What Does a Live-In Carer Do?

A. Garrett

A live-in carer provides aid to individuals who are mentally or physically disabled, incapacitated, or elderly and consequently require direct supervision throughout the day and night. Carer jobs are provided by home health agencies or people seeking a personal carer for acquaintances or loved ones. The duties of a live-in carer range from basic housekeeping to minor medical procedures depending on the certifications and qualifications of the live-in carer. Such individuals may also provide consultation to family members or guardians on issues like the basic nutrition, hygiene, and level of comfort of the client. Becoming a carer usually requires a minimal amount of training in the successful completion of a competency exam.

The Heimlich maneuver is an important first aid procedure to learn in order to prevent choking.
The Heimlich maneuver is an important first aid procedure to learn in order to prevent choking.

Home health agencies comprise the majority of live-in carer hires. Clients are comfortable using the personnel provided by such services because the agencies are typically required to satisfy certain government regulations in order to operate. The primary functions of a live-in carer are based around basic aspects of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, clothe laundering, and meal preparation. Carers may also be asked to transport patients to various appointments or functions.

A live-in caregiver may provide physical therapy.
A live-in caregiver may provide physical therapy.

The types of carers available may vary. For example, a live-in carer may have nursing experience or certification that allows him to offer basic medical services like blood pressure monitoring and physical therapy sessions, or to use medical devices like respirators and feeding tubes. A special needs carer, also known as a direct support professional, can teach physically challenged or mentally disabled patients how to care for themselves and in some cases work and live on their own.

Most live-in carer jobs require applicants to have at least a high school diploma. New hires are trained on the job by registered nurses or more experienced carers prior to working unsupervised. Carers are trained in basic household maintenance tasks such as making beds, sanitary cleaning, and nutrition. They are also taught the correct way to physically interact with patients without injuring them. Life-saving procedures such as CPR and the Heimlich maneuver may also be taught.

Some states and countries may also specify that a live-in carer undergoes a minimal amount of formal training by a certified instructor or school. Additionally, a carer may have to pass an exam testing her knowledge of patient care and professionalism. It should be noted that some regions allow carers to bypass required training if they achieve a certain score on the exam.

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Discussion Comments


I'd also want any live-in carer to have a thorough background check and sterling references. I've heard terrible stories about some people robbing their patients and even abusing them.

Besides that, a live-in carer who is good at his or her job is worth his weight in gold. One thing this person does is provide peace of mind to a family. They know someone is with their loved one at all times, and can call if there is an emergency. It is such a relief to have someone like this in place. It's too bad most people cannot afford this level of care, but for those who can, it's invaluable.

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