It may sound obvious, but because a live-in carer will be living in your relative’s home, there are some steps you might want to take to prepare. By making the home as accommodating as possible for them, it will enable your live-in carer to focus their time and energy on caring for your relative, and enjoy living in their home.
Preparing the home for a live-in carer may not require much work – particularly if there is a spare bedroom available for them. Most live-in carers need access to standard facilities that they will be able to share with your relative.
On this page will find out more about what you need to provide for a private live-in carer, and answers to all your live-in carer questions.
What you need to provide for the live-in carer
Below you will find the most important things to provide for your live-in carer. Different live-in care agencies and providers may have other requests. What you need to do to prepare for your relative’s live-in carer should be one of the questions that you ask a care agency.
1. Access to a bed and private room
Of course, as the live-in carer will effectively be moving in to the home, they will need a bedroom of their own. It will need to be of an acceptable standard in terms of adequate heating and ventilation, but does not need to be a 5 star hotel suite! Having space to unpack and store their clothes and belongings will help the carer to feel more at home.
Where possible, a live-in carer should be provided with their own bedroom, though not everyone has a spare room. You may need to re-purpose another room such as a study or reception room, or even convert a garage. But they may well need to be within hearing range of your relative, so consider this in the planning. You may find that some agencies will check out the living space for a carer as part of their service.
2. Kitchen access
Your live-in carer will need access to a kitchen, to prepare meals for your relative, but also for themselves, as they may not always eat together.
It can be quite a thing for someone to share their kitchen – which may have been their private domain for decades – with someone they don’t know – so your parent might need a bit of persuasion about this!
3. Bathroom access
Live-in carers need to have access to a bathroom. This does not have to be a private or en-suite bathroom, but if the bathroom is shared then you should make sure that the facilities are clean and functional.
Having space somewhere in the bathroom for your live-in carer to store their toiletries will also help them to feel more at home.
4. Wifi access
Having access to functional Wifi is very important for private live-in carers. This is both because Wifi is used for carrying out some of the duties of the carer (such as making notes about progress, or liaising with the care provider), and to help the live-in carer feel at home. They may wish to use Wifi during the times they are not actively working.
Introducing Wifi in the home can also be useful for your relative. Internet access can bring the joys of watching television on demand, listening to podcasts, and video-calling. Finding television shows that your relative and their carer both enjoy can be a great way of bonding, and providing things to talk about.
Having Wifi installed in your relative's home can also assist you. There are many mobile apps that live-in carers can use to keep you informed about your relative and how they are doing. Find out more from our page on Best Apps for Care at Home.
FAQs on preparing for a live-in carer
How will the live-in carer know where things are?
You may want to spend some time with the live-in carer on their first couple of days to show them where everything is and how things work.
It is advisable to keep things in obvious places, or to use post-it notes on cupboards and drawers while the live-in carer gets used to their new surroundings.
Do I need a key cut for the live-in carer?
Yes, you should get a key cut for your relative's live in carer. As they live in your relative's home, they need to be able to enter and leave easily.
Does a private live-in carer need a safe?
Having a safe is not essential, as long as the live-in carer has a space that feels private.
Asking if they would like a safe provided, however, may be a good way of helping them to feel secure.
Does my relative need a baby monitor in their room?
It may be helpful to set up some telecare in your relative's bedroom - functioning similarly to a baby monitor.
A sensor or sound monitor can allow the live-in carer to hear if your relative needs help in the night while they are in their own room.
Should we keep my relative's expensive belongings locked away?
The recruitment process for live-in care is very rigorous, and most agencies and providers carry out criminal record checks. Therefore, it is unlikely to be necessary to lock away expensive items from your live-in carer.
Nonetheless, you should do so if it will provide you with peace of mind.
Can my relative's pet live in the house with the live-in carer?
You should discuss with the live-in care provider or agency if you need a carer that is happy to look after your relative's pet. Many private live-in carers are happy to look after pets.