Live-in carers are employed to go and live with a client who has care needs to enable the client to live a secure, comfortable life with as much independence as possible. Carers will usually be matched with a client depending on personality and interests as well as experience. A client with more challenging needs or a long term condition will require a carer who has experience in dealing with those particular needs.
The day to day life of a carer involves long shifts but they will be given usually given two hours off during the day to spend time doing what they choose. The beauty of home care is that the daily routine will be dictated by the client but will mostly involve helping the client to get out of bed, dressing, washing, helping with toileting, organising medication and cooking meals. The role will also usually involve low level household duties such as grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, changing beds, pet care and basic admin tasks. A live in carer has the responsibility of ensuring that their client is eating and drinking well to meet their specific dietary and hydration needs. These will vary depending on the patient.
Carers have the responsibility of escorting clients to appointments. If the client has a car they may request a carer with a driving licence so that they can be driven either to essential appointments or day trips out for pleasure. Individual clients will be looking for different types of companionship. Some will be happy to sit and chat over a cup of tea whilst others may ask you to accompany them on their weekly Bingo trip. Every client is different and it is your job to meet their needs.
Happiness and wellbeing
In addition to these daily and weekly tasks and duties, an important role for a live in carer is to provide emotional support and nurture a client’s happiness and wellbeing, which quite often means simple companionship. Enjoying activities together, being available for chats and ensuring that they don’t feel lonely, frightened or confused is essential. Having someone to chat to about feelings, opinions and events can reduce anxiety and significantly improve the quality of someone’s life.
A good carer needs to be very patient and compassionate even though care work can prove frustrating and tiring. Much of the work requires them to be autonomous so they must possess good self motivation to get the job done and good problem solving skills to deal with a array of different issues that will arise. Clients and their family take much comfort from having a home carer they can rely on who will respond appropriately in an emergency. Trustworthiness, a friendly manner and a good sense of humour are key qualities to ensure a happy household for both the client and carer.
After having read this description of what being a live in carer involves, do you think you have what it takes to take up a job in the care sector?