Ivy Palmer - Care Advice & News

A day in the life of a live-in carer

Offer Support and Reassurance to Someone in their Own Home

Live-in carers provide a home care solution for those who require full-time assistance. Customers are often known as service users and typically they might include the elderly, those with illnesses such as dementia or people who suffer from frequent falls. A live-in carer can offer peace of mind to vulnerable individuals as well as their families who are not able to provide around-the-clock care.

The Duties of a Live-In Carer

A carer will be expected to provide full home support to the service user. Everyday tasks will include general chores such as laundry, ironing, vacuuming, cleaning and shopping. You may also need to assist with personal hygiene and the taking of medication. The preparation and cooking of nutritious meals using fresh ingredients is also a vital part of providing live-in care. Sometimes the service user will want to be involved to some extent in these jobs, whilst at other times they will want to rely entirely on the carer to handle the workload.


Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the job is to offer companionship to your customer. Some may wish to have someone to talk to, or to enjoy watching TV or playing games with. Others prefer to enjoy their own space whilst having their daily needs taken care of. The key to understanding the balance required in the role of a live-in carer is to provide flexibility. You should be able to adapt your routines at a moment’s notice to accommodate the wishes of your service user. You might find them to be particularly tired or unwell one day, whilst another day they might wish to spend time with guests who are visiting the house. It is vital that you possess impeccable communication skills and can handle different situations with respect at all times.

How Many Hours Do You Work?

Your hours of employment will be agreed at the beginning of your service contract. Although you will live as a carer for 24 hours of the day, you should expect to be on call for around 10 hours of the day. Often you will work out set periods of time for you to rest. This will certainly include time to sleep as well as relaxation time, perhaps in your own bedroom or other quarters depending on the size of the accommodation. Live-in carers are paid employees and are entitled to time off work. You must book your holiday entitlement in advance to allow alternative care to be arranged during your absence. Sometimes if you wish to take an extended period of holiday in order to return home to your own family, then it is possible to take unpaid leave.

The Length of Placements

The type of placement that is available as a live-in carer is entirely variable. Some service users only require support for a limited period, perhaps to help them settle back into home after a hospital stay, or even if their usual family members are taking a holiday. Others request an extended commitment and will be matched with someone who is willing to build a long-term care relationship.

Life as an Independent People live-in carer can perhaps be hard work at times as we have high standards. However, it will also be an incredibly rewarding experience where you enjoy providing comfort and reassurance to someone who really needs your help.