Dispelling live-in care myths

Sarah is one of our Care Professionals at Home Instead and, having never worked in the role before, we spoke with her about some of the myths around the sector.

Whilst we offer expertise in companionship, dementia care and home help at Home Instead, we also specialise in live-in care. With our Live-in Care, a Care Professional is chosen to be a companion to a client to live in their home and support with daily activities.

Sarah is one of our Live-in Care Professionals here at Home Instead and, having never previously worked in the role, we wanted to take this opportunity to speak with her and dispel some of the myths around live-in care.

Despite having always worked in social care, notably as a Learning Mentor for adults with special disabilities, Sarah had in fact never heard of ‘live-in’ care before. As a mother of two, the opportunity to become a live-in carer came “just at the right time”, as her children, aged 13 and 21, were growing up and becoming more independent, whilst she was looking for a new challenge.

At the beginning of her role, Sarah admittedly did feel it to be a shock to her usual routine. With the rota of ‘1 week on – 1 week off’, she emphasised that the daily support offered by the team at Home Instead was vital to her first experience of live-in care. After all, “you are living with the client, of course it can seem daunting”. However, by the end of the week she explained how,

“I got to know the client so much more, you’re not just ‘doing’ care, you feel a part of it.”

As a live-in caregiver, you immerse yourself within the client’s life, providing that extra support to not just them, but their family too. This has been a personal highlight for Sarah, citing how, “[she] has been able to give them their space and peace of mind, relieving the pressures and anxiety of taking care of their loved one”. It also works well for Sarah’s own work/life balance, which is something about the role that has particularly surprised her. Since beginning several months ago, it has had “such a positive impact” on Sarah and her own family, relieving her of her ‘motherly duties’ and encouraging her children to be more independent around the house.

“It’s that work/life balance for me, the weekly rota enables you to work whilst also taking a break from home”, adding that, “even in that week off you can still work elsewhere or as a community carer – no other job does that.”

For herself, she revealed how it really hasn’t been as she had initially thought. When Sarah first heard of the job role, she thought to herself, “Is it 24/7? How do you sleep?”, but in reality, the schedule allows her to be flexible with her work, realising that “you have to pull it apart to notice how balanced it is”.

At Home Instead, we feel this to be especially important. The working hours of our Live-in Care Professionals do not exceed 10 hours per day, allowing time for a 10-hour sleep and a 4-hour break taken at the suitability of the client.

After having been in the job for several months now, Sarah is encouraging others to recognise live-in care as a fantastic care and career option.

So, how do we choose our Live-in Care Professionals?

Above all else, we recognise people for their personal values and ethos when it comes to live-in care, asking that they show true enthusiasm towards making a difference and expanding the world’s capacity to care.