The pros and cons of live-in carers

Esther Shaw / 23 February 2015 ( 04 January 2017 )

Live-in carers are just one of the care options available when you need a little help with everyday tasks. We look at the pros and cons of employing someone to provide support while allowing you to live independently in your own home.



Given the choice, many older people people would opt to remain living independently in their own home for as long as they can.

Going into residential care is expensive and can also mean losing an immediate support network of friends and neighbours.

The good news is, live-in care at home is available across the country, and offers a real alternative.

That said, it does not come cheap, and you should still expect to pay around £900 a week.

Can you avoid care costs?

Here we take a closer look at the pros and cons.

Pros of having a live-in carer

Familiarity

While moving into residential care can mean making a big transition to what is often an institutional and regimented way of life, staying at home is a lot less unsettling.

This can be particularly important for those with conditions such as dementia, who can find the upheaval of a move to new surroundings both upsetting and frightening.

Independence

By contrast, with a live-in carer, older people can remain in their own home and maintain a level of independence for as long as possible, while having companionship at the same time.

They can also continue to do the jobs and fulfilling activities they want – and are able – to do.

This could range from something as simple as cooking a meal, to visiting social groups, or popping out shopping.

Find out more about personal independence payments

Maintaining networks

Remaining at home can make a particularly big difference to couples, and can help them to stay together.

At the same time, living independently means people still have their neighbours close by, and can maintain their circle of friends; they can also keep hold of their beloved pets.

Care on-hand

If you decide that bringing someone in is the right decision, you will have access to one-to-one support 24/7 from an experienced carer who has had a DBS (previously CRB) check.

This can make a real difference should you fall ill or have an injury, and in some cases, may mean you don’t have to go into hospital at all. It can also be a good option if you need short-term support for any other reason.

This can provide peace of mind for other family members too.

10 reasons to move to a retirement village

Cons of having a live-in carer

Cost

If you are on your own, the cost of live-in care can end up being comparable to the cost of residential care – so this needs to be factored in. For couples, it becomes more cost-effective.

Unsure about the costs of care? Saga provides a care funding advice service.

Living with a stranger

Having a live-in carer means having to get used to cohabiting with a stranger, and this can take quite a bit of adjusting to at first.

Equally, in order to be able to accommodate a live-in carer, the property needs to have a spare room; it also needs to offer suitable conditions for that person to stay in.

Logistics

Another big issue is that if your current home cannot be adapted for you and your needs, you may not be able to remain there after all. This might be the case if, for example, the stairs are not suitable for a stair-lift.

In this scenario, independent living may simply not be an option.

Useful links for carers

Find the perfect live-in carer with Country Cousins, part of Saga Healthcare. Care where you’re happiest. Home.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.