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How To Choose The Best Live-in Carer


Suppose you or someone you love reaches a point when care is required day in and day out; the first thing that comes to mind is to move into a care home. But there’s another option, and that’s to choose live-in care instead. This way, you or your family member can stay in the comfort of your home while receiving the care and assistance needed.

Whether it’s a short or long-term solution, hiring a live-in carer is a big decision to make. You need to make sure that you’ll get the best experience and service possible. Quality live-in care goes through the services provided. It’s equally important to make sure that the person who provides care should also know someone who knows how to respect house rules, routines, and privacy.

Choosing a suitable live-in carer for your or your loved one is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

Here you’ll learn some tips to help you make the right choice.

Choose an agency

The first thing you need to do is choose an agency that offers live-in care services. Do your research and ask for recommendations. Your family, friends, and colleagues can give you an honest review of a similar service they received. Word of mouth is still the best way to find a reliable and reputable service provider.

You can choose between large, small, or independent agencies. This decision will also rely on the cost and how much you can afford. Just like everything else, some agencies offer more expensive services than others. Do your due diligence before making a choice.

Know your criteria
You also need to know your criteria because this will help you make an informed decision. You need to ask yourself a few questions to help you come up with a list of criteria for choosing a live-in carer.

What kind of person do you get along well with?
·Are you comfortable with a male or female live-in carer?
·Do you have an age preference?
·What range of experiences do you expect them to have?
·What skills are you looking for?
·Do you need a carer who shares the same interest as you or the person they’ll be taking care of?
·Do you prefer someone who has the same religion as you?
·Do you need a carer with a driving license, car, and good driving skills?

Always remember that the person you hire will live with you or your loved one. Finding someone you can get along with and live with is important. You must know what you want before you search for a live-in carer.

Conduct an interview
When you start contacting agencies, they will set up meetings or allow you to interview potential live-in carers. Take this as an opportunity to know them by asking questions. During the meeting, feel that you can work well with the person you’re talking to.

Create a shortlist
Once you’ve talked to all potential live-in carers, come up with a shortlist of the ones you’re considering hiring. Be sure to choose one that you believe will provide you or your loved one with the best care possible. If you’re unsure which one to choose, you can ask your family or friends for their opinion.

Schedule a trial shift
Before committing to a long-term contract, arranging a trial shift is best. This way, you’ll determine if the live-in carer is a perfect fit and if you can build a positive relationship with them. It will be a struggle at first, but things will improve if you find a suitable carer.

©Home Care Preferred Barnet

How Does Live-in Care Compare to Care in a Nursing Home



For many families, choosing a care option can be a tricky thing. This is especially the case since it’s a change for someone close to you, resulting from a serious event like a stroke, diagnosis of a medical condition such as dementia or a fall. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly. You will very likely already have a social worker or a health professional who’ll be able to advise you regarding home care, being able to support you in this moment of need. They may, however, limit the options they will guide you towards, frequently recommending hourly home care or home care. There are a lot of families who accept that advice without going deeper into your available options. There are many options and a variety you can choose from. In some cases, you may take care of your loved one yourself, but that’s hardly practical in the long run, especially if you’re also trying to juggle a career alongside taking care of them.


What Different Types of Care are Available?


Though care homes have always been one of the most commonly used options, there are many other ways you can approach the situation, considering your loved ones and their needs. Different options may work for different situations, so keep in mind there are no wrong decisions here.


Nursing Homes




  • Nurses on hand to support more difficult care needs
  • Accommodation, meals and activities are all arranged, so little planning is necessary
  • Often a real sense of community helped by staff and residents
  • Funding is more readily available if nursing care is necessary




  • Life can be disciplined, which may impact mental health
  • Less control over personal possessions, daily meals and activities
  • Away from family and community, limited independence
  • One of the most expensive options without funding


Care Homes




  • Care homes provide a great sense of security and safety
  • Group activities, meals and accommodations are all planned ahead
  • Depending on the home, there may be a real community
  • Help with administering medication is often readily available




  • Less choice whenever you’re choosing a care home if you’re receiving financial help
  • The unfamiliar setting, lacking the comforts of home or its community
  • Lack of independence which may negatively impact mental health
  • Less control over personal possessions, daily meals and activities


Assisted Living




  • It offers a sense of community, with some of the benefits of your own home
  • Sometimes offer organised social activities to foster a sense of community
  • Support available around the clock
  • It still allows some sense of independence with self-contained housing




  • It May not be suitable for people with complex conditions
  • Not always available from your local council in all areas
  • Moving to a new home may be difficult
  • Often expensive, a dedicated supporting carer is necessary


Home Care




  • The care receiver gets to remain in their own home
  • Help with medication may be available
  • Easier assistance with personal care
  • Frees up time for family members




