Live in care - any advice?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Oneoftwo, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Oneoftwo

    Oneoftwo Registered User

    Jan 15, 2015
    1
    Hi everyone, I have joined the site today. Mum has had mild alzheimers for some time but has been coping well. She is a very sprightly 92 and has managed to stay living at home with the help of a couple of carers who come in twice a day. This is what she wants more than anything, to able to stay at home. However, following a short illness over xmas her condition has deteriorated significantly and she has become very tired and quite unstable to the point where we feel she can't be left alone any more. The problem is my sister and I live and work far away and although we both take off as much time as we can to care for mum, the situation is now becoming untenable. We have looked at agencies that can provide a live in carer, as the last thing we know Mum wants is to have to leave and move into a home , but the cost is way beyond our financial reach. Does anyone have any advice about how to find a reliable private carer that would maybe cost a little less. Any thoughts would be appreciated as we are getting desperate.
     
  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,856
    England
    #2 Katrine, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    Hi there. I think it depends where you live, whether there are suitable carers living locally. 18 months ago we decided that my mum needed 2 live-in carers instead of one. We knew the cost would double using our self-employed agency carers. I placed an advertisement in The Lady magazine via their website. I only had 2 replies and both were unsuitable. I got my advertisement money back BTW. I think the response was so poor because my mum lives in the north of Scotland.

    I know everyone can't afford live-in care. It is expensive. We do get some help from the local authority with Direct Payments. I wouldn't want private carers personally. Our agency vets and trains the carers and does their best to match them to the client's needs. The fees of £102 per week per carer are high. However, how could I source carers without their services? If someone is unsuitable I can state I don't want them again and because I am not an employer there is no problem about this. Being an employer is a real hassle.

    With regard to costs, there is the hidden cost of bed and board. We pay their travel costs and the daily rate (variable, depending on client's needs). Currently we pay £80 per day per carer. They are responsible for their own tax and NI. At an hourly rate that is below minimum wage.

    Unless you can get someone local to work part-time hours, I can't see how it can be made much cheaper. The person would also need time off, including holidays, so you need to either have two regulars or family back up.

    It can be done. Several of our regular carers have in the past had long placements of several months duration for private clients. However, they chose to transfer to shorter placements with an agency because being with one client for months at a time can get very tedious. They prefer to have a regular change of scene and a few days off between clients so that they can see family and friends, get their hair done, visit the bank or the dentist etc. For this reason I wouldn't think it is easy to get a carer who is actually 'permanent'.
     
  3. val1

    val1 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    7
    I am a live in carer. I am living with a lady who had a stroke and has Alzheimer's. I live here 24/7 for four weeks at a time, then my replacement comes. There are many agencies who do this. We don't need to be local.
     
  4. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,856
    England
    Hi Val. Not many live-in carers post on TP so its great to have your perspective. Have you ever done private care work, i.e. not through an agency? Why do you choose to be an agency carer? I would be very interested to know, and the OP would probably find it very helpful too.

    I mentioned 'local' because the OP wants to achieve live-in care at lower cost without agency fees. In some areas, including where my mum lives, you just can't find people prepared to live in. Also, travel costs are a factor. On average I pay £150 return for each booking. Costs vary from £60 return to as much as £325 if someone has to fly up at short notice to replace a carer who has dropped out. If the OP''s mum lives in the south of England then travel distances will be shorter, and therefore cheaper. Many carers have Oyster cards for London travel.
     
  5. doodle1

    doodle1 Registered User

    May 11, 2012
    240
    Hi there
    I live in the south of England and employ agency live in care for my parents both of whom have dementia. I also looked into private carers but there are problems such as crb checks,references and the fact that a lot of carers will say they have experience of dementia when in fact they haven't a clue.i would also say that agencies vary in terms of their knowledge and experience too but I have been very happy with our current agency for the last year.
    As for cost I started out paying £500 a week to the carer with an agency fee of £100ish and am now paying £600 a week plus £140 agency fee. I changed agency to make sure carers stayed for a longer time. A care home down here costs between £900 and£1100 per week so I was wondering why you thought that might be the cheaper option. The only point at which home care becomes more tricky is when you add violence or wandering into the formula. Dealt with the former no experience of the latter.hope this helps
     
  6. Maldives13

    Maldives13 Registered User

    Feb 4, 2014
    164
    I am very interested in this post as my poor old 92 year old Mum really doesn't want to go in a home. Trouble is she is social services funded and they won't pay overnight care which is what my Mum needs really. My sister and I go in every day (between us) and are usually there 9-3. She has carers in the morning and tea time and evening but it's through the night seems an issue. I live in the south of England so am very interested in any advice please as well.
    Sorry didn't mean to hijack the post but this is so close to my heart your post .
    Any advice, thoughts ideas gratefully received
     

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