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Transitioning to Elderly Live in Care: A Guide

Are you or a loved one transitioning to elderly live-in care? This guide from The Live in Care Company takes you through all the questions you may have to help you prepare.

Transitioning to live-in care may involve a fair amount of change to your routine, for whatever reason. However, this guide from our experienced team can help you prepare to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible. this guide will cover:


How elderly live-in care works

Elderly live-in care vs care home

What is elderly live-in care like?

How much does live-in care cost?

How to prepare for elderly live-in care

How do I find a live-in caregiver?

How we can help?


How elderly live-in care works

Elderly live-in care means that the person being cared for will have a competent and trained carer living with them at home. This allows for the person being cared for to remain within their familiar environment with their possessions, pets, local amenities, and any family or friends that may live locally. An elderly live-in carer can help maintain independent living whilst ensuring the person is kept safe and supported.


With live-in care services, the client being cared for does not have to move to a residential home, which can often give rise to anxiety and adjustment difficulties for the client. It is rather the carer who will adapt to the individual’s environment and provide a flexible care approach dependent on the individual’s needs. However, if a residential home is something that is of interest, then live-in home help for the elderly might be an option whilst deciding on a suitable care-home and can limit unnecessary movement between different care homes.


A live-in carer for elderly people will cohabit with the person they are caring for and aims to provide sufficient input to enable the person to still withhold independence in their daily activities but at the same time ensuring the person’s needs are being met. The live-in carer will be on hand to help when necessary but they are also expected to have time to take for themselves.


Often live-in carers or overnight carers become companions for clients and the consistency of a familiar face enables a trusting bond to be formed. This can foster better communication, a mutual understanding of day-to-day needs and can help the cared for individual retain autonomy.


Live-in carers such as those at The Live in Care Company can provide a variety of supporting duties for the client, depending on the level of need required. The advantage of live-in care services is that the carer can provide support to the client on a tailored basis and they can learn about which areas of the client’s life are more important to provide support with. Some of the common duties involved in elderly live-in care and activities where overnight carers provide support are listed below:


–           Assisting with getting up in the mornings

–           Helping with personal care (dressing, bathing and grooming)

–           Preparing/cooking meals

–           Facilitating short trips out; for example, a trip to a museum or local cafe

–           Assisting with paperwork and letters

–           Prompting adherence to medication

–           Helping with pets

–           Helping with the housekeeping

–           Helping to attend appointments

–           Helping with shopping

–           Assisting attendance at social events

–           Assisting clients to entertain friends and family; for example, carers can help cook Sunday lunch for a family visit

–           Acting as a companion


The live-in carer can learn and understand how much input they need to provide for each of the different roles. For instance, a client may ask for more support with their social activities but they may prefer to take a more leading role in cooking or shopping. It is the flexibility of live-in carers that makes it possible to adapt to individual preferences.

Elderly live-in care vs care home

It can be a difficult decision deciding whether a live-in care UK based company or a care home is preferable for an individual’s care needs. Often a live-in carer is more favourable for the person receiving care, since it allows them to remain within the safety and familiarity of their own home.


Here are a few things to consider for both options:


Live-in Carer Care Home
Carer lives and generally needs a 2 hour break per day Staff present 24/7
Safe, familiar environment Secure environment
Preparing meals, chosen by individual Prepared meals, chosen by Care Home
Companionship with carer and option to keep usual social events Socialising opportunities with other residents
Medication management with as much support from carer as required Medication management by Care Home
Household chores and bills that can be supported by carer No household chores or bills
Independence maintained as much as possible Independence can be restricted
Live-in carer can support emotional needs and be a companion in times of loneliness Less focus on emotional needs
Care is more tailored to the individual Care is more generic
Requires a spare room in the home Person moves out of their home
May need to make adjustments to the home for specific care needs Care Home will likely be modified already for specific care needs
Can offer one-to-one care but may struggle more with very complex care needs Are able to manage complex care needs but one-to-one support is limited
Live in carer acts as the sole contact point Many different points of contact


What is elderly live-in care like?

Elderly live-in care works well for many people because it means that there is a consistent carer within the home of the cared for individual. Often the carer is a companion, since a natural care relationship develops. This can help the cared for individual feel less lonely, which in turn can benefit their wellbeing. The person may also feel able to communicate their care needs with their carer if they have a good relationship and it can help the person feel more relaxed when more personal care duties are required.

Read The Live in Care Company’s guide on how elderly live-in care can combat loneliness.

Live-in carers also need time off, so at times there will be moments when the carer and person being cared for are not together. This can help facilitate a good relationship since everyone needs their own space and time to themselves. However, since the carer will be living with the individual, they will often be on hand to help even if they are taking a break from their care duties. This can help loved ones feel that their family member is safe.


Live-in care elderly people can trust will keep the daily structure of an individual’s life as normal as possible, in order to avoid disruption and significant changes that can be overwhelming for people. Therefore, live-in care is very much like having someone there with you supporting you throughout the day, without changing much to your routine. For instance, someone may be used to their morning routine of waking up, using the bathroom, getting changed and having breakfast. This can remain the same, but instead of the person struggling to do these things by themselves, they will have someone there to support them if they need. They may like their live-in carer to help them with getting changed or support them with preparing a nutritious breakfast. The carer will help make the life of the individual easier, whilst ensuring independence is maintained as much as possible.

How much does live-in care cost?

The cost of live-in care depends on the level of care needs required. Elderly care costs will be around £900 per week for a single person or around £1100 for a couple.


There are various ways to pay for care costs and you may be eligible to receive support with payments, following an assessment by your local council. You can check out our FAQ page for more about your financial options for care.

How to prepare for elderly live-in care

Since the live-in carer will be living within the home of the client, it is important for the carer to have a personal room with a clean and comfortable bed, a door to provide privacy and access to bathroom facilities. This will help the live-in carer feel they are able to take time to themselves when possible and will help nurture a positive environment for both the individual being cared for and the live-in carer.


Therefore prior to a live-in carer coming into the home, it can be helpful to ensure the following points have been met:


  • A clean room with a bed, privacy and access to bathroom facilities is available;
  • There should also be storage space available for the carer’s personal belongings;
  • Wifi can be an important need for carers nowadays so that they can keep in touch with their family and friends. Therefore, try to ensure that there is a working Wifi connection;
  • Live-in carers will generally cook and eat with the person being cared for so there needs to be adequate kitchen facilities. They will eat the same food that they help prepare for the client unless they have specific dietary needs which they will take care of themselves;
  • House insurance should be checked to ensure that it covers a live-in carer;
  • A carer can also be added to the car insurance policy if they are expected to drive as part of their caring duties;
  • Provide a list of important contact details in case of emergency;
  • The live-in carer will likely be responsible for various household purchases. It can be helpful to arrange how this will work beforehand. You may want to use petty cash and ask the carer to keep receipts or you may also wish to set up a separate bank account.

How do I find a live-in caregiver?

Often the best, most reliable, and quickest way to find a live-in carer is via an introductory agency.  The service that you use should take the time to understand individual preferences, needs and circumstances to match skilled and experienced live in carer.

How we can help

At The Live in Care Company, we make the process of organising live-in care as hassle-free and straight forward as possible. Our expert team will be happy to speak to you and will take the time to understand your situation and will match you with an experienced live-in carer. You can ring us on 0118 449 2373 or make an enquiry today.

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