  • It may not always be the same carer
  • The carer’s time is limited as they have to visit others
  • Care is not available around the clock
  • Support may not be available when it’s most needed


Live-in Care




  • Allows people to remain in their own homes and retain independence
  • Personalisation of activities, socialisation, routines and meals
  • Around-the-clock support – allowing for complex care needs
  • Various funding options




  • It is often thought that live-in care is expensive
  • Carer needs should be considered, as it is not suitable for nursing care
  • Involves a stranger living at home
  • Home adaptations may be necessary, depending on mobility


©Home Care Preferred Barnet

How to Help a Senior with Sight Problems



The best thing caregivers can do is learn as much as possible about their care recipient’s visual issues and how limiting they are. This information will help you find ways to modify the environment and your behaviour to allow for better care. Though individual conditions will vary and affect eyesight differently, the tips ahead are a good starting point to help visually impaired seniors. They will help them maintain a level of independence:


Good Lighting is Important


You should ensure you keep your surroundings well-lit, but you must also be careful about any glare. Using specialised bulbs and lamps to increase contrast and reduce glare is a good step, but you should also cover any reflective surfaces. Direct task lighting is suitable for reading, crafting and other activities requiring attention and sitting in place. You can use a small clip-on lamp or a gooseneck one. Under-the-counter lighting is another kind that works well with kitchen spaces and larger work areas. It would help if you avoided strong lights shining into a dark room. Task lighting being increased means the surrounding room lighting must also be improved. Keeping lights on during daylight hours may help equalise light from outdoor and indoor sources.


Eliminating Fall Risks


You should use nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways to reduce any risk of tripping or falling during night hours. Eliminate all clutter and remove tripping hazards such as electrical cords or throw rugs. Think about replacing or at least relocating furniture that is difficult to see - side tables, glass coffee tables, etc. Create a wider and clear walking path that leads to all areas for easy navigation. You may have to change the positions of some furnishings to make your home easier to navigate. This may feel disorienting initially, so make sure you help your loved one get around until they memorise the new interior. Larger rearrangements may be a problem, especially for seniors with memory issues.


Improving Your Household Organisation


Combine visual and tactile sensations to help seniors to navigate their environment. You need to designate spots for more commonly used items, ensuring you return things where they belong each time, so your loved one will know where they are. Sometimes you can use a basket to store objects, making it easier to find keys, remotes and the like. Rubber bands, felt, raised plastic dots, sandpaper cutouts, and more can be used to differentiate objects tactilely. Visual systems use whatever vision remains in your loved ones to help organise and identify things. Typical examples may include larger labels or coloured stickers to help identify items and places.


Use of Contrasting Colours


The contrast between light and dark colours is significant for daily activities, especially in cases where the person has some remaining vision left. These colours help people with visual impairments to detect doorways, stairs, furniture, smaller objects and more. Examples can be seen with white cutting boards for preparing darker foods and darker cutting boards for lighter foods like onions, apples and so forth. That would allow your loved ones to retain some independence and promote their safety. This is especially important for settings like bathrooms, as they tend to be of monotone colours, which may be a risk. Choose towels, bath mats and washcloths in colours that contrast with the walls, the shower or tub, etc. The same goes for counters and flooring. Painting door jambs in a contrasting colour will help your loved ones spot the location of the door. You can do the same by painting the edges of steps and doors.


©Home Care Preferred Barnet

How to Make a Home Safer for the Elderly



Ascertaining a senior’s ability to age safely in place is somewhat of a complex endeavour. Creating a customised solution to your needs can help a loved one, but that may require going through the residence together and assessing it on a room-by-room basis. Think about the potential hazards of the home that need to be addressed to make it safe, make a checklist and prepare ahead of time. You may need to do the following:


  • Move furniture to set up paths clear of obstructions.


  • Get your light switches prepared by making them accessible, no higher than about 48 inches from the floors, replacing toggle switches with rocker switches.


  • Improve the overall quality of lighting in the home. There shouldn’t be any dark pathways or countertop areas that are not lit up as well. Task lights, night lights and rope lighting are all great alternatives to your regular switches.


  • Adding grips to doorknobs or replacing them with levered handles and pulls.


  • Marking and steps or changes in floor elevation with bright tape or paint in contrasting colours can help the visually impaired.


  • Remove any loose carpeting and mats or rugs. You should use secure area rugs with double-sided rug tape, minimising the risk of slipping. Focus on the edges and corners.


  • Remove all cable and electric cords that go close to the walkways to prevent tripping hazards. Place all wiring behind the furniture or secure it neatly against the walls with cable staples, cord covers or clips.


  • Ensuring all seating throughout the home is sturdy, as well as supportive to the arms and making sure sitting and standing are easier is a good way to approach difficulties with mobility.


  • Get rid of clutter by disposing of items or donating them.


