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Care & carers

Live-in care

(81 Posts)
Luckygirl Sat 01-Jun-19 22:39:07

Has anyone any experience of this, either for themselves or for a relative?

I have been looking into this during this week. The finances are horrifying, and our savings will vanish speedily; but, that aside, there are many considerations....
What it might be like to have a stranger living in the house? Whether we would cope with that or get on? etc. etc.

But the advantages are very clear: consistent care instead of several carers coming in and out (and me having to show them where everything is etc. over and over again!); freedom for me to pop in and out when I need to and not have to arrange odd bits of care here and there; cooking, laundry, housework all done as well as the care.

We currently have 3 care visits a day plus extra care when I have to go out. And I do all the housework, laundry etc. - which is a struggle on crutches - I am happy to do it obviously, but if this knee problem continues it is very hard to do. I could get all this for not a huge great deal more money.

Decisions, decisions!

grannyqueenie Sat 01-Jun-19 22:45:13

No personal experience but a good friend did this for her frail elderly parents. Her mum had advanced PD and her dad had his own needs. It seemed to work very well for them and they spoke very highly of the woman who lived in. Good luck with it all, you’re in a very stressful situation. x

Alexa Sat 01-Jun-19 22:45:58

I would very much like if there was an employment organisation which would help householders and homeless people to swap what they have to offer. Each party would have to be vetted and police checked.

The idea would be for a young and fit homeless person to exchange a set amount of domestic and or personal care for accommodation. I would expect the arrangement would have safeguards so that neither party would be exploited.

crazyH Sat 01-Jun-19 23:06:08

What a brilliant idea Alexa.
I would willingly accommodate a homeless person in exchange for some domestic and garden help. I live alone and have spare rooms.

Grandma70s Sun 02-Jun-19 06:01:27

My brother and sister-in-law had a live-in carer for SIL’s 90+ mother, who lived with them. They could not manage the nursing care themselves. It was very expensive but worked well. Previously they had tried a very nice care home, but she had not been happy there. Having her at home with a live-in carer worked out a bit cheaper, but that wasn’t the main consideration. They have enough money and a large house, which obviously helps.

Riverwalk Sun 02-Jun-19 06:29:37

Lucky just to point out that, as a rule, live-in carers provided by a specialist agency don't do all the housework, cooking and laundry, only that of the client.

In addition to providing personal care to your DH they'll keep his room & bathroom clean and tidy, make his meals and do his personal laundry.

kittylester Sun 02-Jun-19 07:29:30

I'm not sure I would like it, lucky. I dont think I would like having someone around on their down time if they didnt go home.

Riverwalk Sun 02-Jun-19 07:31:59

As with any live-in staff, relative or visitor everything hangs on how well you and DH get on and are comfortable with the carer.

With a bit of luck you'll find one of the many fine East European women/men that do this sort of work. Some are highly-qualified professionals in other fields but work very hard and are not resentful of having to come abroad to work in a domestic role.

David0205 Sun 02-Jun-19 07:49:14

Rose colored spectacles, in an ideal world you are right and if everyone who could not find housing would look after those that needed care. The reality is that anyone who is caring and provides a service wants to be rewarded for their time and does not value accommodation at all, to them living in means being on call 24/7, so very few want to do it.

There was years ago a system where those that could not support themselves were give accommodation in return for caring and other duties. It was called the Workhouse and although it was done with good intentions it was very unpopular!.

annsixty Sun 02-Jun-19 07:55:39

I know 2 families who have done this but it was not one person all the time, that would be unsustainable.
What happened was ,one person came for two weeks and was on duty day and for night care for about 20 hours.
Some one else came for 4 hours mid afternoon, so the carer could either sleep if necessary or go out for some R&R.
After 2 weeks someone else would move in.
One person could not possibly do what you describe day in day out month in month out.
The last fa mily were paying £1000 a week, but the cost of extra food, accommodation etc has also to be factored in.

kittylester Sun 02-Jun-19 08:01:58

There are systems in place, in some areas, where a young person (often a student) gets free accomodation in return for companionship in the home of an old person.

Niobe Sun 02-Jun-19 08:15:14

I know of someone who did this Luckygirl but there were 2 carers to cover the time needed and time off etc. Remember employers now have to pay pension plans etc now too. As Riverwalk pointed out, they won't do all your housework, cooking etc. Only what is needed for the patient.

Luckygirl Sun 02-Jun-19 08:46:19

The system with the agency I am looking at does a 4 week placement, then the carer takes a week off while a replacement covers that time.

