group has been providing high-quality, live-in care across the UK for over 10 years. Unlike introduction agencies, we directly employ and manage our carers, matching them closely to a client’s needs and interests. Each carer is then supervised by an experienced manager and supported by clinical experts, as well as a 24/7 emergency helpline.
Our holistic approach to care supports people living independently and safely at home while enhancing their quality of life and overall well-being. Our care is always person-centred and driven entirely by our clients’ needs, wishes and life choices. We are there to provide assistance and support and never to dictate or impose.
Uniquely among live-in care providers, we employ a full-time Consultant Admiral Nurse and Occupational Therapist. Both offer practical and emotional support to clients and families, particularly to those living with complex conditions like dementia, or Parkinson’s or for those requiring stroke or cancer care.
If you get in touch with us, you can speak to a dedicated care advisor that will answer any questions you may have about how to arrange live-in care for you or your loved ones. We are here to provide all the information you need to help you make the right decision.
Our team will then arrange a no-obligation home meeting with you and your loved one. We can discuss how we will create a holistic care package designed to meet their physical and emotional needs and match you with one of our experienced and compassionate carers.
Talk to us about your care needs
To talk about your care needs, contact one of our friendly advisors. Calls from landlines are free.