  • The washing machine and dryer must be easy to access for everyone, on the main level of your home. If that’s not the case, consider repurposing a closet or another area on the ground floor and turning it into a laundry room. Replacing any top-loading machines with front-loading ones will make them much easier to use. If you have to, you can hire a laundry service to avoid the tasks made difficult, or a home care specialist.


  • Clear a path from the driveway to the entry of your home.


  • Inspect the walkways for cracks, loose stones or bricks and any uneven surfaces and repair them. Fixing the flaws will help provide a better walking surface.


  • Removing or trimming the landscaping can help keep walking paths wide and clear for anyone using a walker or a wheelchair.


  • If you have any entry steps, install handrails on both sides, using non-slip surfaces and making them deep enough to ensure the whole foot can be placed on every step.


  • If you or your loved ones experience mobility challenges, you should evaluate rooms and think about installing a ramp. Stepless entries may make things easier and safer for entry, regardless of using a mobility aid like a walker or cane or being in a wheelchair.


  • Evaluate the state of your front door, the sturdiness and ease of operation of the locks and the peephole or window panel.


  • Replace the kitchen knobs on drawers and cabinets with pulls or levers for ease of access.


  • Move the frequently used items from the higher shelves and under-the-counter cabinets to a more accessible location that doesn’t require bending over or reaching high up.


  • Consider whether older appliances are still functional for your needs. Oven controls must be in the front of the range, so you can avoid reaching over stove burners. Label the knobs clearly for ease of use. A bit of paraffin wax or petroleum jelly can be rubbed around the gaskets on the fridge door to make it easier to open.


©Home Care Preferred Barnet


The Differences between Live-in Care and Home Care explained



Live-in carers reside inside the home of the person they are caring for, thus having the ability to provide care at all times. Live-in carers have duties similar to those of hourly carers, assisting with medical conditions, but there is no rush to get things done. Live-in carers will also provide more support at home with cooking meals, running errands, taking care of pets, managing the household and more. The immediate availability of live-in care allows you to prevent falls, accidents and to help with hospital admissions if the need arises. The quick response provided by live-in carers can be greatly beneficial to your health. But there is more you can enjoy with this type of care:


  • Companionship

The most important aspect of home care is companionship. In the UK alone, more than half of the people over 75 years old live alone, with many of them reporting feelings of isolation and loneliness. The risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease and feelings of loneliness have been linked by research into the condition. The risks of high blood pressure, stroke and similar conditions are also elevated. Ensuring a person’s social needs are also covered alongside their physical well-being is important to their general health. For those who receive care, having a trusting relationship with their carer is an important cornerstone of their dignity, since live-in care provides people with a solution for loneliness.


  • Having Independence

Hourly care services may be convenient for people who want to have as little disruption as possible in their daily lives. For live-in care, a bedroom in the home must be provided to accommodate the live-in carer and their belongings. That would allow them to adjust to the new living arrangements. The hourly care visits are usually arranged at times of the day suiting the household, meaning there is only a small degree of change that is necessary to ensure support at home.


  • Freedom of Choice

In some cases, without the ensured assistance of a relative or a carer, people are restricted in how they can spend their lives. The help of a live-in carer ensures you will be able to carry out your daily life without worrying about the little details. Live-in care provides flexibility, as it encourages the elderly or those supported to enjoy activities outside their home, take part in their hobbies, community events, visit local attractions and more. On the other hand, hourly support outside your home must be arranged on a case-by-case basis with your care provider.


  • Care Fees

To ensure you have long term care, you must consider the costs involved in your circumstances. Both live-in care and hourly care have different costs, depending on the specific needs of a person, but domiciliary care is charged at an hourly rate, while the live-in care fees are every week.


  • Dealing with Complex Care

When it comes to people with high dependency issues, the belief that care homes and residential care facilities are the only options out there is common. However, full-time live-in care can be a better option, something that allows the person to receive the specialist, expert assistance they need in the comfort of their home. Specialist live-in carers are trained with the knowledge to provide care for a range of conditions, such as Parkinson’s, dementia, Alzheimer’s and more. Many of the live-in care services out there are led by nurses, meaning their clinical duties can also be carried out within the client’s home. They can help people no matter what their condition may be.


©Home Care Preferred Barnet

What are Some of the Benefits of Caring for Other People?


One of the main reasons why caregivers choose this career path is because it is a rewarding and fulfilling one. The positive impact of it doesn’t just extend towards the people receiving care, but also those that provide it. Caregivers are open to new experiences and better relationships with others. 

Whether it is access to new life skills, or just getting a better sense of purpose, the benefits of caregiving are many. Let’s have a closer look at some of them: 

  • Feeling a sense of accomplishment – by taking care of someone else, a caregiver is always overcoming challenging obstacles. Whether it be just to be a companion and engage in conversation, or help a person with mobility issues around, there is a list of never-ending tasks that the caregiver needs to address. And while there is no denying the fact that all of this is stressful, it is also rewarding. There is nothing quite like the feeling of overcoming difficulties day after day and helping others in the process. It leads to a special sense of accomplishment, which compares to nothing else in life. 

