1 What is live-in care?

Live-in care is when a careworker lives in their client’s home to enable their needs to be met. This means they are available to help your relative throughout the day and at night, if necessary – although they are obviously entitled to breaks by law. Some careworkers live in all the time, others work a rota pattern of, say, two weeks on, two weeks off.

Live-in care is an increasingly popular alternative to an elderly relative moving into a care home. It enables them to stay in their own home and meet their changing needs. For some people it offers a way of continuing to live as independently as possible at home in their local community.

'Mum liked the fact that someone would bring her a cup of tea in the morning, check she was all right and ask if she wanted any breakfast.' Elizabeth's story

Who might live-in care suit?

Live-in care might suit your relative for a number of reasons including if they need help with:

  • Companionship
  • Personal care, such as washing and dressing
  • Taking medication when other aids aren’t effective
  • Cooking
  • Housework
  • Support to manage the risk of falls and other risks at home
  • Caring for a pet
  • Trips out, such as to the doctor or hairdresser
  • Continuing to enjoy some lifelong passions.

This option is also attractive to people who may become confused by a new environment and find it difficult to adapt to change. This particularly applies to people living with dementia, where continuity, routine and familiar surroundings are very reassuring, important and improve quality of life. Live-in care also provides the supervision that someone living with dementia might need to keep them safe.

You may decide, too, that your relative only needs a live-in careworker for a short time, perhaps when he or she is recovering from an illness or an operation.