Life as a live-in carer
What is it like to be a live-in carer? It is by no means an easy job; the role requires a highly dedicated, compassionate person, who is reliable, well-organised, sociable, and has good humour and common sense.
Having said that, if you’re up for it, it is probably one of the most rewarding jobs around. You are able to change people’s lives – without you, their life may have looked very different. Many of our live-in carers stay with the same client for months, if not years, and the bonds they form can last a lifetime.
As a live-in carer, you will meet people of all backgrounds and personalities. Companionship can be an important reason why people choose live-in care; many people appreciate having someone around who keeps an eye out and who can join them for a walk through the village.
Others might need help to manage a medical condition that requires ongoing attention, like MS, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s. When this is the case, you can be a great support by taking on daily chores like cooking and cleaning, but you may also be able to help with mobility issues, liaise with other healthcare professionals, or assist with medication.
Your clients can be individuals or couples. Sometimes, a live-in carer comes in when the regular carer (often a spouse) passes away or struggles to manage the ongoing care responsibility alone. In other cases, you may be supporting both partners, taking all day-to-day household chores off their shoulders.
We serve clients all over Herefordshire and neighbouring counties, including Shropshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire.
As a live-in carer, every day is different. Your main responsibilities revolve around supporting the client, recording and reporting relevant information, and being part of our team.
Your key responsibility is to support our clients in all areas of life. For example, you may be asked to assist with basic household chores (e.g. cooking, cleaning, running errands, laundry), personal care (e.g. washing, dressing, toileting), getting out and about (e.g. visiting social events, appointments, or going on outings), medication management, or companionship (e.g. chatting, playing games).
In addition, you have a responsibility to record and report important events that occur while you are staying with the client. For example, you will be expected to record every time you help with medication, any financial transactions you make on behalf of the client, or other relevant client information such as changes in their condition or safeguarding concerns.
Part of your role also includes being a member of our team. We are a small, strong team, and we like to get to know you and work closely with you. We have regular team meetings, we hold brainstorm sessions where we discuss how we can look after our clients and our live-in carers the best we can, and we touch base with you regularly to ask how you are doing and how we can help you.
Balancing work and private life
Live-in care is not your average 9 to 5 job, and it requires being away from home for longer periods of time. This is not always easy, and it is essential that you feel that you can maintain a healthy balance between work and your private life.
In matching our live-in carers with a client, we always agree a weekly routine that works well for both parties. For instance, you can agree with the client that you will live with them for two weeks and then have two weeks off (or a variety like one week on, one week off or three weeks on, three weeks off).
Every day, you will be able to take a break for at least three consecutive hours, during which you can do as you please – go for a long walk, go to the gym, visit friends or run some errands. In our experience, most clients and live-in carer partnerships quickly settle into a routine that works well for both of them.
We will keep a close eye on you to make sure you are ok while you are living with the client, and we are there to support you in balancing a challenging but rewarding job with your private life.
What a live-in carer earns
We employ all our live-in carers, which means that you don’t have the hassle that come with tax and national insurance paperwork. Moreover, you are also entitled to a pension scheme, statutory sick pay, and annual holiday pay.
Our live-in carers are paid on a monthly basis, with salaries ranging between £639.80 and £816.48 per week (pay rates as of 1 April 2020).
For more information and our most recent pay rates, get in touch or read our Live-in Carer Job Description and Person Specification.