Why Become A Live-In Carer: Andrea’s Story

As a live-in carer, you’ll provide care and companionship for our elderly clients in the comfort of their own home. As you live with the person, it means you’re on hand to assist with all aspects of daily life, from personal care, to household chores, to trips out and about; but most importantly, you’re there for those little moments in life.

We asked one of our current live-in carers, Andrea, about her thoughts on this type of role…

Why did you choose to become a live-in carer?

I got into live-in care because I was tired of feeling like my work didn’t benefit anybody. I guess people need coffee, but being a barista isn’t terribly fulfilling! Care seemed like the perfect solution. I’m also a musician and a photographer, so the week on/week off schedule I have doing live-in care means I work a lot of hours in a row, but then get more time off to pursue these things.

Why Bright Care?

What stood out to me about Bright Care was that they seemed to do things differently. The website explained that they put a lot of effort into matching clients to carers, which really appealed to me, and I immediately loved the founding story and the fact that the company is family run. From the first contact I had with the hiring manager and throughout the process thereafter it was clear that Bright Care have a supportive and helpful team, and that they genuinely want to make life better not only for their clients but for their staff as well. I thought this was really unique.

With live-in care you don’t have any time restraints, which I love! It means I can still get all those things done throughout the day, but then I also have all the time in the world to just talk and be present with my client.

AndreaLive-In Bright Carer

What Do You Find Particularly Rewarding?

I enjoy spending time with my clients – just chatting with them, sharing stories and learning about their past. All Bright Care visits are a minimum of 2 hours, which means hourly carers have a chance to spend quality time with their clients, but shorter visits by necessity will always be more about getting things done. With live-in care you don’t have any time restraints, which I love! It means I can still get all those things done throughout the day, but then I also have all the time in the world to just talk and be present with my client.

Have You Got Any Top Tips?

It’s natural for carers to have an ingrained task-orientated mindset, but I think if you approach live-in care this way you’re missing the point. It takes time to shake that off, but it’s important that you don’t feel you need to be physically working at all times, or doing something every minute of the day. Rather, part of the role as a live-in carer is just being there to relax with the client, which might mean sitting around a fair bit. You shouldn’t feel that you have to be physically working all the time, or doing something during every minute of the day. You have to be comfortable enough to just relax.

What Does A Typical Day Look Like?

I work one week on, one week off. When I’m working, I’m up at about 8 o’clock and depending on how well my client has slept, I’ll help to get him out of bed, showered, and ready for the day by about half nine.  I currently have a second Bright Carer who comes in during the morning until half eleven so if I’ve been up a lot in the night I can go for a little nap. That’s really helpful, and great to know that option is there.

  • Morning: We’ll have breakfast, which lasts about an hour. My client likes to do jigsaw puzzles and crosswords so we’ll often work on something like that in the morning, after which I let him have some time to himself (he doesn’t like constant chat!) while I do some cleaning. I spend a lot of time trying to keep him awake so that he sleeps better at night. You always need to be thinking up new topics of conversation and new things to do.
  • Afternoon: We’ll have lunch together, which is normally soup with tea and toast while he reads the paper. I’ll then do some dishes, cleaning, and laundry. Another carer comes in from 4pm-8pm to arrange dinner and do the washing up.  We’ll all have a nice chat together before I head off for my break. I’m in Troon currently so it means I’m right on the seaside.
  • Evening: In the evening we’ll have a cup of coffee and a pastry and watch TV together, usually joined by his wife. I’ll help get him ready for bed between half nine and ten and then head to bed myself.

What Do You Consider To Be Most Challenging About The Role?

It’s not so much the job itself, but being away at work the whole week sometimes makes it difficult to arrange my social life and to get everything done at home.

I live in Glasgow and my client is currently in Troon. I only have to travel once a week and it’s ideal because I get city life as well as seaside life. I love it.

AndreaLive-In Bright Carer

What Qualities Do You Think Makes A Good Live-In Carer?

I think you need to have a calm attitude. You can’t get frantic about getting things done as I think this creates a stressful environment. Rather, you need to help to keep the home relaxed (especially if the client has dementia, it’s important to keep them from becoming agitated).

Patience is important too. When you’re caring for someone with dementia, it can sometimes get wearing if your client repeats themselves a lot. You’ve got to be patient and be able to maintain interest and engage with them no matter how many times you’ve heard the story.

Any Final Comments?

I really think life as a live-in carer is brilliant, and it offers a great work/life balance. If you make the most of your weeks off you can get so much done (I essentially get two whole weeks off a month!). My family is all in Canada so it means that I have the time and flexibility to travel back there fairly often and visit plenty of other places too. For anyone else who’s in a similar situation, I can’t think of a better arrangement.

Been inspired by Andrea? Speak to our Recruitment Co-ordinator on 07809 210 571 to find out more about our live-in care opportunities, or find our more about the role and our requirements here.

Alternatively, click below to apply.