Need 24-Hour Care for a Parent? A “live-in” arrangement is best: here is how it works
24-hour live-in arrangements are much in demand these days, and it’s not only because of their cost savings. Here first are their benefits:
Who benefits the most
You and your parent would both benefit greatly. In your case, having a devoted caregiver living in with your parent gives you great peace of mind, particularly if you live at a distance or in another state. Having the one caregiver day and night would give your siblings and other family members added comfort as well. When they call, they know who is going to be with Mom or Dad.
But most of all, it’s your parent who would feel safer and sleep better knowing that his or her favorite caregiver is resting in an adjacent room.
The cost savings are enormous
Live-in arrangements cost approximately half of what it would cost to get 24-hour care by way of “shift” personnel. If you were to hire say 2 x 12-hour shifts through an agency, you could expect to pay $20/hour x 24 hours = $480/day, whereas a live-in caregiver (again hired through an agency) would cost you at most $240/day.
Other Significant Benefits
1. Live-in arrangements are ideal for bonding between the caregiver and the care recipient, the result making for added caregiver loyalty and avoiding caregiver turnover.
2. By avoiding the commotion of shift personnel checking in and out every 12 hours, the stress-free atmosphere the live-in arrangement creates in the home is best for your parent’s frame of mind and wellbeing.
How Live-in Arrangements Work
You can get live-in coverage for:
- As little as two consecutive days (example: over a weekend)
- 5 days/week (example: Sunday to Friday)
- 7-days/week (this remains ongoing for as long as you need)
Typically, the popular 7-day live-in program involves a “primary” live-in caregiver, who moves in and lives with your parent five days a week. You would then need another live-in caregiver for the weekend, thus enabling the regular 5-day aide to get some respite.
5 Guidelines about Live-in Caregivers
1. Live-in caregivers have a home life of their own that they go to on their days off
2. Great caregivers are not all that easy to come by, so it benefits you to ensure that your caregiver is respected and treated well
3. They eat from the “household availability” and from what they prepare for your parent; you would therefore do well to ensure that there are always groceries and snacks around; the cost of food is on you, but they can do the grocery shopping
4. Ideally, the live-in caregiver would have a room of her own, and she should be given some privacy, rest periods and preferably her own TV
5. If you expect your live-in caregiver to drive your parent around, it is always better that they use the family car rather than their own
Nothing is more precious for the children of aging parents than to have good harmony reign in their parents’ homes. This is particularly true when a great live-in caregiver shows up, moves in, takes charge and settles down nicely. Cling to her for dear life!