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Is your home suitable for live-in care?

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Posted on 2nd November 2018.

For many people with elderly relatives, worrying about their wellbeing is only natural. Live-in care enables those needing extra help with daily activities to have that support in their own homes, although sometimes some additional measures need to be made in order for that to happen.
Elderly father and adult son

Take a look at our checklist for getting your home ready for live-in care.

A spare room for a carer to live in

Live-in carers also need their own space and privacy. It might sound simple but it’s important that they have a spare room to provide that space for them to spend a bit of time to themselves.

Over the course of a 12-hour period, live-in carers carry out various tasks such as personal care, meal preparation and in some cases, manual handling or hoisted transfers. So, having somewhere to put their feet up afterwards is vital.

Having a spare room for a live-in carer also ensures the person keep your own personal space but safe in the knowledge that if there is something you need help with, there’s someone in the next room.

Having the right equipment and environment for complex needs

Though live-in carers are trained to use equipment such as hoists, they are not responsible for sourcing their own equipment when caring for a person with complex needs. However, there are grants and other funding options to help get these in place at home, either privately-funded or through the local council.

There may also be other additions which need to be made, including standing frames and aids for showering or toileting. Steps outside the house may also need to be converted into ramps for wheelchairs for easy walking.

Depending on the level of care that’s needed, entire rooms may need to be converted, especially downstairs if a person has limited mobility. They may also need to have new bathrooms installed which can be easily accessed.

Preparing a loved one with dementia for live-in care

Why daily social interactions ease lonliness

850 000 people live with dementia in the UK, and being unable to recognise their home environment can cause them to be distressed or overwhelmed. On the other hand, it can also be upsetting for a person with dementia to leave the place which holds special memories.

As well as having support from a live-in carer, putting up personal or sentimental belongings around different rooms and old photographs of specific moments can also help to reassure someone with dementia and help calm them for when the live-in carer arrives.

It’s also important that the carer and the person they are supporting feel comfortable with each other; this could be trialling live-in care for a short period to see how the two of them settle in together and for them to get to know each other, all from the comfort of home.

There are a number of other small adaptations which can be made to help someone with dementia. Take a look at our guide to creating a dementia-friendly home for more ideas.

A space for meals together with a live-in carer

It’s not just the physical adaptations to take into account when making sure a home is suitable for live-in care. It’s important to look at the finer details as well.

As part of their role, live-in carers will prepare meals according to their customer’s specific dietary needs and personal tastes. Naturally, in order for that to happen, they need to have a kitchen complete with basic appliances such as a hob, oven, and microwave.

Though live-in carers are always happy to make meals according to suit their customers’ requirements, their tastes may differ so it’s important that these are taken into account and that they have somewhere to store their own foods and space in the fridge or cupboard.

It can also be a good idea to have a dedicated space for the carer and your loved one to eat together, which can improve the relationship between them.

Pets are part of the family too

One of the benefits of live-in care is that it helps people to keep their home comforts and be near to the important things in their life. That includes pets!

Pets are an important part of any family, but for people needing additional support, having their animals close by can also be a huge comfort. And live-in care is a great way to make this happen.

Choosing a live-in carer who is also a pet-lovers themselves means that a pet-owner who needs additional help at home can have the care they need and still have their beloved animal and companion by their side.

We’re here to help you prepare for live-in care

Getting the house ready for live-in care can be a lot to process and understand. Find out how else live-in care can help support you and your family

Cleo Canning