What to look for when choosing a live-in carer for a loved one


More people than ever are working from home and this is a trend which is likely to continue for some time.

With so many people across the UK having to care for an elderly or otherwise impaired relative or loved one at home or otherwise, more people than ever are seeking solutions to the obstacles posed through having to balance working from home, potential childcare and caring for a potentially elderly loved one (source: Better Healthcare Services).

There are a plethora of ways in which to help and support your loved ones, with live-in care an increasingly popular and feasible option.

Knowing how best to support your loved one when they are no longer able to take care of themselves can be challenging. It is undoubtedly a tricky situation and trying to figure out what will be best for them can seem impossible. With financial worries and guilt, choosing the future of a loved one can sometimes be very stressful.

The good news is that just because your loved one may not be able to look after themselves anymore, it doesn’t mean they need to leave their home and lose their independence.

Live-in care can be an amazing alternative to other, more traditional forms of care, previously considered the only alternative. Unlike residential care, a live-in carer can support your loved one in any way they need. You won’t need to uproot your loved one and instead, a carer will live with them. A live-in carer can provide companionship, as well as a bespoke support service for your loved one. Whether they need help going shopping, paying bills, mobility or day to day chores a live-on carer can provide all of it.

Fundamentally, by employing a live-in carer, the mental health of your loved one can be protected in a way that cannot be achieved with the potential upheaval of moving into residential care. It is however, important to consider a variety of factors when choosing a live-in carer and when deciding whether or not to employ one at all.

Complete an In-Depth Background Check

You need to make sure that when you are choosing a live-in carer you find the perfect person for your loved one. Start with the basic checks, like making sure that they are qualified. This is very much similar to what most people would expect when for example employing someone for childcare or sending their children to a nursery (more information here) where they need to ensure their loved one’s safety is put first and foremost.

You will need to see Care Certification, NVQ qualifications or nursing backgrounds as required for specialist conditions, and always check the live-in carers’ references and that they have valid CRB and DBS check certificates.

The role of a carer in any capacity is one with a high level of responsibility so you will want to make sure that the person you choose has the qualifications and experience you would expect for such a role. If your loved one is currently suffering from dementia or specific health needs, you might want to look for a live-in carer who has experience and potential qualifications in that area.

Trial Shifts

Always invite potential candidates for a supervised and monitored trial shift.

Not only will this give you an opportunity to see how capable they are in person but you will also get a chance to ensure that there are no personality clashes and that particularly in the case of dementia suffers, that your loved one is comfortable in the presence of the carer in question. Your loved one will be spending a large amount of time with their live-in carer so it is very important that they get along well.

The trial shift will also give the carer a chance to see and experience the precise level of care they are being expected to provide. Make sure that you are present for this trial shift so that you can decide if this is the right person for the job.

Choose a Carer Through an Agency

Going through an agency can greatly reduce the stress of trying to find a live-in carer through any other channels. Agencies are accredited and professional outfits who know their exact capabilities and strengths with regards to their live-in carers. A credible agency will be able to support you in choosing someone perfect for the role. All background checks will be done for you so you will have peace of mind knowing that whatever you choose is a safe and qualified choice.

Trust Yourself

No one knows your loved one better than you, so if you don’t get a good feeling about the live-in carer you are considering hiring, stop! You need to feel comfortable and confident with the person you choose, so if you spot red flags or see something that doesn’t sit right with you, keep looking.