Not everyone has what it takes to be a live-in carer. It's an extremely rewarding job – but it can also be a difficult one. Have you got what it takes to look at live in care?
Are You A Positive, Outgoing Type Of Person?
Sadly, as people age they can lose their self-motivation and become withdrawn and inward looking. You need to be their sunshine and to keep them alert and interested in the world around them. You will need a positive attitude especially if your client is suffering from confusion, short-term memory loss or dementia when you may find yourself having to repeat the same information several times.
Are you fit enough?
Your client's house should be fitted with lifting and moving aids such as stair lifts and bath seats but you will still spend a lot of the day on your feet. In addition to the basic cooking and cleaning you would expect to do for yourself you will need to fetch and lift objects if your client is unable to do so themselves. You may also find yourself reading aloud if their eyesight is poor and answering the door or telephone.
Can You Run A Household?
A live-in carer needs to be able to look after their clients house as well as their client. You need to be able to spot when a job needs doing and not wait for it to be pointed out to you. You will need to be decisive when it comes to the crunch and possess a level of common sense to ensure your decisions are grounded in reality. Ideally you will hold a full UK driving licence to allow you to fetch groceries and ferry your client to appointments and meetups.
Are You Dedicated and Compassionate?
One of the huge advantages elderly people and their families see in live-in care is the fact that one carer will be responsible for their loved relative. You will need to be dedicated to your role. Although the providers offer support, mentoring and professional development, a lot of the time you will be working on your own and you need the strength of character to get through.
You also need to have bags of compassion. Ageing is a difficult process – both for your client and for their family – and you need to be able to know when to tread lightly. Not only will you need compassion when dealing with your client – especially if they are having difficulty adjusting to the limitations ageing is placing on their activities you will also need to be able to empathise with a family watching a parent or other relative's decline as well.
Does This Describe You?
Does this sound like you? Are you happy to live in someone else's house and care for them full-time? Does the idea of being able to save your salary to travel between appointments appeal to you? Do you think a live in care job is the right choice for your next career move?