The carer is entitled to 2 hours free time a day and this is negotiated with the family.

sodapop Sun 02-Jun-19 08:53:44

Niobe is right Luckygirl You need to look at your expectations, your finances and what you can reasonably expect from a carer.

sodapop Sun 02-Jun-19 08:54:36

Sorry, crossed posts

DoraMarr Sun 02-Jun-19 08:54:38

As others have said, a live in cater would need his/her own time off, and would not do your laundry or any housework apart from your husband’s room. They may prepare meals for your husband, but not for you. He/she would also need a room of their own, perhaps with a tv. How would you feel about sharing a kitchen, bathroom and living room with someone else?
. Would you be able to cope with your husband’s care if you had someone to do the housework? This would be cheaper than live-in care. You could then pay for a private carer for specific hours, which would be better for your husband. You don’t say what your husband’s needs are, but I’m assuming if he has three visits a day they are for personal care.

aggie Sun 02-Jun-19 08:56:43

It sounds better than what you are trying to do now , interesting that the carer needs a week off per month , but you don't ? Also if that months carer isn't your soul mate they are replaced after a month

DoraMarr Sun 02-Jun-19 08:57:22

P.S you sound as though you are worn out. Can you look into some respite care for your husband, so you can have time to yourself?

Grammaretto Sun 02-Jun-19 09:03:04

It would depend on your level of need. If it's round the clock care then I believe the cost is too high for most families which is when they resort to finding the best possible carehome within their budget.
However I am friendly with an elderly widow who is brought to our weekly coffee morning by her live in carer. I've never asked exactly how it works except her carer chatted to me yesterday and said she goes home for 6 weeks later in the summer, when presumably someone else takes over.
She's an older lady herself so it's quite intriguing. At first I thought she was a relative as in a Jane Austen novel, coming to care for her aged aunt.
My friend, who is over 90, seems to like her and she gets to go somewhere different everyday.
I'm not sure I would like someone always there but better than the alternative?

cornergran Sun 02-Jun-19 09:15:47

Does the agency employ the carer in the same way they do visiting carers and so deal with necessary checks, pension etc lucky? It sounds as if it would give you continuity, a more stable routine and of course help keep your husband at home while reducing the pressure on you. This might sound odd but I wonder if the agency would be able to ask other clients using live in carers if they would speak with you about the reality? You can’t be the only person using this system. It’s a big step so of course be sure you understand the limitations to their role and the financial implications. It’s such an individual decision, you do need extra support if your husband is to stay at home so I totally understand you checking this out.

Fennel Sun 02-Jun-19 09:42:55

People from the Phillipines also seem to be kind and reliable carers.
We stayed in a hotel in April and there were several disabled elderly people there with carers, most from the Phillipines.
Quite expensive though - they had to pay the hotel bill for the carer too, I should think.

Luckygirl Sun 02-Jun-19 09:47:44

I have sent further questions to the agency based on some of the above posts, so lots of thanks for that.

The agency seems to deal with all the paperwork, vetting etc. - but the carers are nominally self-employed so they are personally responsible for tax, NI etc. - I would just pay the agency, who pays them.

The thing about OH is that he sleeps quite a lot during he day; but he needs supervision for safety; and there are bursts of frenetic activity when he needs transferring for toileting, washing etc. - and I struggle to do this.

His anxiety is a huge factor and he needs constant reassurance or he gets in a panic - this is one of the reasons it is so hard to leave the house.

Alexa Sun 02-Jun-19 11:18:26

In the 1930s when I was a little girl there were middle aged widows who had paid lady companions. I don't doubt that in both cases if either lady had become disabled the other would have cared for her. I distinctly remember two lady companions who were friends of my parents besides the lady whose house they lived in.

The Lady magazine has adverts of that sort I think. There are such opportunities. However personal care 24/7 is heavy work and hardly comparable with light housework and gardening. Whether or not a suitable live in carer could be found depends on the actual physical tasks required and the frequency of the care events.

grannytotwins Sun 02-Jun-19 11:19:36

My BIL has advanced PD with dementia. My much younger sister is exhausted and has employed two men from the Philippines, alternating weeks. It’s the most enormous help to her. She was at breaking point and also trying to continue with her specialised career from home. One insists on doing ironing etc. It’s very expensive, but for anyone who can afford it, totally worthwhile. BIL has picked up a lot, watching cricket on tv again as the stimulation of another man chatting to him has made a difference. My sister didn’t use an agency. She put a message on her local FB page for help and a doctor who knows the Philippine carers locally put them in touch. It’s cheaper and better than an agency.

Alexa Sun 02-Jun-19 11:21:42

Luckygirl does your doctor know about your husband's anxiety problem?