When You Need Live-in Care…
A live-in caregiver resides with the person they care for and is available to assist them any time of the day or night. Live-in caregivers are usually given a room and are expected to sleep, but they are “on call” if the care recipient needs help during the night. Live-in caregivers provide assistance with all activities of daily living. They also provide assistance with healthcare needs.
Expect more than just an employee
Live-in care ensures a qualified caregiver is available to you or your loved one as needed, but it is much more than that. Clients can expect not only an employee, but also a companion and a friend. As someone who will be caring for you or your loved one for the majority of each day, the live-in caregiver will become a part of the family. They will get involved in daily activities such as cooking, cleaning and other housekeeping tasks, as well as hobbies and recreational activities. The more the caregiver is included in family activities, the more comfortable the arrangements will be for everyone involved.
Expect respect for professional boundaries
All caregivers are responsible to delineate and maintain professional boundaries to provide patient-centered care. Our caregivers receive training and written guidelines to ensure that they don’t over-step established professional guidelines. Caregivers treat patients with respect for their individual needs and values, and promote patient autonomy and self-determination.
Expect quality of service
All live-in care providers must meet quality and safety standards and regulations. Clients and patients are always protected by the law. Live-in caregivers are all highly qualified and trained, so you can expect the necessary level of care. Continuous assessment of needs and requirements is performed by the DTN Home Care nursing staff, in order to ensure that care is most effective and appropriate. At all times the client and patient can expect to be treated with respect by the caregiver, regardless of sex, cultural background and language, age, beliefs and disability.
Adaptations to culture and religion
Extra thought and planning are needed when there are significant cultural or religious differences between the client and the caregiver. There are a myriad of considerations for peoples of differing religions and cultures, including what subjects are appropriate to talk about when and how and what communication behaviors are acceptable, such as loudness of voice and how to address others. It is always best to anticipate these challenges and work out possible solutions ahead of time. If problems do develop, it is important to address the issues quickly and directly.
Follow a plan of care
Live-in caregivers are required to follow the plan of care prepared by our registered nurse. The plan is individualized for each client and provides the structure that the live-in caregiver needs to give the best possible care. If the client, caregiver or a family member has any concerns, they should notify the case manager. The care plan will change as the client’s needs change. It is the client’s responsibility to notify the case manager when changes occur.
Provide time off
Live-in caregivers often work all day and sometimes get little sleep at night. They do not get regular breaks, nor do they have assistance from co-workers. However, live-in caregivers are not expected to work twenty-four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. If possible, family members should provide short breaks throughout the week. If family members are not able to do so, then the live-in caregiver can schedule time off with our office, as needed. We do not have a written policy regarding break times, as each family and each caregiver’s needs are unique. However, we do work with families and caregivers to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
Live-in caregivers require a certain amount of time off, relief and a level of privacy. It’s important for the caregiver to maintain outside interests and goals. If stress becomes burdensome, the caregiver may need to reduce the time worked or seek support through a counselor or caregiver support group. Keeping healthy boundaries between the caregiver job and personal time is vitally important for managing caregiver stress.
Provide sleeping arrangements
An important preparation for a live-in caregiver is a separate sleeping area, and preferably also a separate toilet and washroom. Live-in caregivers require adequate sleep so they can perform their duties properly. Caregivers should bring their own pillows, blankets and toiletries. Clients should allow caregivers personal time to shower and care for themselves each day.
Live-in caregivers are responsible for buying their own food and preparing their own meals. Storage and refrigeration should be available for the caregiver’s use. Clients may invite the caregiver to share a meal with them, if they choose to.
Rules of the house
The client or other family members living in the home may have certain house rules for the caregiver to abide by. These should be made clear as soon as possible. Rules relating to listening to music and watching television, the temperature of the home, where it is acceptable to eat, and other rules and customs should be agreed upon in advance, in order to help the caregiver adjust properly and respect the family’s boundaries.
If you or a family member is considering live-in care, call Dakota Travel Nurse Home Care today at 701.663.5373 for a free, in-home consultation.