How to Arrange Live-in Care for the Elderly

At Oxford Aunts, we recognise that arranging live-in care for an elderly loved one can be a stressful time. For over 50 years, we’ve helped many families just like yours to continue living comfortably, safely and independently at home with our bespoke and individualised live-in care service.

If you have decided that live-in care for the elderly is the right option for you and your family, there are several ways that you can go about finding the right person including hiring a private carer, using an introductory agency or a fully-managed service like Oxford Aunts.

Here we provide detailed guidance on how to arrange live-in care to help you and your family make an informed decision.

What is live-in care?

Many people believe the only choice they have when an elderly family member or friend needs care is that they must leave their much-loved home and move into a care home. This is simply not the case. Live-in care is a viable alternative where an experienced and highly-trained carer moves into your home to provide you with the one-to-one care you need to continue living life your way.

To learn about our high-quality live-in care service and its many compelling benefits, visit our live-in care services page.

How to arrange live-in care for the elderly: A step-by-step guide

Consider the best care options

When deciding on the best care option for your loved ones, it is important to consider not just their practical care needs but their wishes and preferences as well. When discussing care options, keep your loved one’s opinions and feelings at the forefront. Failing to include them in the care planning process can lead to a poor experience with home care and can even undermine their health and overall well-being.

Arranging a needs assessment

Once you have decided on the type of care you feel is most suitable for your loved one, your first step should be to see if your loved one qualifies for any type of funding that can help cover some or all of the costs of their care.

In the UK, local councils are responsible for providing financial support for individuals in need of care, including live-in care. Funding long-term care through your local authority is called social care funding. To access this funding, you must arrange for a care needs assessment. This assessment will be used to determine your loved one’s care needs and eligibility for support.

A care needs assessment is free of charge and anyone can apply for one. You can request an assessment by contacting your local council’s Adult Social Services or by speaking to your GP or district nurse.

Social care funding is means-tested. This means that the council will carry out a financial assessment to determine your ability to pay for your own care. Based on the results of this assessment, the council will decide on the level of support they can provide, which may include funding for live-in care.

The assessment will consider all types of income, including your capital, pensions, benefits, and any other income sources. In general, if your combined capital is worth over £23,250, then you will be required to cover the total cost of your care.

Using council run services

When you qualify for social care funding, a personal budget will be allocated to cover the expenses of your care needs. The local council is responsible for ensuring that you are actively involved in making decisions about the type of care and support you receive, as well as how the personal budget is utilised.

If the council decides that the individual is eligible for support, they can put together a care plan that outlines the services and support that will be provided, including funding for live-in care.

It is important to bear in mind that council services are under immense pressure. If you’d prefer a more personalised and tailored service, you can choose to request direct payments instead. This means that the council will transfer the funds directly into your bank account, giving you more control over how the budget is used, rather than the council selecting a care service for you.

With a direct payment, you have the flexibility to pay for services, equipment or activities that align with your care needs, such as a live-in care service from various providers – whether it be a private carer, an introductory agency or a fully-managed service provider.

As long as you can show that you or someone acting on your behalf can effectively manage your personal budget and that the care service you have selected is within your budget, your request for direct payments will likely be accepted.

Choosing a live-in care provider

When exploring options for home care, it is important to understand that there are different ways to set up a live-in care service. These include hiring a private carer, working with an introductory agency or using a fully-managed service provider.

To help you make an informed decision, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Here are some factors for you to consider.

Hiring a private carer

When considering live-in care, one option is to privately hire someone to provide care in your own home. While this can be a suitable arrangement for some individuals, it does come with the responsibility of finding and vetting a suitable carer, as well as managing the care they provide.

The first step in this process is to find an appropriate candidate for the role. This includes identifying, vetting and interviewing potential carers. Although hiring a family member or friend may seem like the logical choice, it is important to note that issues may arise as that person will become your employee and no longer just your family or friend.

Once you have found a suitable candidate, you will need to take on the role of an employer and take on the legal responsibilities that come with it. This includes providing a written statement of employment or contract, paying the employee, and managing holiday pay and statutory sick pay. Additionally, you will need to ensure they are covered by Public Liability Insurance and Employer’s Liability Insurance.

You will also have the responsibility to ensure their health and safety in your home, which includes making sure they do not work excessive weekly hours and are given appropriate rest breaks. In case the care arrangement does not turn out as expected, you will have to go through the entire process again.

An introductory agency

An introductory service can put you in touch with self-employed carers or nurses. For a one-time fee, they will connect you with a professional carer that has been vetted and deemed suitable by the agency.

One of the benefits of using an introductory service is that carers are typically registered as self-employed and therefore handle their own tax and National Insurance obligations. This can provide an easier and cost-effective alternative to independently hiring a private live-in carer.

However, once an agency introduces a carer to you and you pay them for this service, it’s generally the end of their involvement. Families are then responsible for overseeing, managing and organising all aspects of the care for their loved ones. This can be quite time-consuming and often adds to the stress that families may already be experiencing during a challenging time.

A fully-managed service provider

When it comes to live-in care, few options provide the reassurance and peace of mind of a fully-managed service provider like Oxford Aunts.

Our fully-managed and regulated live-in care service means our carers are directly employed and managed by us whilst they are caring for you. All of our carers go through a rigorous recruitment process and are trained to the highest level before they are placed with a client. We then provide high levels of carer supervision and management to ensure the care provided is of the highest quality.

Unlike introductory agencies, our service is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We are proud to have been rated ‘Good’ by the CQC in all five measures for being safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led.

We are completely accountable for the care we provide, which eliminates worry and provides reassurance to families that their loved one is in safe hands and receiving the best possible care.

Arranging live-in care for the elderly

At Oxford Aunts, we make the process of arranging a live-in care service for the elderly simple and straightforward.

Our team can arrange for a free, no-obligation home assessment. During the assessment, one of our expert care assessors will meet with you, either at your home or in the hospital if you are being discharged, to discuss your care needs and preferences. This consultation will allow our care assessor to create a highly-personalised care plan that addresses all of your physical, emotional and social needs.

Talk to us about your live-in care needs

To schedule your own care assessment, contact our friendly and approachable team to see how we can help you and your family.

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