As a full time live in carer your role will vary from client to client. Essentially you will be living with the client in their own home and you will provide care, companionship and support throughout the day. Many of our clients are elderly; some with more complex needs and a typical day revolves around their care. From help in starting and ending the day, personal care if required, preparing meals, companionship, trips out and hobbies, in effect whatever it takes to enhance their days and keep them safe. Most placements are for a minimum of 2 weeks, often much longer and then followed by the same period off, if you choose. However there will always be 2 care companions working on a rota with a client to provide personal and close support.
Yes. It is a stipulation in the client agreement that a live-in carer must have their own room. In fact, before a carer is placed, one of our assessing team will visit the property to ensure that it is suitable. Clients normally have free internet access too.
Every live-in carer gets a 2-hour break from their customer each day (or 14 hours a week). We recommend using this time to take time out and concentrate on your own hobbies or just relax. All placements and families work differently, it’s worked out on an individual basis making sure that when you do leave the home there’s cover for the client.
Live-in care placements are flexible and built around the needs of our clients. Most of them last for a period of weeks and then you can take a period of leave. You must be able to commit to a minimum of 2 weeks which would cover some of our shorter-term placements. It’s not unusual for a placement to last for 4-6 weeks. This allows continuity for our customers and enables you to build a relationship with every customer you care for. This way of working suits most live in carers for various reasons. Some like to get really involved for a few weeks and then go back to a period back home with their family. A number like to use the breaks to travel the UK or the area they are in, or use it for other interests they have. Some will take shorter breaks and work with other clients in between, however the role can be demanding and we always recommend you take some time to recharge between placements.
The Homecare People covers Live-in placements in Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
No. You will be directly employed by The Homecare People, never the family. This means you will have a contract of employment and enjoy all the benefits of employment i.e. holidays, sick pay, pensions, free training. We do have some live-in carers that prefer to be self-employed and we are happy to discuss that option. Those that choose to be self employed are responsible for all the tasks involved in running their own business and providing evidence of insurances. We are not an introductory agent, we directly recruit, assess, match and manage all of our carers. This allows us to maintain our exceedingly high standards, to keep our carers’ training up-to-date, and gives us greater control over the care arrangement. You will have the support of our care manager and our office team.
Yes, you will have many training opportunities with The Homecare People. One of our concerns is that we meet many carers who have not had any formal training or it is out of date, yet they have been providing live-in care. We will not place any carer that has not taken time with our Academy programme to ensure they fully understand the key aspects of providing excellent care. Much of this can be done through on line learning programmes and working with our Training manager. We are a CQC regulated care provider and consider the basic mandatory requirements for our Domiciliary care team applicable to our live- in team. We believe in the continuous professional development of our people and there are numerous on-going training opportunities available.
Our Live-in Carers are never left unsupported and there will always be someone available to provide help, advice and guidance when needed. If you need assistance within office hours, you can call our office where there is a team available to provide support. If you urgently need to speak to someone outside of office hours, then you have access to our dedicated out-of-hours phone line. We will provide you with this phone number once you join our team.
Yes, this is a really important part of our service and unlike an agency our care team complete full assessments on our clients and their environment, this is a skilled job and should not be left to families or untrained people. An individual care plan is written by our care manager during the assessment of each client. The care plan is put together with the involvement of the client and their family and is designed to be as person centred as possible. It will detail the daily tasks, medication administration, medical conditions and all assistance required for that person’s day-to-day care. It will also tell us more about the client’s likes, dislikes, background and help us understand how, as companions, we can make every day better for them, we need to know what makes them tick.
Yes. When a client confirms that they would like to go ahead with live-in care, our care manager visits the customer to perform a risk assessment. The information from the risk assessment will be detailed in the care plan.
Yes. We have a system all our carers use that contains all the clients information and we ask our live-in carers to use this to record the day’s activities, ups and downs or any changes in the clients health and well being. The system runs on your phone and helps us monitor the client over the long-term, it’s very easy and intuitive. In some cases our client’s families may live a distance away and they like to be able to go on line and see how Mum and Dad are doing. It also allows us to offer support from the office and help you if you feel there is a change that concerns you, or indeed that we might notice. In a few minutes a day we can all reflect on our clients and ensure we are doing our best for them.
