Live-in care is a lifeline for thousands of elderly residents in the UK, and as we enter another national lockdown, the need for live-in home carers has never been greater. But can you still access or apply for live-in care during the pandemic? In this user-friendly guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about obtaining this essential service during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Devastating Impact of COVID-19 on Residential Care Homes
Residential care homes have been severely affected by coronavirus in the UK, with a report published by the British Geriatrics Society claiming that 28-50 per cent of all COVID-related deaths occur in care home residents.
With over 81,000 fatalities recorded since the start of the pandemic in 2021, these figures are alarming, particularly for those who need residential care and, if you are looking for a solution to keep your loved ones safe during these challenging times, a care home may not be a viable option.
Stay at home, save lives, protect the NHS is the single most important action we can take during this global pandemic; and, with the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions most at risk of succumbing to the virus, it is essential that we care for our loved ones in their own homes with live-in care support.
Benefits Of Live-In Care During The COVID-19 Pandemic
The benefits of live-in care are well-documented. It allows the elderly and those who disabilities or special needs to remain in their own homes, and it provides families with peace of mind. It is the perfect solution for our ageing population, and during the times of a pandemic, it is significantly safer than residential care homes.
With a live-in carer, your loved ones are less likely to come into contact with the virus, they’ll have practical and emotional support, and perhaps most importantly of all, they’ll have companionship during lockdown when family and friends are unable to visit.
Other benefits of applying for live-in care during the coronavirus outbreak include:
• Unlike non-resident care workers, live-in carers reside in the home 24/7, so they are less likely to come into contact with the virus than those coming and going throughout the day.
• Live-in carers take care of medication and grocery shopping, and they practice strict infection control procedures ensure that all contactless deliveries are sanitised and safe.
• Should your loved one need to leave home to get a Covid-19 vaccine, or for any other reason, a live-in carer will ensure that they wear essential PPE and practice good-hygiene practices such as washing their hands when they get home.
• Trained to spot the symptoms of coronavirus; live-in carers can help your loved ones get urgent medical help if necessary, and provide a superior level of care during isolation.
• Loneliness amongst the elderly is a real problem in the UK, with over 1.2 million people affected each year. With live-in care, your family members will have someone to talk to during the day, and someone close to hand if they need assistance at night, and this is one of the greatest benefits of all.
How to Apply for Live-In Care During Lockdown
While many businesses and services have closed down to comply with lockdown regulations, live-in care is considered an essential service, and as such, it is still widely accessible to those in need. There are three ways in which you can apply for live-in care: privately, through an introductory agency, or via a home care agency. Here we give a brief overview of each option:
Sourcing Live-In Carers Privately: While it is possible to employ a private carer during the pandemic via advertising or social media platforms, it is perhaps not the best option during this time. You would need to interview potential candidates at home, which could expose you to the virus, and you would be responsible for cross-checking all references. As an employer, you would be accountable for paying wages, tax, and national insurance contributions for your live-in carer too, so it is hardly a hassle-free option.
Finding Live-In Care Through An Introductory Agency: Many introductory agencies in the UK connect live-in carers with those who need their support. These carers work on a self-employed basis and are responsible for paying their tax and NI contributions. However, you are ultimately in charge of managing their hours and paying for their services.
Accessing Live-In Care Through A Home Care Agency: The easiest way to source live-in care is through a trusted agency such as Live In Care, who will match you with the perfect carer based on your needs and personal interests. Regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), agencies such as these provide fully-managed care at home packages tailored to suit the individual (or couple) and do so at competitive rates. They provide round-the-clock support too, offering families peace of mind.
How Much Is Live-In Care In The UK?
You can expect to pay around £875 per week for a live-in carer in the UK, which is comparable to the cost of living in a residential care home. If you have less than £23,250 in savings, you may be eligible to claim live-in care costs from your local council, although this depends on many factors. You can take an assessment on the NHS website to see if you qualify.
For a personalised quotation, contact your local Live In Care Agency, and provide loved ones with the at-home support they need throughout the pandemic and beyond.