Live-in carers provide companionship, personal care, and support with domestic work and leisure activities to vulnerable, disabled or elderly people within their homes.
They provide 24hour care which enables clients to remain at home with as much independence as possible, and support them in achieving a great quality of life.
This detailed guide includes a full live-in carer job description and everything else you need to know about live-in carers, including salaries, skills, qualifications, typical employers and more.
- Live-in carer job description
- How much do live-in carers earn?
- What does a live-in carer do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs live-in carers?
- Which junior jobs progress to live-in carer roles?
Live-in carer job description
Live-in Carer |Acorn Care
About Acorn Care
Established in 1999, Acorn Care are a leading provider of live-in care services in England. We believe helping clients live the best life they can at home isn’t just work, it’s life changing work. Surrounded by their memories and supported by a live-in carer, every single Acorn Care client gets to live their very best life, in the place they love the most – their home.
About the role
As a Live-in Carer, you’ll provide personal care to our clients within their homes, help them manage their chores and leisure activities, alongside providing companionship and emotional support.
- Maintain a high-quality personalised care service, promoting independence and providing companionship
- Assist with personal care tasks, including bathing, dressing and continence support
- Prepare and cook nutritious meals, supporting with feeding when required
- Manage medication and treatments in accordance with the clients care plan
- Ensure safe transport and companionship to and from hospital and GP appointments
- Support with social engagement such as encouraging hobbies and interests, and encouraging the client to maintain an active part in their social groups
- Run errands such as shopping and picking up prescriptions
- Household duties including hoovering, dusting, laundry
Location & commitments
- Full time position with a variety of rota patterns
- Extensive training prior to your first placement
- 24/7/365 support from the on-call team
- Placements available across the UK
- UK travel expenses covered while on a placement
- Previous professional care experience in any care setting, such as live-in carer, domiciliary carer, care assistant, support worker, healthcare assistant or similar
- Attained or willing to work towards the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social care
- A full UK driver’s licence is advantageous
- Flexibility to travel to the client placement (UK travel expenses covered)
- Enhanced DBS check
Contact us to apply
If you have experience of providing care in a professional capacity as a care assistant, live in carer or similar, we’d love to hear from you. Please send your CV and covering letter detailing your relevant experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much do live-in carers earn?
Live-in carers earn a salary of £37,500 which is well above the national average.
Live-in carer salaries in the UK
- Low: £37,500
- Average: £37,500
- High: £38,627
Source: Total Jobs
Live-in carer salaries will vary depending on;
- Their level of experience – e.g. does the live-in carer have many years’ experience in a live-in role, or are they new to the care sector?
- Their level of qualifications – e.g. has the live-in carer achieved any care related qualifications and to what level?
- The the client’s needs – e.g. does the client require minimal support such as household chores and social outings, or are they extremely vulnerable and require significant care such as those who are terminally ill?
For example, a senior live-in carer with several years’ experience supporting terminally ill clients in their own home is going to be offered a higher salary than a carer who is just beginning their NVQ training and has never worked in a live-in care role.
Remember, these are average figures taken from job advert samples, and they do not include extra benefits such as overtime and non-financial benefits such as healthcare.
What does a live-in carer do?
Looking at the job description, here are the typical tasks and responsibilities that live-in carers will complete;
- Promoting independence – Helping people to continue living in their home, safely and in comfort, being on-call 24-hours a day.
- Companionship – Creating a bond and getting to know the client, such as sitting with them to watch their favourite tv show and having a chat over a cup of tea.
- Personal care – Supporting with tasks like getting dressed, washing, brushing teeth, and going to the toilet.
- Cooking and preparing meals – Chopping vegetables and cooking homemade meals, ensuring the client gets a hot meal every day.
- Monitoring and overseeing medication – Giving the correct dose of each medication at the correct times.
- Supporting with public outings and enjoying social activities – Providing safe transport and accompanying clients to social events such as the theatre or a local garden centre.
- Mobility assistance – Helping clients with reduced mobility to move around their home, including reaching things on high shelves and helping them out of their seat.
- Domestic support – Completing daily household chores such as doing laundry, dusting, vacuuming, and doing the dishes.
- Supporting with daily errands – Completing errands such as posting letters, paying bills, picking up prescriptions, and nipping out for essentials like milk.
What do live-in carers need?
Live-in carers need a range of skills, experience, training, and qualifications to offer high quality care to their clients.
Live-in carers will ideally have some experience in a caring role including similar duties such as assisting with personal care, and previous experience as a live-in carer is helpful.
