Advancing in age has a way of challenging a person’s independence. What used to be simple day-to-day jobs can turn into insurmountable obstacles.
Although it’s common for aging individuals to start needing assistance with certain tasks, this does not mean their independence must come to a complete halt.
On the contrary, it’s possible for a senior to continue living an independent life at home by contracting live-in care to assist with different aspects of daily living. Minute Women Home Care offers a full range of services to help aging individuals remain independent in their own homes.
One of those options for services is live-in care. This is when a caregiver moves into the home and lives with their client. This is beneficial for a number of reasons:
- The Cost to Care Ratio
- Fewer caregivers needed
- More continuity of caregivers
- Fewer shift changes
- Night time emergencies
The main reasons families choose live-in care because there is someone always there in case of emergencies in the middle of the night and it provides the most amount of care for the least amount of money.
While a live-in caregiver is asleep during the night and cannot prevent a fall from occurring if a senior decides to get up and a fall happens a live-in caregiver will hear the calls for help immediately. The alternative being the senior remains on the floor for hours before the morning shift caregiver arrives (or a family member who stop by to check on their parent each morning before heading to work).
For many families, they choose live-in care as an insurance policy in case something happens in the middle of the night – someone will be there.
Live-in Care v. 24-hour Care
A 24-hour caregiver must be awake all night while a live-in caregiver works during the day and sleeps at night. Thus, live-in care costs less then 24-hour care does. Live-in care is charged on a per-day flat rate basis but if a caregiver is needed in the middle of the night, then the caregiver is paid in 15 minutes increments at the normal hourly rate.
While live-in caregivers require about 8 hours of sleep at night in a private bedroom, they are always available to help a senior for a reasonable amount of time if the need arises at night. This means a live-in caregiver will be available to help your loved one use the restroom or get a glass of water, and as mentioned, if there is ever an emergency at night, the caregiver will be able to provide immediate assistance.
Night Time Care
Overtime if caregivers report that their client is up and needing assistance in the middle of the night, then the case may need to switch to a 24-hour shift case. The reason being is a caregiver cannot be expected to get unreasonable amounts of sleep during the night and then bear the responsibility of caring for someone for 16 hours.
When this occurs, there are two options that can occur.
The case changes to a 24-hour case where there are two twelve hour shifts that are needed each day. The caregivers are expected to be awake throughout their shift and ready to provide assitance to a client at a moment’s notice.
When this change occurs, it is the most costly service provided as it involved the most amount of hours.
Live-In Plus Hourly
This option is a hybrid of hourly and live-in care services. The live-in schedule stays the same, with the two caregivers splitting the 7-day week. Additionally, you have a caregiver come in to cover the night shift, usually a ten-hour shift.
The benefit to this solution is that you get to keep the continuity of two main caregivers who are providing the live-in weekly care. Additionally, there are only two nighttime caregivers for the week, so you have a backup and flexibility while keeping the number of caregivers in the home to a minimum.
In this example there would be a total four caregivers in the home each week, while 24-hour cases can have 6-8 caregivers on a case, depending on scheduling, which some families find overwhelming, and you can read more about those pros and cons in our private home care guide.
This option is less costly than directly going to a 24-hour case.
We provide a large range of live-in home care services, such as:
- House tasks
- Laundry and ironing
- Garbage disposal
- Bed making and linen changes
- Lighthouse cleaning
- Meal planning
- Meal preparation and cleanup
- Grocery shopping
- Dry cleaning drop off and pick up
- Pet care
- Transportation to and from appointments and events
- Medication pick up
- Medication management
- Theater and concert attendance
- Church escort
- Airport transportation
Reasons to Choose Live-In Care
Many seniors feel strongly about staying in their homes. It is best to accommodate these wishes whenever possible.
Hiring a professional to provide care in an independent residence is an ideal way to respect your aging loved one’s wishes while helping to ensure his or her continued health and wellbeing.
Aging persons generally feel more comfortable and confident when they are in their own surroundings. This can enhance both mental and physical health over the long-term.
Although families may have concerns about the cost of live-in care, it can be an affordable option, especially compared to the cost of assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
As with any of our services, we create an individual plan for care based on a senior’s home, personal requirements, and preferences in order to help your loved one maintain lasting independence and happiness.
With live-in care, they can stay in their home and age-in-place, while you have the comfort and peace of mind knowing that someone is there to ensure their safety at a lower cost than what 24-hourly care would cost.
Amount of Caregivers on a Live-In Case
Many families understandably assume that one caregiver will be in the home when it comes to live-in care. For a number of reasons, most agencies will require two caregivers to provide a 7-day live-in care case. This reason includes, cost, emergencies, and flexibility.
While agencies will charge you a flat rate for care, they are still paying their employees at an hourly rate and because of this over-time becomes a major factor.
Having one caregiver in the home means that there will be an enormous amount of overtime accrued. This cost is then passed onto the client and is reflected in the price.
Caregivers do need flexibility in their schedules. Children can get sick, doctors appointment and life’s day-to-day requirements don’t always line up with a work schedule perfectly. This allows two caregivers to coordinate with the office is there is a one-off appointment that can not be missed.
This provides flexibility so that a client will still have 100% coverage all week even if the schedule needs to be tweaked to make it work.
Caregiver Emergencies and Leave
When an emergency does occur, like a death in the family, a caregiver may need to take a week or two off for grieving and planning a funeral. Sometimes those plans occur in Africa as that is where many of our caregivers are from. This can lead to weeks if not months away from a client.
If you only have one caregiver in a live-in case, you are putting all your eggs in one basket and if an emergency like this occurs, it can be stressful when the only person a client trust is going to leave for three weeks and someone new is introduced the case full-time.
With two caregivers, you will still have some continutity that allows in the home while a new caregiver is introduced. Additionally, the experienced caregiver can help train and provide orientation to the new caregiver to make the schedule change less stressful on the family and on the client.