10 Skills you need to get hired as a live-in carer

We share with you the 10 top skills that every dedicated professional live-in carer at The Good Care Group always demonstrates.

There is no better option than a career in live-in care if you have a natural passion for helping others. As a live-in carer, you can experience an unmatched level of professional fulfilment and job satisfaction, providing support at a personalised and sustained level – a quality of care which is sometimes difficult to deliver in a care home or hourly care setting.

By choosing a live-in care job, you will be making a positive difference in the lives of people at a time when they need companionship and support the most.

Live-in care does present its own unique challenges and requires a select set of characteristics to prepare a person for the responsibility of round-the-clock care in a home environment. Find out whether you possess these top qualities needed to become a successful live-in carer.

What are live-in carer duties

Live-in carers enable people with care needs to continue enjoying a secure, comfortable and independent life within the familiar surroundings of their own home. A live-in carer moves into the client’s home to provide all the support they need to live a fulfilling and comfortable life.

The individual services provided by a live-in carer will vary in accordance with the day-to-day needs of the person requiring care. One day a carer may help their client with their personal care routines and some light housekeeping duties around their home. The next day, they might accompany their client on an outing into their local community or to visit family and friends. This is the beauty of one-to-one care at home – there are no imposed routines or set schedules.

Learn more about the duties of live-in carers. 

10 skills all live-in carers need

1. Professional Having previous experience in live-in care is extremely valuable since, unlike other care provisions, live-in carers typically work alone during a placement. This means there is often little opportunity for shadow learning. Although all live-in carers will conduct extensive training before being placed with a client, a good understanding of the fundamentals such as manual handling, medication management, and current care delivery techniques will provide a great platform from which further knowledge and skills can be built.

Your knowledge of care can be acquired from both professional experiences developed through a work environment or from personal experience from caring for a loved one or friend. Be sure to highlight any specialist training and qualifications you may have had with complex conditions such as dementia. These skills demonstrate that you are proficient in dealing with clients with more complex needs and can be given greater responsibility.

2. Availability & flexibility

Reliability and dependability are incredibly important in live-in care. On the whole, care professionals typically work unusual hours, as a person’s needs do not stop when business hours end. This is especially true for live-in carers.

A predetermined rota pattern will be worked out before your placement begins and a typical pattern will often have you working consistently for 2 weeks before taking a 2-week break. Sometimes the rotation can be longer, such as 4 weeks on and 2 weeks off. Placements vary and there are many options to suit your lifestyle. When you are on duty, you will work an average number of hours each day, with a 2-hour break during your shift.

During your off periods, you will also be asked to vacate the property. To provide consistent and familiar care a great deal of availability and flexibility is required, including arranging accommodation during your days off. Before entering a live-in care job, it is important to consider whether your lifestyle is suitable and if you can commit to the rota patterns.

3. Listening & communication

A unique aspect of live-in care is the ability to provide companionship alongside needs-related support, as the combination of these two factors can have amazing effects on a person’s well-being and happiness.

Listening to and acknowledging your client’s opinions and wishes as well as respecting their choices is key for building a trusting and enjoyable relationship. A good live-in carer will understand how to engage and respond to the person receiving care and show interest and understanding whilst also maintaining a productive care routine throughout the day.

Carers may also be asked to accompany a client to doctors and hospital appointments. The ability to listen carefully and clearly communicate instructions from appointments will be a large part of your role as a carer, therefore you are often required to have excellent English speaking and writing skills.

4. Organisation & planning

A live-in carer will become responsible for certain aspects of their client’s home. This can include anything from the preparation and cooking of nutritional meals to completing household chores. Ensuring the home environment is clean, safe and comfortable is just as important as delivering the care plan.

Live-in care gives people the ability to remain independent in their homes, so you may be asked for assistance with simple administration tasks such as paying bills, posting letters, or helping your client attend classes and activities in the community. To keep the household running smoothly, tasks will need to be overseen with prior preparation, scheduling, and planning.

5. A caring nature

There’s no denying that care in any form is difficult, as it requires you to put another’s needs and considerations before your own. There are particular personality traits believed to indicate whether a person will adapt well to the responsibility and challenges of providing live-in care.

These characteristics include:

  • Patience – Having the ability to calmly and coolly handle situations that arise during care without becoming frustrated is vital.
  • Empathetic and understanding – Recognising and demonstrating compassion for your client and their loved ones, always putting yourself in their shoes
  • Sensitive – As a live-in carer you must be in tune with your client’s wellbeing, and have the ability to provide care with dignity in all situations.
  • Supportive – A live-in carer’s role is to aid the person in continuing their independence at home, assisting your client with their wishes and choices.

6. Interpersonal skills

Live-in carers should possess excellent interpersonal skills as they work closely with their clients daily. Effective communication is key to building a trusting and supportive relationship. This includes active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, and the ability to adapt your communication style to suit your client’s needs.

Whether it’s discussing their care plan, addressing concerns, or simply engaging in friendly conversation, being approachable and friendly can greatly enhance the quality of care provided.

7. Self-reliant  

Live-in carers often find themselves in situations where they need to work independently, taking sole responsibility for specific aspects of their client’s care. This self-reliance is particularly important when it comes to personal care tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication administration. Carers must be confident and capable of performing these duties without constant supervision, ensuring that their clients receive sensitive, timely and efficient care.

8. Professionalism 

Live-in carers must maintain a high level of professionalism in their role. This involves respecting client confidentiality, adhering to the care plan, and following any relevant healthcare regulations and guidelines.

Being punctual and reliable is essential, as your clients depend on you for their daily needs. Maintaining a clean and tidy appearance, as well as a hygienic environment, also demonstrates professionalism and sets a positive example for your clients.

9. Flexibility 

Flexibility is another skill that live-in carers should possess. Every client is unique, and their needs and preferences can vary greatly. Being adaptable and open to change is essential to meet these diverse requirements effectively.

Whether it’s adjusting your care routine, accommodating unexpected changes in the client’s condition, or adapting to new care plans, flexibility ensures that you can provide the best possible care tailored to each individual.

Join our award-winning care team

As a growing number of people choose to stay at home whilst receiving care, the need for fantastic live-in carers is at an all-time high. As a live-in carer, there is a great deal of opportunity for you to develop and improve the service you provide as you continue to discover new aspects of your client’s personality and preferences.

There are also opportunities to build a bond which is valued by both you and the person you deliver care to. With excellent support, extensive training and generous benefits, a career in live-in care can be extremely beneficial to both you and the person you care for.

The Good Care Group is a home care provider rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. We provide 24/7 support, attractive care employment packages and a full range of benefits.

Find out more about live-in care jobs with The Good Care Group or contact us on +44 3331 308 578.

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