Seniors Aging at Home: A Live-In Caregiver

Senior Caregiver

Today, more than ever, seniors are working hard to live as long as possible in the private homes.
What is a live-in caregiver?  How can live-in caregivers best support those seniors who are choosing to age in place? There are many different ways of addressing the evolving care needs of these older adults. From home-based care offered by family or a visiting aide, to assisted living, and even nursing homes, there are a broad spectrum of care solutions available.

One option is live-in senior home care. This type of care features a full-time caregiver who lives in the home of a senior, much like some families hire a live-in nanny to care for small children. This type of care is best suited for seniors who need around-the-clock care, especially at night. If the caregiver needs to wake up several times a night to tend to a senior or help them take medication, a live-in caregiver might be the right solution

For more information on Caregiving check out the CHAMPA Caregivers website.

What Does a Live-In Caregiver Do?

A live-in caregiver is a care professionals who live in a patient’s home in order to help with daily living tasks and needs. They typically work with elderly clients. Live in caregivers enable people who would otherwise not be able to remain in their home, due to physical and mental limitations, continue to do so

A live-in caregiver’s duties will vary significantly depending on the needs of the client they serve. As a live-in caregiver, they will likely help with household duties, like shopping, cleaning, and meal preparation. Caregivers will help the client with hygiene and mobility, if needed. Caregivers may run errands and attend doctor appointments as well as see that the client is taking their medications. Caregivers will communicate with healthcare providers and family to update them on the client’s needs and general wellbeing.

Why Choose Live-in Care?

In today’s world, there are even more reasons to try and age-in-place. The CDC, Center for Disease Control, recommends social distancing for all ages and for those over the age of 65 to stay isolated in their homes. Hiring a live-in caregiver reduces the risk of exposure by minimizing the people coming and going while providing the support your loved one needs to live the life they want, at home.

Live-in caregivers provide a host of benefits, usually for a lower cost than 24-hour care. These include companionship and socialization, around-the-clock emergency support, meal preparation, encouragement for physical activity, and more.

How Do You Become a Live-In Caregiver?

To become a live-in caregiver, you do not need any specialized formal education, but there are certain requirements that may vary from one employer to the next and from state to state. Most jobs will require you to pass a background check, have a high school diploma, a clean driving record/current driver’s license, and good interpersonal skills. You must be compassionate and committed, as this job can have emotional challenges. Most employers require employees to sign a contract outlining policies and to undergo training.

Connect with a CHAMPA Care Advisor about job opportunities in communities across the United States.

What Are Live-In Caregiver Career Paths?

You can become a live-in caregiver in a relatively short period without any higher education requirements. If you have a high school diploma, you can apply for entry-level caregiver jobs, which usually provide on the job training. You will likely need to complete a CPR certification, pass a drug test and background test, and complete an extensive interview process.

What Are the Benefits of a Live-In Caregiver Job?

There are many benefits to being a live-in caregiver. Often, room and board are included in the employment agreement, so your expenses are very low and the pay can be good. For those passionate about care, being a live-in caregiver provides an opportunity to provide a deeper level of care and make a significant impact in the life of the client.

AARP Resource: In-Home Care: Helping Loved Ones Age in Place

Live-In Caregiver Job Description

With this Live-In Caregiver job description, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember though, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for their Live-In Caregiver position.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist clients with basic needs such as meal prep, dressing, grooming, bathing, laundry services, and housekeeping
  • Provide clients with companionship and friendly, positive interactions
  • Transport clients to appointments, including doctor’s appointments or salon appointments
  • Help clients with administrative tasks, such as paying bills, writing letters, and making phone calls

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Excellent listener and an empathetic companion
  • Prior experience as a caregiver and elderly care
  • Access to reliable transportation
  • Ability to pass a background check and drug test

Live-in care vs assisted living

Assisted living facilities to provide personal care assistance to people who need some daily help, but don’t require the level of skilled care found in nursing homes. These settings may serve as few as 25 residents, while others can house in excess of 120 people. Many assisted living facilities also offer varying levels of care, including dementia and Alzheimer’s care

Residents of assisted living are usually provided with an apartment or private room, and share common areas, such as dining rooms and rec rooms. While assisted living arrangements vary by state, most facilities offer meals, medication management, personal care assistance, and opportunities for social interaction. Some may even provide transportation to doctor’s appointments and opportunities for shopping and other off-site excursions.

Living-in caregivers can provide all of the services found in assisted living but in the client’s own home. Live-In care also allows for constant one-one-one interaction between client and caregiver, as the patient is the only individual receiving care. By comparison, the average assisted living staff provides far less direct care per resident per day. In general, elderly people who are able to remain at home exhibit improved levels of cognition, better daily functioning, decreased levels of depression, and lower rates of incontinence compared to nursing home patients.

How To Find A Live-In Caregiver For Elderly Parents

If your elderly parents are currently at a point in their lives where they need assistance in their everyday activities, you can either hire a live-in caregiver or 24-hour care.

  • Private Hire
    • You find the caregiver and pay for the rent and living expenses and pay a daily rate.
  • Home Care Agencies
    • A Home care agency handles all the screening responsibilities, scheduling, and supervising and continually hires new caregivers as needed
  • Referral Agencies
    • These agencies refer caregivers and offer guidance while you hire and manage the caregiver directly.

AARP Resource: How to Hire A Caregiver

Learn more about the types of caregivers.

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