  • Feeling good about oneself – compared to many other day jobs, caring for others offers certain benefits that are not present elsewhere. For example, it makes a person feel needed because their focus is primarily on people in need. With that, it is certainly adding more meaning and purpose to one’s life, helping people distinguish what is important – personal connection, being good to others and feeling like you have done something about them. 

  • Building a strong relationship – if there is one thing that caring for others helps build, it is strong relationships and empathy towards others. Being able to connect with them, even during their hardest and most challenging times, is a special feeling, which many caregivers report. The added effect of it is that a caregiver not only becomes closer to the person they are caring for. In addition, they also become closer to friends and other family members. 

  • Experiencing personal growth – taking care of someone with special needs makes carers learn new ways of doing things and approaching tasks. These new experiences can be an invaluable asset in their own lives, whether it is something as simple as doing chores or planning for the future. 

Choosing a care provider 

There are many agencies out there that deal with care services. Whether it be care homes or live-in care, there are flexible options that exist to help elderly individuals and those with special conditions in need. It is important to know what sort of care you or your family members need before you set out to search. Sometimes it is possible to rely on care home service, and in other cases, an agency can provide a caregiver for live-in care service, which is essentially living with the person in need in their own home. When choosing a care provider, always remember to look for: 

  • Experience – this is a demanding task and it requires experienced carers who know how to deal with the challenges it presents. 

  • Flexibility – people’s needs change and the agency needs to remain flexible in what they can provide. If a visit from a carer 2-3 times a week used to be enough, but now an elderly individual has constant need of care, then being able to update the plan to a full live-in care solution is the way to go. 

© Home Care Preferred Barnet  


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Home Care you Should Not Believe

Home care is a very popular service that is gaining a lot of attention for a good reason. It can help the family of an elderly individual who cannot be left unattended. Instead of moving them to a care facility, the help is brought to them in the form of a professional carer who comes to visit them on a predetermined schedule. 

With so much information on home care, it can sometimes be difficult to know what the reality is and what is no more than a myth. Following are some of the most widespread misconceptions, which you should stop believing now: 

  • The elderly aren’t safe staying home – many people believe that only specialised carer homes have the capacity and ability to keep a safe environment for the elderly with special needs. In reality, the home of an elderly individual can become a safe place for them to live in. Accessibility can be improved with the addition of rails and ramps. Security can become better with additional locks on all doors. Lighting sensors may be added to make it easier to see. All of these changes can be made after a consultation with a professional carer. Make sure to discuss any change with the elderly as well, so as not to catch them up by surprise. 

  • Home care is about going it alone – moving your loved one to a care home means they are under 24-hour daily supervision. But with home care, just because you aren’t there with them doesn’t mean they are alone. The service is different depending on your needs. You can have a home carer visit from time to time, such as a few days a week and stay with the elderly for some time. If the elderly need more attention, then you can even arrange live-in care, which means a carer moves in to live with the person. The amount of help you can get from such a service is enormous. 

  • You cannot afford professional home care – this is not such a black-and-white matter as you may think. Several subsidies exist to make it easy for you. You can consult social services or the local council to see what sort of help they can offer. Once they have made the necessary assessments, they can tailor financial support for you. Sometimes this is in the form of local authority funding or direct payments. 

  • Home care is not suitable for the elderly with dementia – if you have an elderly loved one with dementia, you may falsely think that your only option is residential care. In reality, it is possible to have them continue living in their own home with the aid of a home care agency. In fact, the familiar surroundings and maintaining their daily routines are possible with a carer by their side and it is much better for them. It spares them the stress of moving and losing the familiarity and feeling of safety they have in their home. 

  • It is more complex arranging home care – this may be true, only if you are doing it alone. In reality, every home care agency will be able to provide you with good advice on how to make a transition with the service be smooth and elegant. There is nothing complex about discussing the needs of the elderly individual with the agency. They will guide you with questions, as they know how to ensure you end up with the right service. 

Understanding the misconceptions surrounding home care is important because only then can you fully realise the benefits of such service. 

© Home Care Preferred Barnet


4 Things You Should Always Ask in Regards to Live-in Dementia Care


People living with dementia need to face a whole lot of challenges daily. Most of the time it is best to keep them in their own home because any change in the surrounding environment can trigger angry outbursts, confusion and stress. The best way to ensure this is the case is to go with a live-in care service. 

