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The primary role of the live in carer or support worker, whether it be for long term, short term or respite live in care is to make sure our clients can continue to live in their own surroundings in comfort and safety and that all their care needs are met.
This can be difficult to précis as each client will have different and varying needs according to their condition, illness or state. Perhaps the easiest way of describing it is that you, as a live in carer will be carrying out the role that a close family member or respected friend would do, but in a professional, trained way. This requires excellent communication skills, not only with the client or service user, but with their family and friends too. An ability to be able to adapt and change according to the varying needs of the client is essential. Very often a live-in carer is sometimes the only person a client has regular contact with over a longer time frame, meaning you will be responsible for their day to day needs and requirements.
Every live in carer will be issued with a care plan to detail the needs of their client. This will be agreed by the care team, families and other healthcare professionals. As a general rule it might include aspects of personal hygiene, household duties, cleaning, cooking and social activities though there may also be times when more specialized in-house care is required. Live-in carers will be well briefed and trained beforehand.
Live in carer should not be on call 24 hours a day, but are allowed to take rest breaks when the client is settled so that they can rest and recuperate for the next day. They are also allowed to take leisure time off when the client does not require their services. This is usually at the discretion of the client, carer, families and health professionals.
Strong communication skills
Being able to live-in with a client for extended periods
Ability to understand and follow instructions
To be able to cope in an emergency
To be able to identify how a client’s needs change
To be able to cope with stressful situations calmly
Experience of running a home
Clean driver’s license
Experience of care provision
This list is not exhaustive and is intended only as a brief précis of some of the activities live in carer may be expected to carry out.
Making sure the client is able to get up and get dressed
Toileting and continence management
Working with other care professionals to assist the client
Helping client with medication
Preparing of meals
Household cleaning including bed-making, laundry and ironing
Helping to make sure the client is involved in social activities
Keeping records of all the care that has been delivered