Live-in care – Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of help and support will your carers provide?

The care we provide is always tailored to the individual, but will normally include some or all of the following: personal care (help with dressing, bathing etc), overseeing medication, shopping and meal preparation, washing, ironing and general housework and running errands, such as collecting prescriptions. Our carers also provide daily companionship, which may include a wide variety of activities, such as discussing the news, reading aloud from books or magazines and playing games, such as cards or Scrabble. Wherever possible our carers will help our clients entertain visitors at home and take them out and about, for example to church or to local societies.

What do you charge for live-in care?

Our prices start from £795 per week

For how many weeks at a time do your carers normally work?

It really depends on what works best for an individual client. Some clients prefer to have one main carer for most of the time, in which case other carers will only be brought in to cover the occasional week off. Other clients prefer to have a small team of carers working shorter periods in a regular rota.

How often do your carers take holidays?

Our care staff are entitled to up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday a year. In broad terms and assuming their personal circumstances allow them to work for 48 weeks a year, this means they will take one week off every three months. However, providing live-in care can be very demanding and some of our care staff choose a different work pattern, for example, four weeks on and one week off. Also, some have close family in other countries and may decide to take a longer break to visit them at some point in the year.

What checks do you carry out on your carers before employing them?

All new care staff are subject to a rigorous criminal record check (known as an “enhanced DBS”) and we also obtain references from their previous two employers. We conduct face-to-face interviews with every potential new member of staff and we then have a good chance to get to know them during their four day Induction Course. We would never employ anyone about whom we had any doubts regarding their honesty and integrity.

What facilities have to be provided for the carer?

 They will need their own bedroom with bed-linen and towels and somewhere to store their clothes. You will also need to provide them with food, so they can make their own meals, or an allowance (currently £25 a week), so they can buy their own food.

Free live-in care guide

You may find our free guide to live-in care helpful as part of your research as it gives you a really comprehensive insight into how it can work for you and your family.

FREE Live-in care guide

 

Can we choose the carers ourselves?

We will always endeavour to offer your loved one a choice of carers, but the final choice may depend on who is available at the time. One of the most important aspects of the initial meeting we hold with the person requiring care (wherever possible with a family member present) is to get to know them and assess which of our available carers they would get on well with. Sometimes, for whatever reason, the relationship between a client and a given carer may not flourish; if this happens, we will always do our best to find another, more compatible carer as soon as possible.

How good are your carers at cooking?

All our live-in care staff have worked as live-in carers before and are all competent cooks. They all know the importance of providing their clients with meals which are appetising, as well as nutritious and they all have a wide repertoire of meals they can cook from scratch.

 

What about breaks and rest periods?

It is a legal requirement that live-in care staff should have a complete break from work for an average of two hours a day, during which time they should be free to leave the house, if they wish to do so. If the person they are providing care for cannot safely be left on their own during this time, then the family must arrange for someone to sit with their loved one. If this is not possible, then an acceptable alternative is for the carer to be given a complete day off once a week, which may be possible, for example, if other family members come to visit at the weekend.

What happens at night?

Our carers are not expected to work more than ten hours a day, although this does include the night-time, as well as the day. In practice, many clients sleep right through till the morning, but some may need to visit the bathroom at some point during the night. Our carers will always help them if necessary, but if a client is regularly getting up more than twice a night, it may be necessary to introduce a second carer to cover the night-times.

 

Is there anything your carers are not permitted to do?

As a rule our carers are not permitted to do anything which might be termed a “medical intervention”, or which falls under the domain of another specialist professional, such as a chiropodist. For this reason we always maintain close links with other healthcare professionals, including GPs, District Nurses and Occupational Therapists. Here are some examples of things our carers are not permitted to do: remove or replace urinary catheters, conduct bowel evacuations or bladder washouts, change tracheotomy tubes, use syringes to inject or administer intravenously-controlled drugs, lift clients from the floor unaided.

What happens if the carer falls ill, or has an accident whilst on duty which prevents them from working?

In our experience this situation arises extremely rarely, but if it does happen, we would aim to provide a replacement carer within 48 hours and, if possible, within 24 hours. In the meantime, we would work with family members to ensure continuity of care.

How does Audley Homecare ensure its carers are doing a good job?