Live-in care is something that can greatly help you and your relatives with dementia. Instead of you having to worry constantly about care, you can arrange for a professional carer to live with the seniors with dementia and deal with their needs. This is part of a live-in care service package, which you can get from an agency that specialises in this sort of service. The most important thing to remember is that you should consider asking some essential questions before you arrange things: 

  • What sort of special equipment will you need? – sometimes, a senior with dementia will require certain nursing equipment, to make their life easier around the house. If they don’t get up from bed all that often, it will be helpful to get them a hospital bed. That way they can adjust positions easily, as the carer can then operate the bed. If the person is having mobility issues, then perhaps the carer can recommend a walking frame, or a stairlift installed somewhere to enable better results. A mobile commode is also a useful tool to have if the person cannot easily move about their home. Such tools can greatly help with the care, and enable better living for a person with dementia. 

  • How to keep the person safe? – it is no secret that people with dementia often wander outside of their homes, which is a major risk of them getting lost. They get the sundowners syndrome, which affects them during the later hours of the day. There are various things to consider, to minimise the risk, such as keeping the door locked at all times. You can also consider an alarm next to the door, which can alert their caregiver when the person wanders outside. An alarm can also be installed next to the bed, to alert the carer if the person gets up at night. 

  • What is the level of experience of the carer? – it is important for the carer to have some experience in working with people with dementia. The caregiver needs to be aware of the condition and the fact that people who suffer from dementia cannot properly recognize the dangers around them. They get irritated, confused, angry and the person needs to be able to reduce the stressors for them, to minimise angry outbursts. The carer must be able to settle the person down, even when they get confused and angry. This is only achievable through sufficient training and experience, which you need to ensure the carer has. 

  • What facilities will the carer need? – because live-in care means living with the person in need of assistance, the carer will surely need their own room. A bed, a TV and Internet access is what they will undoubtedly need at all times. Because the person will also be eating in the home of the person with dementia, it is worth it to consider dining facilities. At times it may be useful if the carer has access to a vehicle that they can use to go out and about with the person with dementia. 

These are all important considerations and questions to ask when you arrange live-in care for a senior with dementia. Make sure to do so, to make the most of the service. 

© Home Care Preferred Barnet

5 Reasons to Consider Live-in Care Service for a Senior Loved one Right Now



As far as caring for senior individuals goes, there is hardly any better option for them than live-in care. It is rated as one of the most reliable options for families that would otherwise struggle to provide support to their most vulnerable members. Many professional agencies offer this kind of service and more people have access to it. 

There are many benefits to live-in care service, which everyone should consider. If you are now contemplating your options, definitely keep it in mind, because it makes a huge difference. Following are the main advantages: 

  • Your senior loved one doesn’t need to leave their home – when the going gets tough, it becomes clear that the senior needs some help in their daily activities. This often comes in the form of moving them to a care facility, as a popular option. However, it is rarely that easy for them to leave their home and move in with other people in a care home. In fact, it is one of the most stressful prospects for them, which can affect their wellbeing. Contrary to that idea, live-in care enables them to remain in their home and get the help they need there. A professional carer can address their needs 24/7, all the while ensuring their continued wellbeing in the home that has been theirs for such a long time. It means less stress for the seniors and much more comfort for them and their physical and mental health. 

  • Greater independence – another good reason to consider live-in care service is the independence that it enables. Seniors know that they will lose a great deal of their independence when they leave their home for a care facility. Contrary to that, they remain quite independent when they can stay at home and just get some help from a professional carer as part of a live-in care package. They can retain their previous activities and get a person to help them with that. 

  • A service that caters to the person – as highly personalised service, live-in care enables the agency to tailor the service in such a way, as to fit all of the needs of the person. This is very important because oftentimes seniors develop new conditions and symptoms, which require more care, or a better-trained person to help them out. Live-in care allows for flexibility and can be changed to better adapt to the situation that the senior’s condition presents. If they have a progressive condition, the service can start light, and become more frequent as time passes. Additionally, the carer can take on more tasks, if need be. The agency can also dispatch a carer with some medical background if the senior has a condition that demands it. 

  • Companionship and support – live-in care service enables seniors to not feel alone when they are most vulnerable. A carer is a person with great sympathy and skills that allow them to keep company with the senior. They can engage in conversation with them, or help them out in various activities. 

  • The level of expertise – professional carers part of a live-in care package are well-trained professionals who know how to look after seniors. There is zero doubt that they can address many tasks that seniors cannot, and even be a good companion to individuals with conditions like dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. 

There are many advantages to live-in care, which make it an ideal service for every senior. It is a good idea to consider them all. 

© Home Care Preferred Barnet

6 Advantages of Live-in Care over a Care Home


When it comes to caring for a senior loved one or parent, you know there are several options for you to choose from. You can do the work on your own, but if you are in no position to do that when it comes down to moving the person to a care home or arranging live-in care for them. 

