Why live-in care is an inspiring career choice and tips to be successful

Why live-in care is an inspiring career choice and tips to be successful

A live-in carer is not usually a ‘traditional’ career choice; however, the value they add can make an immense difference to someone’s quality life, enabling them to remain safe and secure in the comfort of their own home and maintaining as much independence as you can.

Live-in carers have a natural passion for helping others and it’s clear that carers gain a great deal of satisfaction from their work. Live-in carers can experience an unmatched level of professional fulfilment and job satisfaction, providing support at a personalised and sustained level - a quality of care which is sometimes difficult to deliver in a care home or hourly care setting. By choosing a live-in care job, you will be making a difference in the lives of a person at a time when they need companionship and support the most.

Without realising you can easily forget about yourself as you get yourself wrapped up in the other person’s life, which overtime can be damaging. Knowing how to cope with the challenges of being a live-in carer and adjusting your life so that you still have one can be the difference of loving or hating your job.

1. Receive a full assessment before saying yes
carer taking assessment

Before accepting the package, make sure it is suitable for you. Read through the assessment fully and ask questions if you are unsure of anything. It is important you are aware of everything so there’s no surprises when you move in or maybe even find out they have specific needs or conditions which you are unqualified for. Your agency of local authority will be able to provide a Comprehensive Needs Assessment which will also include a Financial Assessment in order to make sure you’re getting as much help as possible.

2. Recognise that you are a carer

Always remember first and foremost you are a carer; you have the qualities, skills, qualifications and experience required to be one. If you’re ever feeling the pressure or in doubt; take a few deep breathes to help you focus and remain calm. Talking to others, whether they are family members, friends or a local care group, will help you to adjust to being a carer and have a more positive outlook on life.

3. Be kind to yourself

Transitioning to become a live-in carer for someone isn’t always easy and even the strongest of people will feel the strain. Having ‘off day’s’ or to feel as though you’re not doing enough is okay.  

We are all human at the end of the day and we all make mistakes. As long as we learn from them and take time out to reflect it’s okay. Just think of it as a learning curve.

4. Put yourself first

Whilst you are dedicating all your time to someone else it can be hard to make any time for yourself.  You may feel that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to take a few out and pay some well-deserved attention to yourself. It’s extremely important to find some time for yourself because if you are not looking after yourself properly, you may get tired or generally worn down and as a result your level of care might start to suffer.  Even if it’s only an hour of two on an evening, or once or twice a week, going for a walk or sitting down and relaxing to switch your mind off for a short period will do you the world of good. Make it even more special and allow yourself a treat such as a hot bubble bath or some expensive chocolate; you’ll thank yourself for it later on.

5. Take it one step at a time

Living in someone else’s home is like entering a whole new world and even the most confident and experienced of carers can struggle to adapt. The role may come with a list of requirements which need take place imminently or it may be a gradual change over time. Either way, your new list of responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially if you dwell on the past, present and future all at once. It may sound cliche, but taking each day as it comes is the best way to combat the feeling of being snowed under. Focusing on the now and not so much on what might be around the corner can help you to feel more grounded, confident and in control than before.

6. Build a relationship
carer and patient having cup of tea

Forming a relationship and getting along with your client and their family is an extremely important quality. Remember you are a carer, and care is shown in many different ways.

Listening to and acknowledging your client's opinions and wishes as well as respecting their choices is key for building a trusting and enjoyable relationship. A good live-in carer will understand how to engage and respond to the person receiving care, show interest and understanding whilst also maintaining a productive care routine throughout the day. As a carer it is important to show a genuine interest in the client, asking them about their day or finding out about their life. Even simple things like a warm smile, a friendly chat, or a cup of tea, can transform someone’s day and show them that their carer cares.

Carers may also be asked to accompany a client to doctors and hospital appointments, having the ability to listen carefully and clearly communicate instructions from appointments will be a large part of your role as a carer, therefore you often required to have excellent communication skills.

Having the ability to provide companionship alongside needs related support, can have amazing effects on a person's well-being and happiness.

7. Housekeeping

As the live-in carer you will probably be responsible for various household expenses, and you will need to decide how you want to manage these. Possibly the simplest method is to provide petty cash and ask the carer to keep receipts and keep a record of expenditure.

Alternatively, you may prefer to set up a separate bank account with a debit card that can be used by the carer to pay for anything needed on a day-to-day basis. Whichever you decide, it is important that both parties understand what is expected.

8. Don’t go it alone

As a carer remember that you are taking on a big responsibility and it has its ups and downs. If you feel the need to offload some of your worries or questions on someone else, don’t hesitate to do so! Keeping your mind clear and calm will prove beneficial in the long run and, as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

9. Own space

You will need your own space to sleep and have time out when you are no actually providing care. It’s important you can get away from the person you are caring for as it can be tough both mentally and physically. No matter, how well you get on with your client, you will need some time alone to unwind.

Make sure you have the things that you need to help you relax and unwind before you move in for example a TV, radio, enough cupboards/drawers/storage facilities, bedside table, dressing area and a comfortable chair. Having all your favourite things will help you feel more at home in the house.

10. Organisation and planning
live in carer cooking

Taking on responsibility of certain aspects will be part of the role for a live-in carer. This can include anything from the preparation and cooking of nutritional meals to completing household chores. Ensuring the home environment is clean, safe and comfortable is as equally part of a live-in carers role as delivering the care plan.

Live-in care gives people the ability to remain independent in their homes, therefore you may be asked for assistance with simple administration tasks such as paying bills, posting letters, or helping your client attend classes and activities in the community. In order to keep the household running smoothly, tasks will need to be overseen with prior preparation, scheduling, and planning.


We are always in the search of passionate and dedicated carers, for more information and register your interest please click here https://www.tltpcare.co.uk/join-our-care-team or call us on 020 3758 9219 if you would like to speak to us.