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Live-in carer FAQs

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All your carer recruitment questions, answered

If you’re considering becoming a private carer for Helping Hands, you may have some questions about how it all works. These are the most common questions our new carers ask, all answered for you.

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Does the role of a live-in carer require that I live with the customer?

Yes. A live-in carer lives in the customer’s home and is on hand 24/7. Most of our carers work for blocks of five to eight weeks between breaks.

Will I have my own room?

Yes. It’s a stipulation in the customer 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 check that it is suitable.

When do I take a break from being a live-in carer?

Breaks during your live-in placement

Every live-in carer gets 14 hours of breaks from their customer each week. We recommend using this time to take time out and concentrate on your own hobbies. Maybe going to the gym, getting out in nature or browsing through books in the local library.

All placements and families work differently and it’s worked out completely on an individual basis, making sure that when you do leave the home there’s cover for the customer.

Breaks between live-in placements

Live-in care placements are flexible and built around the needs of the customer. Most of them last for a period of weeks and then you can take a long period of leave. You must be able to commit to a minimum of three weeks which would cover some of our shorter-term placements. This also allows continuity for our customers and enables you to build a relationship with every customer you care for.

Many of our live-in carers enjoy their time on placements as much as they enjoy the breaks in between, with some becoming more like friends to the customers they care for. Carers like Mary from Zambia use their time off to visit family back home. Others use it to travel or go on a relaxing holiday.

Where are your customers based?

Helping Hands has customers all over England and Wales, in all the major cities, in rural towns and villages and some by the coast.

All of our carers are based in one of six geographical teams within which they will normally be placed. The regions are North, Central, South West, East, London and South East.

Am I employed by the person I’m caring for?

You will be directly employed by Helping Hands, not the family. We’re not an introductory agent, we directly recruit, assess and manage all of our carers. This allows us to maintain our very 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 a local manager and your regional office team.

Are there training opportunities?

Yes, you will have many training opportunities with Helping Hands. We believe in the continuous professional development of our people, so as well as the assessment and selection days, there are numerous on-going training opportunities available.

Will there be someone to contact in an emergency?

Yes. Our carers are never left unsupported. Whatever time of day or night, there is always someone available to provide help, advice and guidance.

If you need assistance within office hours, you can call your dedicated live in care coordinator or field-based care manager. If you urgently need to speak to someone outside of office hours then you have access to 24/7 support via our dedicated carer helpline. We’ll provide you with this phone number once you join our team.

Do you prepare care plans for customers?

Yes, an individual care plan is written by your manager during the assessment of each customer. The plan will detail medication, medical conditions and all assistance required for that person’s day-to-day care.

Do you carry out risk assessments?

Yes. When a customer confirms that they would like to go ahead with live-in care, a member of our assessment team visits the customer to perform a risk assessment. The information from the risk assessment will be detailed in the care plan.

How much will live in carers get paid?

The live-in carer salary ranges up to £675 per week (before tax & National Insurance deductions). The salary varies, based on the complexity of the customer’s needs.

Will I get paid on a monthly or weekly basis?

Our live-in carers are paid on a monthly basis. As we employ you directly, rather than you being paid by the family, we take care of your tax and national insurance paperwork. As a direct employee of Helping Hands, you are also entitled to statutory sick pay, accruing annual holiday entitlement and a pension scheme.

Do I need to be able to drive?

It helps if you can drive as it means you can get out and about with your customer if their condition allows it. If the customer still has a car, we often suggest that you are added to the family’s insurance policy.

To drive, you’ll need a full UK driving license. You can also drive if you have a full driving license from overseas, but you must be confident driving in the UK.

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