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Live-in care


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
Hi everyone,
It has been a while since I last posted on this forum. Our mum is 78 and after 4 weeks in hospital because of sepsis, she is now in the second week of interim residential care waiting to be assessed.
This has been brewing for a while and now there is no doubt that she cannot continue to live independently as it poses too much of a risk to her health and safety, and none of us are able to do this ourselves as financially we can't afford to..
We were looking at engaging a self-employed live-in carer but preferably someone with geriatric/dementia nursing experience. The cost of engaging an agency is just as expensive as some of the more costly nursing homes, if not more in some cases so we wanted to look into a private arrangement.
The problem is that we need it to be 24/7 365 days as none of us are in a position to drop everything for unplanned interruptions in care, so perhaps a 'tag team' would be a good idea, as some of the agencies have in their packages.
I wondered if anyone has had a live in carer on a self-employed basis and how easy it was to recruit.



Registered User
Mar 27, 2017
Dear @HunkyDory

No doubt others will be along later with actual experience of using such self employed carers. That said I have read previous threads about this and the costs can be prohibitive. To cover 24 hours you would need at least two such individuals. Remember they are human and will have periods of sickness, require holiday periods, etc. Sickness could strike very quickly, be short or long term. Any contract arranged would have to cover such eventualities and may require that you and your relatives have to assist at shot notice. Be careful heading down this road in terms of costs, sickness cover, how does your loved one get on with a stranger full time in their home, etc. Not wishing to just bring bad news but better to be prepared before investigating matters further. Wishing you well at this troubling time.

Jamie Wilson

Registered User
Jan 22, 2013
London, UK
@HunkyDory @Whisperer This is not quite correct and it depends on the circumstances. I can't post links here but it's worth bearing in mind the following:

If care is needed for most of the day and night time waking are not frequent and manual handling requirements do not require 2 carers,1 carer should be sufficient
I would strong urge you to look at registered providers with a "good/outstanding" rating or better - particularly when needs have worsened. Freelance/self-employed/introductory model is ok when needs are more companionship, but will cause problems and stress if you need to find replacements for holiday cover/leave etc.
Good live in care can be found that is not excessively expensive when compared to some care homes - for example our costs are £850-1050/week


Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
You will become an employer, with responsibility for National Insurance, PAYE tax, pension, Health & Safety etc.
Self Employment rules are now being tightened, i.e. Must work for more than one customer over a period of time.
Plumber seeing 4 customers a week is ok.
Live-in carer for 1 person will attract HMRC.
I fear it's now time to look at Care Homes.