You’ve decided you need to hire a home carer, but this can be a daunting task regardless if it is an existing role which needs replacement, or if it’s an entirely new role. There can be many challenges, and it’s part of the recruitment process to overcome them.
Ultimately you want complete peace of mind that your loved one is being cared for well, given both the emotional, mental and physical support they deserve.
Here are five challenges you might face, and ways to overcome them when hiring a home carer.
1. Deciding you need a carer
The first, and probably the most difficult challenge faced when looking to hire a home carer is deciding that you (or your loved one) needs one in the first place. It can be hard for someone to come to terms with the fact that they are not as independent as they used to be and that they are unable to do some of the things that were once easy. They probably value their independence and may worry about being a burden. However, it may be that you are currently caring for your family member yourself, or that you are unable to care for them due to other responsibilities but know that they need help.
There are ways to overcome this resistance – by hiring a home carer you may be able to help your loved one to stay in their own home for longer so make sure you ensure them that the best way to stay independent in their own home is to hire a home carer. It’s good to talk about hiring a home care as a positive thing, making your loved ones life easier, maintaining independence, preventing injury and allowing them to enjoy more time at home.
2. Deciding on the level of care required
The next challenge is deciding what level of care your loved one needs. Do they need someone to pop in each day to help with small tasks which they are no longer able to do (ironing, light housekeeping, meal preparations). Or do they need someone around all the time because they are highly likely to have a fall or are unable to do much on their own at all?
To overcome the challenge of deciding the intensity of care your loved one needs, it is a good start to think about a normal day – how much of the normal tasks in a normal day can they do for themselves? If your loved one needs assistance from the minute they get out of bed in the morning, with tasks like getting washed and dressed, making breakfast, etc, then it may be a good idea to consider a live-in home carer.
Different types of home carers are listed below:
- Team of home carers – this may be a team of two carers who work together to provide 24/7 care. This type of live in home carer would be suitable for someone who needs help with most daily activities, needs someone present all the time, and can be a long term solution.
- Single live-in home carer – a single live-in home carer would usually live in the property or in nearby accommodation provided by the individual or family. This type of live in home carer would also be suitable for someone who needs help with most daily activities, however they are unable to work more than 6 days a week without a break
- Live out home carer – these carers would visit your loved one for a set number of hours each day/week. They might also be able to provide on-call and emergency support depending on their location to the property and other commitments. They are suitable for individuals who only need assistance with certain tasks, and do not need someone to be present 24/7.
3. Deciding what you need your home carer to do
Deciding on a job specification for your home carer can be challenging and it all depends on the specific tasks your loved one needs help with. Do they need more of a companion, someone to help more with the housekeeping, or someone who is trained and qualified to provide all care duties, such as helping them with bathing and medication?
The solution to this challenge goes hand in hand with deciding if you need a live-in or live-out carer (as above) – the best thing to do is to go through a typical day and write down everything that your loved one would usually do – which parts do they need assistance with? By doing this you can have a good idea of your requirements, helping you to find the perfect home carer.
Care providers can give a varied and flexible range of duties, and with a private home carer, you have much more flexibility and the ability to mix and match the duties to your individual needs. Home carers duties may include:
- Medical support – administration of medicine etc.
- Nursing support – some private home carers are trained nurses and able to provide nursing support skills.
- Washing and hygiene support – such as bathing, toilets and hygiene if the individual is not able to do this themselves.
- Housekeeping – managing and caring for the home if the individual or family cannot do it themselves.
- Cooking – cooking food.
- Shopping/Errands – as appropriate to the household.
- Pet care – walking the dog and caring for pets in the household.
- Specialist care – some carers will be specialists with disabilities, elderly care or dementia etc.
4. Making changes to your home
If your family member struggles with mobility you may need to make changes to their house. Perhaps a stair lift, handrails, or a bath seat should be installed. Making these changes when needed is important for the safety of both your loved one as well as their home carer.
Their GP can make recommendations for an Occupational Therapist who can advise the best course of action, and what changes need to be made in order to make your loved ones home safe for them.
5. Deciding how much you should be paying a home carer
One of the biggest questions is how much you should be paying for a home carer. Home carers in the private sector will vary greatly in cost depending on their experience and qualifications, and well as their duties and hours of work. Whether they are provided with accommodation will also affect the amount you should pay them. Here is a handy example of pay rates:
- An entry level home carer will expect between £400-600net per week (if full-time) or between £15-20 net per hour (if part time)
- A mid level home carer will expect between £600-800net per week (if full-time) or between £20-28net per hour (if part time)
- A high level specialist home carer will expect upwards of £800net per week (if full-time) or upwards of £28net per hour (if part time)
- A live-in carer working between 40-60 hours per week can cost anything from £350-£1000net per week (£8.75 – £16.66net per hour), as well as accommodation, bills, food (optional) and car (optional).
Hiring a home carer can be a challenging and daunting process – luckily we are super experienced and can give you advice if you need it – give us a call or drop us a line and we’d be happy to chat through our process and how we can best help you hire a carer.