Both of these options are great, as they mean the person will receive the help they need, all the while not being left on their own. However, live-in care is rising in popularity for a good reason. It has a few advantages over moving the person to a care facility: 

  • The person doesn’t need to leave their home – the most important advantage that live-in care holds over a care home is that the person won’t need to leave their familiar and safe environment. Moving to an unfamiliar care facility is always a stressful idea for seniors. They feel like abandoning their safe home is a major step towards a rather uncertain future. When they can remain in their own home, they are more receptive to the idea of getting help. Besides, since they have their comfortable environment, they are more at ease, which affects their health and wellbeing. 

  • The seniors maintain their independence – another benefit to live-in care is that the person can continue their life pretty much the same way as before. The only difference is that there will be someone else helping them out with the more difficult tasks. Seniors can spend their days the same way as before, and even introduce new activities with the help of the caregiver, such as gardening for example. Visits from relatives can continue without an issue and even recommended. 

  • The senior receives a personalised service – when it comes to live-in care, the service always takes into consideration the personal needs of the senior. This means the caregiver will be there to assist with the tasks the senior cannot quite address on their own. Unlike a care home, where a limited number of staff services many seniors, in live-in care there is one-to-one personalised service. 

  • The service is flexible – another advantage that live-in holds over care home is that the service can be changed over time, as the needs of the senior change. For example, if they develop some sort of moving disability, or perhaps if their dementia symptoms worsen, the live-in care service can change to accommodate. Perhaps the caregiver could be a person with special expertise to handle this sort of case. In any case, live-in is much more customisable and adjustable than care home services, which are mostly made to cater to more individuals, without taking personal needs into account. 

  • Seniors can keep their pets – separating a senior from their pet, especially if the latter has been part of their life for a long time, can be devastating. That is why it is so good that they can keep their pets with the help of a live-in care service. The idea is that they can remain in their home, and in fact, the caregiver can help them out with walking and feeding. 

  • Loved ones and friends can still visit – unlike a care home, where visiting hours are usually restricted, live-in care service encourages other people to visit the senior. Since they remain in their own home, they can get all the visits they want. 

All of these are major advantages of live-in care for seniors over a care home. Do consider them, if you are wondering which one to arrange. 

© Home Care Preferred Barnet


A Comparison Between Live-in Care and a Care Home



For many people, elderly care is a necessity they have to consider. Whether it be ageing parents, or other loved ones, the burdens of growing old need to be met with special arrangements. The most typical solutions people resort to are residential care homes and live-in care service. 

On the surface, both options aim to provide care for an elderly individual, who can no longer address life challenges on their own. However, there are major differences between the two services and it is only by knowing more about them that people can make an informed decision of which one is better for them. Following is a quick rundown of what both services are all about. 

Residential care homes 

In essence, care homes are a place where elderly individuals can receive round-the-clock care by professionals. A care home is a secure place where the caregivers can monitor the elderly and respond to any emergencies they have. While it is true that care homes often provide medical attention, they are not always specialised in treating certain conditions. Typically, elderly individuals share the common areas of the place – dining rooms, lounge, bathrooms, gardens, etc. Sometimes, care homes are equipped with individual bedrooms, while in other cases these areas are common as well and facilitate more than one person. The staff in the care facility provides meals, housekeeping services and any assistance with daily tasks – dressing, personal hygiene and mobility. Because the number of people varies, while the staff mostly remains the same, the level of care an elderly individual too can vary. 

The benefits of a care home: 

  • The staff is available 24/7 
  • The environment is secure 
  • Meals are prepared for every resident 
  • Socialising opportunities 
  • Staff provides supervision of medication and healthcare 
  • No maintenance costs and household bills

The disadvantages of a care home:

  • Requires the elderly to leave their home and move to the care facility 
  • Less independence 
  • The focus is on practical, rather than emotional needs 

Live-in care services 

Live-in care service enables the elderly to stay in their home and relies on a professional caregiver moving in with them. The caregiver provides support and help to the person, allowing friends and family some freedom to visit less often. The elderly don’t have to leave the familiar and safe environment of their home. The place needs to have a separate bedroom for the caregiver, however, since they will be staying in the home for a prolonged period. The caregivers for this job are well-qualified and trained to support low and mid-level needs. This means they can help the person get about, as well as aid them in tasks like toileting, dressing, washing, etc. They can also prepare meals to match the nutritional and diet needs of the elderly, as well as do some housekeeping. 

The benefits of live-in care service:

  • 24/7 support by a caregiver 
  • There is no need to move to a care facility 
  • Great for elderly families, who can remain together
  • Companionship 
  • Housekeeping service 
  • Continued independence

The disadvantages of live-in care service:

  • The home of the service recipient may need some modifications 
  • Needs a spare room for the caregiver 
  • Mostly suitable for low and mid-level needs 

When people gain a better understanding of what makes both the live-in care service and the residential care home service, they can make better decisions about themselves or their elderly loved ones. The most important thing is to consider all aspects of the service and choose in the best interest of the recipient of the service. 

