Live In Senior Care
“There’s no place like home” takes on a special meaning for older adults who want to age in place. An AARP survey found that 3 out of 4 adults over 50 want to stay in their homes as long as possible.
But, most survey participants believe they will need help with their daily living activities in order to avoid leaving home. This is why many seniors are already choosing live-in care to remain independent and live securely in a familiar environment.
With live-in care, a caregiver lives in the senior’s home and is allowed to sleep at least eight hours at night. Caregivers can help their clients during the night if they need help going to the bathroom or take medication at certain times of the night.
The senior provides a separate, private room for the caregiver as well as pays for food costs while the caregiver is working.
There are usually two types of live-in care arrangements:
- Two or more live-in caregivers alternate spending one or more nights in a senior’s home. Caregivers go to their own homes when they are not working.
- A caregiver lives in the home of the senior full-time and is usually the only caregiver. The live-in caregiver may have a visiting nurse, home health aide, or personal care aide to help the senior during the day so that the live-in caregiver can have time off to take care of his or her personal needs.
Live-In care is often confused with 24-hour care which is carried out in shifts. Generally, caregivers work three, eight-hour shifts and take quick breaks during the shifts. Unlike live-in caregivers, 24-hour caregivers do not sleep overnight at a client’s home.
Twenty-four-hour care may be a better option for seniors who have multiple needs that require care at night. For instance, a senior with limited mobility may need to be repositioned every couple of hours to prevent bedsores. While one live-in caregiver can provide care to someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, supervising the person as the condition worsens may lead to burnout. On the other hand, 24-hour care may be a better option since multiple caregivers—rather than one carergiverå—can supervise the person, especially if the person begins to wander at night.
Live-In Care vs Assisted Living
Live-In care is one of several options seniors have available. But whether it’s the best option depends on an older adult’s situation. In some cases, older adults who need continual care with their daily living activities choose to move into an assisted living facility that provides housing, personal care, and healthcare services.
Some facilities have caregivers on staff, but these workers must divide their time and attention between many residents. So, residents must wait their turn to get the services they need. Residents also receive meals, usually three meals a day, at scheduled times. Social and recreational activities are provided as is transportation to doctors’ appointments.
While assistant living may have its perks and amenities, seniors must move out of their homes. Those who choose live-in care and stay in a familiar environment and do not have to follow scheduled times as do seniors who live in assisted living.
At the same time, live-in care has initial drawbacks. Before caregivers can effectively do their jobs, trust must be established between the older adult, their family members, and the caregiver. For instance, it’s not uncommon for family members to worry that a caregiver may steal from their loved one or subject their loved one to physical or emotional abuse. What’s more, a senior who is used to living alone must get used to having a “stranger” in the house.
For these and other reasons, in-home care agencies that provide quality services know how to match caregivers with clients so that both will feel comfortable with each other. And, over time, in-home caregivers can become like “one of the family.” What’s more, it’s easier for family members to talk to one caregiver who is there all the time rather than talking to two or three people working in round-the-clock shifts.
What Are A Live-In Caregiver’s Duties?
Live-in caregivers have the same duties as other home care workers, but they do not provide medical care, like those provided by a visiting registered nurse or a certified nursing assistant.
For the most part, live-in caregivers provide such services as:
- Helping their clients bathe, shower, groom
- Helping their clients with toileting and incontinence care
- Managing light household chores like sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming
- Preparing meals and helping to feed the client, if necessary
- Running errands and grocery shopping
- Providing transportation to doctor’s appointments and recreational activities
- Providing medication reminders
Another essential service provided by a live-in caregiver is companionship, which is just as important as personal care. Having the presence of someone in the home can give seniors peace of mind, knowing that they are not alone and living in social isolation. Even seniors with limited mobility can enjoy conversations, playing games, a visit to the park, shopping, and other stimulating activities with a live-in caregiver.
Live-In Caregivers Also Bring Relief To Family Members
Older adults in declining health who not have family members nearby or whose family members cannot provide the assistance they need may benefit from live-in care.
For instance, some adult children work long hours or have their own family responsibilities or have a chronic health condition that prevents them from helping their aging parents. Knowing that their loved one has an in-home caregiver can take quite a bit of stress off of concerned family members.
Additionally, a live-in caregiver is already with their loved one and can handle an emergency situation, if or when it happens.
Live-in care is one of several options older adults and their families can consider, particularly for seniors who want to maintain their independence as long as they possibly can.