What do live-in carers do?
The primary role of a live-in carer is to enable the person requiring care to continue to enjoy a secure, comfortable and independent life within the familiar surroundings of their own home. The individual services provided by a live-in carer will vary in accordance with the day-to-day needs of the person requiring care; this is the beauty of one-to-one care at home; there are no imposed routines.
The provision of personal and, if needed, specialist medical care
To ensure a person’s continued quality of life the personal care duties performed by a live-in carer may include their bathing, washing and dressing, and assisting with their personal and oral hygiene, toileting, and maintenance of their appearance.
Live-in carers must be suitably trained and qualified to manage or administer medications; at The Good Care Group all of our carers undertake this important training as part of their induction.
People living with long-term medical conditions such as dementia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis may require expert medical care. A suitably trained and qualified live-in carer can provide specialist care to individuals in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, whilst additionally offering emotional support and reassurance to their family.
Professional live-in carers can even undertake clinical tasks such as managing PEG feeds, blood sugar monitoring, administering oxygen and managing catheters or stomas. These tasks can be clinically delegated by a healthcare professional to a suitably trained professional carer. Our nurse led service for complex care means that all clinical requirements can be overseen by our specialist nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard, who also provides expertise, guidance and support to clients and their families.
Live-in carers will often liaise with medical professionals, coordinating appointments, sharing important information, reporting changes to symptoms and so on. Observing subtle differences to condition is something that live-in carers are well placed to do due to their close proximity to and knowledge of the person they are caring for.
Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care
Attempting to care for a loved one who is living with dementia can be demanding, tiring and frustrating. A live-in carer can provide the specialist care and assistance required to look after a person with dementia, providing them with the companionship and routine needed to maintain wellbeing whilst preserving their dignity and independence. Among the ways in which a live-in carer may help a person with dementia are bathing and personal care, assistance with mobility and taking care of medication and nutritional needs.
Dementia is not a normal part of ageing and as such, dementia care requires a very special skill set which is outside of regular elderly or non dementia caring. Being able to see the world from the perspective of the person with dementia, to establish a common language, proactively make use of older memories, understand behavioural expressions of need, anticipate and avoid distress in order to promote well being are skills that only the very best carers will have.
Ensuring that dietary and nutritional needs are met
A balanced diet and the intake of adequate nutrition and hydration are essential for the maintenance of health and wellbeing. As a result of a medical condition, you or your loved one may experience a reduced appetite, a loss of interest in eating or may need assistance with eating.
A live-in carer can help by shopping for groceries, preparing favourite meals which are healthy and nutritious yet respect your food preferences and by making sure that you or your loved one are getting enough to eat and drink.
Understanding nutrition is an essential part of being a live-in carer – some medical conditions require particular diets, or special ways of preparing foods. People with dementia often require diets which are highly colourful, or which they can eat with their fingers ‘on the hoof’. Texture modified diets for people with swallowing difficulties must be prepared to exact specifications, too little or too much pureeing can pose more risks. People living with conditions like MS or cancer may have extremely specific nutritional diets that live-in carers will understand and be able to deliver.
But the most important aspect of dietary needs is the enjoyment of food. A home cooked meal, prepared to your specifications, served in your home, in good company, can do wonders for our sense of wellbeing.
Lightening the load of everyday domestic tasks
Live-in carers can carry out a wide range of domestic tasks to enable a person requiring care to relax in a home that is clean, comfortable and secure. The everyday services that a live-in carer might provide include, but are not limited to:
- Cleaning and tidying the house
- Washing dishes
- Cleaning and changing bed linen
- Laundering and ironing clothes
- Meal preparation
- Arranging trips out
- Help with simple administration such as paying bills
- Pet care
However, please note that these are all ancillary duties over and beyond the primary task of providing personal care and should only be seen as a light touch support service rather than those of a full-time housekeeper, gardener, chef or secretary. We will assess the amount of time our professional carer will have to support these duties, and would recommend that extra cleaning support is arranged alongside our service in most cases.
Companionship and support
One of the most important and valued aspects of a live-in carer’s role is the provision of companionship and support. For many people with live-in carers, simply having someone friendly on hand to chat with about their opinions and experiences can improve their happiness and quality of life immeasurably.
In cases where friends or family are able to visit only intermittently, or are absent altogether, a live-in carer can be a best friend to the person receiving care. Sharing quality time with an understanding and caring friend is both comforting and therapeutic.
In this capacity, a live-in carer can become a trusted companion with whom to enjoy recreational activities such as trips to the cinema, theatre or social club; take short breaks with; play cards or games or share a hobby with. They may simply be someone that the person receiving care may relax and chat with over a cup of tea.
Live-carers provide security and peace of mind
Above all else, live-in carers give those they care for, and their families and loved ones, security and peace of mind.
Knowing that a fully-trained, compassionate and trustworthy live-in carer is always around to ensure continued wellbeing and safety, and who can respond quickly and appropriately in the event of an emergency, is immensely reassuring. Find out more about the live-in care provided by The Good Care Group and more about the benefits of live-in care here. Or to speak to someone about your live-in care requirements please call us on 020 3728 7577.