© Home Care Preferred Barnet

4 Things you must Always do When Arranging Live-in Care


Live-in care is a service that can help many seniors feel comfortable and safe within their own homes. It is especially useful to consider it when said senior individuals are no longer able to cope with the challenges of daily life on their own. Oftentimes, it is their relatives who need to arrange the service. 

If you are about to do so, you need to remember that it includes more steps than just contacting a live-in care agency. In this guide, we will go over what you need to do, to ensure the best service possible: 

  • You have to talk about live-in care with the senior – this one is an absolute must. Many people just go on and book live-in care service for their relatives and loved ones, expecting that they will just accept the service and even be thankful for it. But the reality is that seniors often don’t see live-in care as a good thing, especially if they don’t know much about it in the first place. You need to carefully explain the idea behind live-in care: that the senior won’t need to leave their home and that they will get a professional caregiver for companionship and help. Many seniors believe that they will lose their independence and simply oppose the idea because they are scared. When you calmly explain what the service is all about, you will be able to get on the same page and ensure that they make the most of the service. 

  • You need to discuss the needs of the senior – when you are first arranging the live-in care service, you have to consider the needs of the senior individual. That way you can ensure the proper care plan is devised and that the person with suitable experience is assigned to the position. Consider carefully what the senior person needs help with and share these observations with the agency. That way they will be able to provide the right person. It is important to know that live-in care can change over time, especially if the senior has changing symptoms and some form of progressive condition. Yet, setting the standard from the start will allow the caregiver to know how to expand on it. 

  • You should do thorough research of the providers – not all live-in care agencies are the same. You should do a thorough research of the ones that are available to you before you sign any contract with them. The idea is that you will be able to gauge their ability to help the senior better and also match your expectations. After all, it is also important to consider their expertise. Some agencies do not provide caregivers with a medical background, while that may be the exact thing you are looking for. 

  • You should introduce the caregiver to the senior – one more thing you should always see is to introduce the senior to the caregiver. The idea is that this will break the ice and give them a chance to know each other. Since the live-in caregiver will be spending a lot of time with the person in question, they need to be familiar with them. For this service to work, both of them should establish a certain level of rapport. If there is tension, things are not going to work out. 

All of these are important considerations to make in regards to live-in care service. Always remember to address them as you arrange the service for a senior loved one or relative, to be able to make the most of the service. 


© Home Care Preferred Barnet


6 Benefits of Home Care that Make it a Great Service


If there is ageing loved one in your family, who can no longer take care of themselves alone, it is time to consider the options to provide help to them. Home care stands out as a fine alternative to moving them to a nursery home. There are plenty of benefits to resorting to such service and it is important to consider them all. In this guide, we will list the most obvious ones: 


  • Highly-personalised service – perhaps the top reason people pick home care over moving the elderly individual to a nursery home is the fact that the service they receive is highly-personalised. What this means is that the caregiver an agency will provide will mostly look after the person and address their specific needs. For example, they can make sure that some of the household tasks are in order and that the person takes their medications. They can also be there for companionship and support, should the person need someone to talk to and interact with. It is all a matter of what they need the most. The service is also adaptable, meaning should the person’s needs change, the service can be tailored to meet these changes. 


  • The person remains in their own home – another top benefit of home care service lies with the fact that the elderly person doesn’t need to leave their home. This can be a true blessing for them. Many elderly individuals dread the thought of moving to a nursery home, and will even oppose the idea. It is quite stressful for them to move to such an unfamiliar environment. By having them keep their familiar surroundings, home care caters to their comfort like no other service. 


  • Relatives can visit easily – most nursing homes have some restrictions on visiting hours by relatives. What this means is that normally they cannot just go there and visit the elderly individual. But with home care service, relatives and friends can come as they please. The caregiver can be there or not, depending on the preference. 


  • The elderly receive personal attention – in nursery homes, several people on the staff look after a certain number of elderly individuals. There is hardly a need to point out that the staff cannot pay personal attention to everyone, which is not the case with home care. Since a single caregiver is looking after one person, they can entirely focus on them to ensure they are comfortable. The caregiver will be doing all they can to meet the needs of the person. 


  • Pets can continue to live with the elderly – if the elderly person has any pets, they can keep them around. It is well-documented that pets improve the wellbeing of ageing individuals and provide some much-needed comfort to them. With a home care service, the person that comes to visit the elderly can help them look after the pet and ensure that it is around to provide more joy to their owner. 


  • Relatives can have peace of mind – for all those that have ageing parents, it is important to know that they are safe. That is exactly the case with the home care service. Since a professional caregiver is going to visit the person on a prearranged schedule, people will be sure that the ageing person receives adequate attention and help when they need it the most. 


