Adapting Your Home for Live in Care: A Guide
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Adapting your home for live in care may involve a fair amount of preparation. If you are unsure as to what to expect, The Live in Care Company has written this guide with advice for preparing your home for a live in carer.
Things to consider for a live in carer:
Safety and Security
Disabled facilities grant
What do I need to provide for a live-in carer?
Since the live-in carer will be living within the home of the client, it is important for the carer to have their own 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 and decluttered room with a bed and privacy;
- Access to bathroom facilities;
- 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 and therefore, there needs to be adequate kitchen facilities to do so. They will mostly eat the same food that they help prepare for the cared for individual unless they have specific dietary needs which they will take care of themselves;
- Provide a list of important contact details in case of emergency;
- The live-in caregiver 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.
The carer for individual’s home should be insured to cover the presence of a live-in carer. Many insurance policies will automatically include this and if you are unsure you should check with your insurance broker or insurance company.
A carer can also be added to the car insurance policy if they are expected to drive as part of their caring duties. You should contact the insurance company that covers the car insurance and inform them of the details of the caregiver who will be added to the policy and to make sure you have the appropriate level of cover.
Safety & Security
Make sure all expensive items are safely locked away. Carers will have undergone criminal record and reference checks, however, it is sensible not to leave valuable lying around. People with dementia are prone to forgetfulness and confusion; they may lose things and you would not want to be in a situation where you are unsure of where a valuable item may have gone.
Home adaptations for the elderly and home adaptations for the disabled may need to be considered when receiving care at home. Often care homes will have these facilities already, but if you opt to have a live-in carer you may need to adapt your home. Hopefully a carer will be able to help you navigate in your current home facilities, but in some cases you may prefer to get disability adaptations around your home.
If you need help with getting in and out of your front door, handrails and ramps can be installed. For access to upstairs rooms, banisters or stairlifts may be installed to help prevent falls. This is particularly important for elderly people who may be prone to falling and also for those who have mobility issues where walking up and down the stairs can cause strain and discomfort.
Sometimes bathrooms need adapting to help you or your carer with bathing and showering you. Battery powered bath lifts are easy to install and use, they work by securing a mechanical seat to the bathtub. The bath lift seat will usually move down to lower you into the bath and it will move up to help you step out of the bath. Assistance from a carer to get you in and out of the seat or to control the mechanism of the chair may be needed as well but bath lifts give a person greater independence and will help make the process of bathing quicker. Disability showers can also provide extra handrail support and space to help with the showering process. In some cases, a wet room may be preferable but this can be a more expensive option.
Bedroom & Private Space
Your live-in carer will need their own bedroom which is comfortable, clean and decluttered and has a bed a and a place to store their belongings.
Disabled facilities grant
The council may provide a grant if you are disabled and need to make changes to your home. This is called a disabled facilities grant.
It may be used to cover things like:
- Widening of doors and installation of ramps
- Improving access to rooms
- Facilities that can improve access such as stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom
- Provision of a heating system to suit your needs
- Adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
How much money you receive will depend on your household income and savings. You may need to contribute to some or all of the costs.
You can apply to your local council through this website.
How do I find a live-in caregiver?
Some people make the time and effort to find their own live in carer through online jobsites but this can be very stressful and time consuming. An introductory agency can do all of the hard work for you in terms of finding, vetting, reference checking and ID checking potential candidates for live in care. The agency should take the time to understand individual preferences, needs and circumstances to match you to a skilled and experienced live in care giver. The agency should be able to give you helpful advice about every aspect of preparing and adapting your home for live in care.
How we can help
At The Live in Care Company, we make the process of arranging a live in carer straightforward and stress free. We have many experienced and compassionate dementia carers in our team who will do a great job of caring for your loved-one. Our expert head office team will be happy to speak to you and will take the time to understand your situation and your needs and will match you with a wonderful live-in carer.