Live-in carer skills
Live-in carers must have a variety of skills to provide high quality care to their clients:
- Dedication: Approaching all duties with a positive, professional attitude, even though care work is often unpredictable, surprising, challenging and sometimes messy
- Personal care: Knowledge of providing personal care such as bathing and dressing
- Medication: Ensuring that clients receive correct medication for any ongoing health issues
- Communication: Written and verbal communication with clients who may be hard of hearing or visually impaired, effectively engaging with the client and building a positive, trusting relationship
- Empathy: Understanding the client’s challenges and goals, to provide effective, personalised care and support
- Flexibility: Responding to constantly changing needs, working flexibly to ensure client’s needs are met
- Health and social care knowledge: Maintaining up to date training and knowledge to effectively support and care for each client
- Organisation: Managing the home including ensuring the client’s home is a clean, safe, and comfortable environment, which can include anything from preparing food, completing household chores, or completing admin tasks such as paying bills and posting letters
- Reliability: Working unusual hours and being available to attend to client’s needs outside of those hours, promoting consistent care
Live-in carer qualifications
There are no specific qualifications to attain to work as a live-in carer, as many competent and compassionate carers have learned through experience, however the Care Quality Commission (the industry regulator) require all carers to be enrolled on a Level 2 health and social care qualification, such as the Diploma in Health and Social Care.
The CQC also specifies that any carer working with the elderly should also complete four statutory training modules:
- Moving and Handling
- First Aid
- Food Hygiene
Health and social care qualifications
There are different levels of care qualifications that can provide carers with a basic understanding and competence in the skills of caring.
- Level 1 qualifications: These qualifications can provide sound background knowledge; however, care capability only develops when completing a diploma or working in the care environment.
- Level 2 and 3 Diplomas: Diplomas in health and social care are the core qualifications for carers. They show a level of competence and knowledge and ensure that carers can offer quality care and support and are fit to practice.
Additional CQC training
Although the CQC only specifies four statutory training modules, to offer high-quality, person-centred care it is important to attend further relevant training such as:
- Cultural sensitivity
- Communicating effectively
- Health and safety
- Personal care
- Infection control
- The ageing process
- End of life care
- Dementia care at home
- Parkinson’s care
- Depression care
- Medications administration
- Cooking and nutrition
Criminal record check
Live-in carers often work with vulnerable people such as the elderly, disabled and those with dementia – so employers will require a CRB check to ensure that staff have no previous convictions that could make them unsuitable to work with vulnerable people.
What is expected of live-in carers?
Typically, live-in carers are expected to commit the following;
- Extended working hours – live-in carers work an average of 8-10hr days (not necessarily consecutive hours) but need to be on hand outside of these hours to help the client if needed. On average, most live-in carers will work between 6.5 and 7 days a week
- Valid driving licence – as most live-in carers drive on their client’s behalf it is beneficial to hold a full, valid UK driving licence and make sure the appropriate insurance cover is arranged
- Location – based in the client’s home
- Regular travel – to complete household chores such as buying groceries and to take clients on social outings
Live-in carer benefits
Alongside a competitive salary, live-in care positions tend to include the following benefits:
- Free room and board
- Return travel expenses when starting and finishing a contract
- Flexible working patterns
- Additional payments – such as for bank holidays
- Training and development
Who employs live-in carers?
Typically, live-in carers are employed by the local health trust, a care agency or are self-employed and work directly for the client they are caring for.
- Local health trust – local health trusts are part of the NHS, they manage hospitals and other health and social care facilities, and they provide a wide range of health and social care services to the community
- Care agency – care agencies employ care workers and arrange for them to visit vulnerable people to provide care services
- Self-employed – self-employed carers work for themselves rather than for a company such as a local health trust or care agency; they may have several clients on a flexible basis or might live full-time with one client in their own home
Which junior jobs progress to live-in carer roles?
Although it is possible to move straight into a live-in carer position without prior experience, most employers will prefer their candidate to have some previous care experience, such as:
Domiciliary care worker
Supporting clients in their own home with day to day household tasks, personal care or any other activity that allows them to maintain their quality of life and independent living. Carers usually visit their clients for short periods of time, such as from 30 minutes a week and up to several visits a day.
Junior healthcare role working under the guidance of a healthcare professional such as a nurse. Specific duties vary, but essentially duties include personal care, assisting with feeding, monitoring patient conditions, and completing health checks.
Which senior jobs do live-in carers progress to?
Although the role of a live-in carer is a hugely rewarding career choice, it also offers a variety of progression opportunities such as:
A care coordinator helps to manage a client’s care; they monitor and coordinate care plans, connect clients with healthcare support providers, and evaluate their progress. This is the most common next step into management for most live-in carers.
Mobile care responder
Mobile care responders respond to activated home care alarms. They are trained in all aspects of general social care and use specialist equipment to assist people who have fallen.
With further education, such as completing a nursing degree, live-in carers could move into a career as a registered nurse. Their duties typically include monitoring patients, administering medication, maintaining records, consulting with other healthcare providers, and supporting patients.
Live-in carer job description – conclusion
Although being a live-in carer is an incredibly demanding, emotional, and draining career, it is also one of the most rewarding. Supporting someone to stay in their home, within their community, and surrounded by their cherished possessions is incredibly fulfilling.
It also pays a good average salary and offers a variety of career progression opportunities.