An important question, as a live-in can go for days simply caring for a client and if all is going well, it’s a good thing for everyone. However we recognize it can get lonely for our carers and occasionally they may be concerned about a client or not be sure how to handle a situation. That’s what the office team are there for, they have years of experience and are always happy to talk, in fact you will get a call from the team regularly just to make sure everything is OK. We will also review your reports and evaluate how the client is doing, so your comments are valuable in ensuring we evolve the levels of care required. Your wellbeing is also important we know our carers can get sick or have issues they need support on so we like to stay close to ensure we can balance caring for you and our client, they are linked.
The live-in carer salary starts from £600 per week (before tax & National Insurance deductions). The salary may be higher, based on the complexity of the customer’s needs and the experience of the career. More than just basic you also get holiday pay, sick pay, a pension scheme, occasional travel expenses and free training. Self employed carers usually start at around £700 per week, of course this doesn’t include any benefits. Plus once you are on our books you will benefit from our marketing efforts and so we should generate more opportunities to offer you more work in the longer term. In reality most of this is yours, in addition your food is provided by the client as are internet costs etc and so your living costs during a placement can be minimal.
For live-in carers that are employed directly through The Homecare People, your pay is done on a monthly basis. As a direct employee all tax and National Insurance deductions will be dealt with and you will also be entitled to SSP, accrued annual leave entitlement and a pension scheme. Payment for our self-employed live-in carers will work differently and we will agree the payment basis on engagement for all placements. As a self-employed live-in carer it does mean that you will be responsible for payment of your own tax and national insurance.
As well as having your own room and private space, your food is provided at our clients cost. Often our live-in carer-companions choose to eat with the client and will most likely share the meal they prepared. Occasionally our carers will prefer a little something they enjoy that doesn’t suit the client, which is OK as long as that spend doesn’t become inappropriate .If you want something special then we would expect you to cover that for yourself. We already have a set of favourite recipes that our clients love. Older people often have quite specific favourites and so we can help with popular ideas for menus.
It is not a requirement for our live-in carers to be able to drive. Sometimes a client may provide a car for you to use, in which case you must have a valid licence. If you do have a car and you would like to take the client out, please be aware that we will need to do a full risk assessment before this can be done. If you don’t have a car, don’t be put off, as we can make this work depending on the clients and their location.
Live in covers a wide range of needs for our clients. Some clients are quite healthy and really just need a little help to make life easier and many simply want to have the companionship of having someone nearby. They may miss loved ones or spend too much time alone. With such clients it can be much more about spending time with them, enjoying cooking together, going out, shopping, doing a crossword or jigsaw, watching TV and also being there to make sure they stay safe and happy, a reassurance and reliable friend who also knows when they need their own private time. In a number of cases our clients do need more care. Perhaps they have an early stage dementia or physical disability, or occasionally more complex needs. In these cases we need a Live in carer who understands how to support personal care, managing medications and diet, or may require specific experience and so more of the day is spent on managing health issues than simply enjoying time together. That said we select people that understand the value they bring as companions too, beyond the care aspects, how do we make each day special for every client, what are the little things that make a difference and make them happy. That’s what you should want to do. So in effect all our live-carers are companions.
Many live-in carers come from abroad and see this as an opportunity to visit the UK while working at something they love. We have a number of carers who joined us from a range of countries from across the world. The only thing we ask is that you have a good level of spoken English. You will need to provide certain documents to be able to work in the UK.
We find most live-in carers love the work, they are carers. They like to get close to our clients and sleep well at night knowing they have truly helped someone that day. For many they love the working schedules they simply like to work for a few weeks on then have the freedom to take a few weeks off. Many would say they are well paid for something they love and have great flexibility to live a way of life that suits them. For some they do see this as a good way to earn and will take minimal breaks and maximize their earnings, which might work well for many single or older people who find it hard to get work in the current environment. That said our carers fit all age ranges and are a mix of married, single, men and women. It can be a really satisfying way of life, most clients are delightful, they need help and are grateful for it in fact they and their families form real bonds with our carers. It can also be great fun planning to help someone enjoy every day which in itself will bring enjoyment to you too.
Occasionally we may make a contribution towards travel depending on the situation. If you are involved in journeys with a client they will reimburse you with the travel costs.