More than 75% of adults age 50 and older want to stay in their homes as they age. However, there may be some circumstances that keep them from achieving this, such as health. Live-in care is a great option for individuals that want to remain in their homes, but need some assistance in order to do so.

Here, we explore what live-in care is, how it differs from 24/7 care, and who can benefit from it.

Bluebird CEO, Stuart Brunson, and Heather Brooks, Regional Director, discussed this topic on our podcast, Senior Care Conversations. Listen to the episode here.

What Is Live-In Care and How It’s Different from 24/7 Care

Live-in care can be slightly confusing for people not familiar with the home care industry because it may make them think of somebody who needs a residence coming to stay with their family member and being there all the time. However, this isn’t the case. At its most basic level, live-in care means that there is a staff person or a caregiver in the home at all times.

When you talk about live-in care with an agency, it involves a caregiver coming to a loved one’s home and staying for a certain number of days, whatever their shift may be, and then possibly alternating with other caregivers who do the same to cover the whole week. The caregiver stays throughout the day and night, but live-in care is not the same thing as 24/7 care.

The main difference between the two is that 24/7 care involves providing care to an individual at all hours of the day without the caregiver being able to have uninterrupted rest. With live-in care, the caregiver is in the home, but they get eight hours of sleep over the course of the night. Live-in care also offers a reduced cost when compared to 24/7 care because the caregiver is not an alert bedside person able to give hands-on care all 24 hours of the day. Rather, they help mainly during waking hours.

Live-in care is extremely flexible in that the sleeping hours don’t have to be traditional — the caregiver can adapt to whatever the individual’s sleeping habits are. For example, if someone regularly goes to sleep at 2 AM and wakes at noon, the caregiver can adjust their sleep schedule to fit with that. If a need arises during the sleeping hours, the caregiver will certainly help, but the essential part is that the large portion of the minimum eight hours of sleep they get is uninterrupted so that they get well-rested and are good caregivers the next morning.

When It May be Appropriate

Live-in care is a great option for a variety of situations in which an individual shouldn’t be alone. For people who have suffered a stroke, have dementia or Parkinson’s, or any other disease or disorder, having a live-in caregiver is a good choice to help them with everyday tasks and keep them company.

Another situation live-in care is suitable for is for postsurgical care. Following several different outpatient surgeries or even inpatient surgeries, when discharge happens, the doctors don’t want someone to be alone. If the patient doesn’t have family members in the area and they’re not supposed to be alone for a certain amount of time for various reasons such as for observation or assisting with pain medicines, live-in care is a great option. Live-in care doesn’t have to be a multi-year engagement, it could be a multi-day engagement to help with recovery.

Individuals weakened from aging also greatly benefit from live-in care. Everyday activities such as getting up and down out of bed, out of a chair, standing in the kitchen to get a meal, transferring in and out of the shower or on and off of the commode — all of these activities can be tremendously tiring.

Live-In is a great option for people who don’t necessarily need hands-on 24/7 care, but it would be of great benefit to have someone in the home at all times just in case some extra assistance is needed in addition to helping with normal activities of daily living.

Do you or your loved ones need live-in care services? Contact us! We’ve been named Provider of Choice by Home Care Pulse four consecutive years, so we know how to provide assistance that improves our clients’ well-being.