When considering live-in care, one of the many questions you are likely to ask yourself is “what steps should I take in order to choose a carer who is right for me?” Although your immediate needs are a crucial consideration, other important factors are sometimes overlooked. It is often these small details which lead you to feeling comfortable, at ease and completely satisfied with the care you are receiving.
Finding the right carer can make a world of difference, and can help you fully experience the benefits of live-in care. Following the advice laid out in this article can assist you in finding carers who support you and who also provide you with company.
How to Find a Live-in Carer
Unknown to many, there are 3 types of live-in care: private, introductory and fully managed live-in care. It is important to understand what each type involves as how you find a carer will vary depending on which option you choose.
Private Live-in Care
Private live-in care is care that has been solely arranged by yourself or a family member and involves employing the carer directly.
Independently recruiting and hiring a live-in carer can be quite an onerous task, typically requiring a team of individuals to manage it correctly. It involves looking for and selecting appropriate candidates, interviewing checking references and qualifications as well as potentially doing your own police checks. The work does not end there – as the carer is directly employed by you, you become responsible for certain duties. For instance, this can involve managing your carer’s taxes and organising cover for when your carer takes a holiday or if they happen to fall ill. The decision to choose private care should not be taken lightly – it's important to have the right resources in place, as failing to plan may cause rifts in the relationship between you and the carer, affecting the consistency or quality of your care. In this situation, you become the ‘employer’ and need to be aware of the carers legal rights in this context. It is also important to note that in this situation, care is not subject to the requirements of the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Introductory Live-in Care
Introductory live-in care is slightly different to private care as you are introduced to carers who have been previously selected and vetted by a live-in care company, carers found through this process are entirely self-employed. The introductory live in care provider will help you select a carer that meets your needs, however similarly to private care, the employment responsibility sits with your family. As carers that work on a self-employed basis, are not subject to the regulations as set out by CQC, the regulator, the provider does not take responsibility for the day to day management of the carer, again this will be your responsibility. In this situation, you are simply paying for the introductory service and when the carer is in place, you pay them directly.
Fully Managed Live-in Care
Fully managed live-in care providers seek to provide you with complete peace of mind by handling the entire live-in care service, including finding, vetting and employing highly skilled candidates who they have the responsibility to train. Providers who offer the fully managed option organise all aspects of your care from assessing your needs, managing carers rotas and cover - as well as ensuring your carer is continuously developed at no extra cost to you. Often this will involve liaising with healthcare professionals if required.
This type of live-in care is also regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Companies registered with the CQC undergo full inspections and are rated on their service. These reports are then published online, giving you an independent opinion on the findings made by the regulator. They are a good reference point for anyone searching for a service.
Fully managed live-in care provides an unmatched level of stability and consistency compared to other live-in care options.
What To Look For When Considering a Live-in Carer
Live-in care presents the fantastic opportunity to remain in your own home whilst receiving around-the-clock support, assisting you in maintaining a high level of control in your life. This control is also extended to the carer selection process. Consider the following factors to ensure you are fully prepared:
1. Skills and qualifications
All live-in carers are required to undergo intensive training and continuous development so that they are able to maintain a high standard of care during their placement with you. Training teaches your carer various skills and makes sure they are prepared to adapt if your needs ever change. Selecting a carer with an extensive skill set can increase the longevity of your working relationship.
Some of the skills your carer will develop during training include:
- Medication Management
- Nutrition and diet
- First Aid
- Personal Care
- Manual Handling
- Condition management
Live-in care is tailored to meet the needs of the person needing care and typically you will find different support is required, such as companionship care, personal care, and specialist/ complex care. A managed service will undertake a full care assessment before selecting a carer they feel is appropriate for you, considering the experience, skills, and qualifications that may be needed as well as personality.
Carers who undergo specialist training acquire a deeper understanding of certain conditions such as Dementia, Parkinson's, Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis amongst other conditions. This training educates live-in carers on how to provide care which is specifically designed to improve health and wellbeing for people with complex conditions. This is why it is important to inform your service provider of all your specialist care requirements, so they are able to provide you with carers with adequate knowledge and skills suitable to your needs.
Live-in carers traditionally enter the profession through two routes: those who have gained their experience through a work setting, and those who have cared for a loved one or friend. Both paths prepare the carer for the responsibility of live-in work, whilst also providing a unique perspective which they use to provide professional and personalised care. The level of experience you would require from your carers will likely be based on your needs. For example, a person who needs assistance due to mobility may require a less experienced carer compared with a person with more complex and specific requirements.
3. Lifestyle similarities
Apart from skills and experience, finding a carer who you simply get along with is of fundamental significance. Due to the intimate nature of live-in care, it's very important that you and your carer see eye to eye.
Not only does live-in care make it possible for you to continue living in your home, you are also able to remain within your community. People who receive live-in care are able to continue to enjoy beloved activities and hobbies outside of their homes. Many live-in care providers work very hard to ensure you and your carer have common interests – this could be a shared love for gardening, baking, pets or simply watching television. Be sure to inform your provider of your likes and dislikes to help them select a carer who will fit in with your current lifestyle.
Why A CQC Approved Provider Is the Safest Choice
The Care Quality Commission independently regulates services across the entire health and social care sector including your GPs, Doctors, and Dentist as well as in-home services, like live-in care.
All CQC regulated providers will undergo full inspection which assesses the service on how well they uphold 'fundamental standards'. By choosing a CQC registered provider you can rest assured that the service has been assessed for safety, effectiveness, and quality of the care - how well the company performs can be found on the CQC website.
One aspect of care which CQC regulatedproviders are measured on is staffing. Live-in care companies are assessed on how well their recruitment and training processes facilitate the hiring of skilled professionals, and how able they are at delivering care in a compassionate and understanding manner.
Meticulous recruitment processes such as personality profiling can help live in care companies find carers with the correct attitude and approach.
A good provider will keep an eye out for some of the following traits:
- Supportive & Encouraging
- Responsible & Resilient
Fully managed live-in services also control and maintain quality of care by employing staff directly and by never using agency staff.
A good relationship between a live-in carer and the person receiving care is paramount for health and happiness. Highly rated CQC providers will take all the necessary steps in order to provide 'person-centred' care. Suitability can be ensured by carefully matching each individual client with a carer. This is achieved by looking at your personality traits and requests and pairing you with carers who are adequately trained to properly support you and compliment your characteristics.
The CQC also highlight the importance of you or your loved one fully understanding and agreeing to the terms of your care.
CQC regulated providers can be inspected at any time, and this means in order to receive the best possible rating (Outstanding) they must constantly work to improve or maintain a high level of service. Choosing a CQC provider can allow you to benefit from the latest care methods as live in care companies continually develop and train their staff so that they are able to provide innovative and effective care for specialist conditions such as Dementia.
The Good Care Group is a Live-in care provider rated 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission. We provide excellent care, support and companionship to help you continue to live safely and comfortably in your home. Find out more about live-in care by The Good Care Group by visiting https://www.thegoodcaregroup.com/ or contact us on 020 3728 7575.