Our carers are regularly monitored and supervised by our management team and we also carry out unannounced spot checks. They are encouraged to phone us immediately if there are any problems and, most important of all, we phone every client (or a member of their family) every week to check they are happy with the care being provided.

What happens if my mother or father doesn’t get on with a particular carer?

We monitor the progress of the relationship between client and carer very closely in the first few weeks and we positively welcome feedback from families about this. Whilst it can often take up to two or three weeks for a good mutual understanding to develop, there are times when it becomes clear to everyone involved that the relationship simply doesn’t work and, if this does happen, we will always replace the carer concerned as soon as possible.

What training do your carers receive?

If they have not already completed it whilst in previous employment, all our carers must work towards the basic qualification in care, the Care Certificate, which covers 15 separate subjects.

In addition, during our residential four day Induction Course, new carers receive both further training in the theory and practice of care, covering the following topics:

 

  • Moving and handling
  • Mental Capacity Act
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
  • Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults
  • Basic Life Support
  • Medication
  • Dementia Care

 

Once in work, our carers receive update training as required and they also receive additional training in more specialised areas in order to be able to manage more complex care, such as peg feeding and palliative care.

Free live-in care guide

You may find our free guide to live-in care helpful as part of your research as it gives you a really comprehensive insight into how it can work for you and your family.

FREE Live-in care guide

Will your carers take my mother or father out?

Assuming it is safe to do so, our carers will take your loved one out as often as they would like.

Where do your carers come from?

 Working as a live-in carer requires both huge dedication and the ability to spend several weeks at a time living away from one’s own home and family. Hence only a small proportion of people already working in the care sector are able and willing to work as live-in carers. For this reason, we employ a lot of carers who have come to the UK from overseas, including Eastern Europe, Africa and the Far East.

Do all your carers speak good English?

Yes, this is absolutely essential.

Do your carers drive?

Some drive, but not many have cars, as they tend not to need them. In some circumstances it may be possible for the carer to drive their client’s car, if they still have one.

Are your carers allowed to invite family or friends to the house?

 Our care staff are not allowed to receive their own visitors under any circumstances.

What happens if a family member wants to contact the office outside normal working hours?

We run an emergency out-of-hours helpline and a member of the management team can be contacted by clients and family members at any time.

What happens if my mother or father falls ill and has to go into hospital?

It really depends on how long they are going to remain in hospital and what the family would like to happen. If the hospital stay is likely to be just for a few days, the family may want the carer to stay and visit their mother or father every day, especially if they themselves live some distance away and can’t get to the hospital themselves. On the other hand, if the stay in hospital is likely to last several weeks, then it may give the carer the opportunity to take a break.

I notice that you are “CQC-registered”. What difference does that make?

Many care agencies operate as “carer introduction services” totally beyond the bounds of official regulation. Such agencies provide self-employed carers, who are paid directly by the client. The agency will then charge the client a separate introduction fee, normally payable weekly, for as long as the carer is in situ.

However, because the carer is self-employed, the agency is not allowed to monitor and supervise their work and so this responsibility will fall on the client, which in most cases is likely to mean a member of their family. The problem is, though, that family members may not know enough about the finer points of care to feel comfortable supervising the carer’s work and may feel extremely awkward about raising any concerns with them directly.

Being a CQC-registered care provider, we employ our care staff directly and this means that we take full responsibility for their training and supervision. If clients or family members have any concerns about any aspect of the care being provided, they can raise it with a member of the management team and the matter will be dealt with, without them having to raise the matter with the carer directly. Should they ever feel that a concern they have raised has not been dealt with adequately by our management team, they are always free to take the matter to the industry regulator, the CQC.

We are proud to be CQC-registered, as we believe that this provides our clients and their families with an additional level of safety and reassurance and allows them to choose us with far greater confidence.

Do you have a specimen contract for me to read?

Yes, indeed. Please phone the office on01799 530780 and we will be happy to email or post you a copy of our standard contract for live-in care.

How often do you invoice for live-in care?

We invoice weekly in arrear.

How soon can you start the care?

 We can normally start providing care within a week of meeting the person requiring care and completing their care plan and often we can get care in place quicker than this.

Free live-in care guide

You may find our free guide to live-in care helpful as part of your research as it gives you a really comprehensive insight into how it can work for you and your family.

FREE Live-in care guide