There are many benefits to home care service and it is important to consider them all when thinking whether to resort to it. 


© Home Care Preferred Barnet

What Skills do you Need to become a Live-in Carer?


If you are a person with a passion for helping others, then a career in live in care is probably one that you have considered. It usually involves support for an elderly individual in their home, at a sustained and personalised level. It comes with a quality of service that is often different from what hourly care and home care settings provide. It gives you a chance to make a difference in the life of this person. 

To face the challenges of the job, you need to possess certain characteristics. If the following is something you have, then live-in care is an option for you. 

  • Some professional or personal care experience – although you can indeed receive some level of training, most of the time you will be alone on your placement. What this means is that there is less opportunity for shadow learning. Therefore, if you have some experience in the field, perhaps even if you have been tasked with caregiver duties for a family member or a loved one, then you know many of the fundamentals of the job. Having that base is a good start, upon which you can later expand to become even more proficient in medication management, manual handling and more. Don’t forget to highlight specialist training, since that can make you an even better candidate for such a job. 

  • Flexibility and availability – one of the biggest factors for live-in carers come with their availability and flexibility. The nature of the job is such that they work unusual hours because the needs of the person they are caring for don’t have anything to do with business hours. That comes at a certain cost of activities you would otherwise do, as part of your lifestyle. You need to be able to commit yourself to such duties since the nature of them requires it. 

  • To listen and communicate – among the unique aspects of live-in care is companionship alongside support related to various needs. You always need to acknowledge your client’s wishes and opinions and respect them. This is key for establishing a trusting relationship with them. You have to understand them well, to be able to respond to their needs. You may also need to be present during doctor’s appointments, which means you have to listen carefully. You will later need to follow these instructions. 

  • Planning and organisation – a live-in carer is responsible for many tasks around the home of their clients. These range from cooking meals to cleaning and addressing various other household tasks. Without a doubt, being able to deal with all of these chores and still be able to provide all of the necessary care towards the person requires a lot of planning and good organisational skills. After all, ensuring that the home is clean and safe is a major aspect of caregiving. It is what allows people to remain independent and comfortable in their own home. All of the prior preparation, planning and scheduling to ensure this is the case is what the caregiver needs to be able to do. 

  • To be caring in nature – to be a caregiver means a lot more than having the practical skills for the job. You have to be able to put the other person before you, and the personality traits associated with this are patience, empathy and resilience. All of them make for the right kind of mix for a caregiver job. 

Knowing what it takes to be a caregiver can help you decide whether you are a good candidate for such a task. 

© Home Care Preferred Barnet

5 Mistakes You Can Make When Looking To Hire a Home Care Service


Whether you have an elderly family member in need of help, or perhaps you are at an age where you feel you cannot manage alone, home care service is a fantastic thing to consider. Exploring the option of having a home carer close by is something that you should since it will provide an easy solution to the issue. 


It is a good thing to remember then that picking the home care provider should be a careful process, and not something you do on a whim. Researching all of the options is mandatory, as is avoiding the common mistakes that people in the process of hiring a home care agency. In this article we take a closer look at these mistakes and how you can prevent them: 


  • Putting off the decision to get home care service – many people try not to think about the option of home care until it becomes evident that home care is the only option. But when it comes to choosing an agency to provide a carer last minute and doing full research to choose the best one with enough given time, it is evident that the latter option is the one to go for. It is a good idea to get a caregiver on the case as early as possible. Not only will this present enough time for them and the elderly person to get acquainted, but it also means saving the elderly a lot of stress later on. 


  • You think that the most important factor is cost – cost is no small consideration, that is true. However, when it comes to home care, it is important to look at other factors as well – proper insurance of the care provider, experience and history of work with other elderly people. The best agency for the job will make you feel like you are spending your money on good quality service, and they will do their best to prove that is the case. 


  • You don’t think of a care plan ahead of time – this was touched upon in the first point, but it bears repeating – having a care plan in place is very important. This allows you to be more specific when determining the kind of tasks the home carer will provide and what changes may occur in time with those tasks. Not only that but drawing up a care plan ahead will allow you to address all of the small details, which could turn the service into a great one. 


  • You hire a home care agency without learning all about them – home care is a service that requires more research than others. After all, it involves a person coming at the home of the elderly frequently. Besides these factors, it is important to also consider what fees and what specifics their service features. That way you will know you have found the right one. 


  • Not arranging one or multiple caregivers – some people prefer one caregiver, others are okay with several of them. While it is not possible to have the same person 24/7, there are some arrangements you can make in regards to that. There are vacations, sick leaves and such things to consider as well. So make sure you discuss this with the agency. 


Avoiding all of these mistakes is a matter of getting the most of your home care service. 


© Home Care Preferred Barnet