There is a misconception that “Live-In” and “24 Hour” care are the same thing. While the kind of service provided is about the same, there are several big differences between the two. When a caregiver is providing live-in care, that person lives with the client. They do get around eight to ten hours to rest or sleep where they are technically off-duty. However, they still assist their client for short tasks when needed during that break time.
In a 24 hour care model, there are multiple caregivers that work rotating shifts. For example, three different people work 8 hours at a time to ensure that the client has full duty twenty four hours of the day. While that seems like the sure choice over live-in care, there are several reasons why you may want to go with the latter.
Pros of Live-In Care
There are several benefits to having one caregiver living with the recipient all the time as opposed to having a rotating group. It’s true that they have to rest and won’t be able to be at their best at all times of the day. However, some of the things that customers enjoy with live-in care are:
• Price: A single live-in caregiver will cost far less than having multiple caregivers on full alert for twenty four hours.
• No Shift Changes: This might not seem obvious, but many people appreciate the normalcy that comes with just having one caregiver. Some clients get anxious around the time shift changes normally occur.
• Easier Communication: It’s easier to get into contact with and communicate with the caregiver when there is only one. That makes it simpler for family members to stay updated.
• Less Turnover: Especially for those that don’t like change, there is less turnover in caregivers with live-in models. This is partially because there is more of a bond with a single person rather than a rotating shift.
Among the list of things a live-in caregiver is responsible for are:
• Buying food and preparing meals
• Setting reminders like for when to take medication
• Socializing with the client
• Helping with Activities of Daily Living
• Shopping trips and other transportation
• Communicating with immediate family
• Communicating with any other members of the medical team
In addition, some live-in caregivers might primarily be there just to supervise the client. This is especially true with some dementia patients who don’t necessarily need physical assistance.
Privately Hiring a Live-In Caregiver
There are several ways someone can hire an individual for live-in care. Like with most other jobs, the classifieds section of the newspaper or hiring sites will have a few leads. You could also find someone to give you a referral, either through personal friends or public senior agencies.
If you want to do all the legwork yourself, hiring privately might seem to be the cheapest solution. Indeed, you could probably find people who will care for the client for around a hundred dollars a day. Like most things though, the true costs aren’t exactly that simple with hiring privately. Because there’s not an agency helping you, you may not be able to vet the person properly. You’ll also have to go through the hiring process again yourself when you need to replace that person. Finally, there are a lot of other charges like taxes and worker’s compensation that you have to consider. The average cost to hire a private in-home caregiver is around $15 an hour.
Using a Home Care Agency
Some people consider using a home care agency instead. They handle all the ins and outs of hiring and maintaining the caregivers so you don’t have to worry about it. Some of the benefits include:
• They stay staffed so if a client does need a new caregiver, they already have potential employees ready to go.
• Agencies do their own vetting and background checks.
• They will handle finding temporary care if the primary caregiver needs to take time off for any reason.
• They keep an eye on their employees to make sure everything is going smoothly.
• All the expenses are handled on their end, so there will only be a single payment instead of several different bills.
Going with an agency will be more expensive than hiring privately.
Using a Referral Agency
If you want to have more peace of mind when hiring someone, you can also use a referral agency. As the name implies, they refer people to you that you can hire to be a live-in caregiver. The difference is, they do their own vetting to ensure that you end up with someone who is fully qualified for the job. On top of that, they will also be able to advise clients on other necessary things. This includes payroll services or any local regulations as it pertains to live-in care.
Many people find referral agencies a good middle ground between trying to find someone themselves or hiring a home care agency. You end up employing a person who is reliable, but not having to pay as much of a premium. In general, a caregiver hired through a referral agency will run you less than going with a home care agency. Whatever you decide, just remember to do your research ahead of time so that you can find the service that is the best fit for your situation.