Live In Care

When hourly care is not enough, live in care can be an affordable option, compared to assisted living, when the client desires to age at home.

Live in care is when a caregiver lives in the home for an extended period of time.  It differs from 24/7 care.  In 24/7 care, caregivers do not sleep.  24/7 shifts are staffed with multiple caregivers who must stay awake at all times in order to attend to client needs.  24/7 care is common, for example, when someone has just had surgery and must be monitored day and night.  Caregivers are paid on an hourly basis and every hour is available for the client.

In live in assignments, caregivers are allowed to have a reasonable amount of uninterrupted sleep.  They are also allowed personal time because they are, in effect, living in the client’s home.  Caregivers should be allowed a reasonable amount of time for activities like checking email, talking by phone and watching TV.  They are available for the client as required but are also allowed to take care of their personal needs.

In addition to the base pay, caregivers receive their food at the expense of the client. If the live in caregiver goes grocery shopping, she will buy items for the client but will also be allowed to purchase reasonable amounts of items for herself.  When the live in caregiver cooks for the client, she will either enjoy the same food that she has prepared, or may prepare something that she likes which the client does not want to eat.

Live in assignments also require that the caregiver has a private bedroom or area where she can sleep.  Ideally, she will also have a private bathroom.

When a client needs live in care, we pay very close attention to the personality of the caregiver.  Even more than with hourly assignments, it is critical that the caregiver get along with the client.  Caregiving skills are important, but the ability of the caregiver and client to get along and enjoy each other’s company may be even more critical.  Some clients enjoy lots of conversation.  Others enjoy lots of alone time and prefer less interaction with the caregiver.  Getting this chemistry right is key to a successful live in placement.

Depending on the expected duration of care, there may be multiple caregivers who take turns of a few days each.  This helps ensure that no one gets tired and that they have adequate time off to see friends and take care of personal errands.  Some times there is one primary caregiver who works for about 5 days, with a secondary caregiver covering 2 days each week.  Sometimes there is a 3 days/4 days schedule.  What gets arranged depends on the needs of the client and caregiver availability.