Hiring a live-in caregiver for your aging loved one is a fantastic way to ensure that he will get the care that he needs on an ongoing basis. This type of caregiver is present in the home 24 hours a day on the days of her shifts and will be on duty for between two and four days per week. On the days that she is off, this caregiver will return to her own home and another live-in care provider will come in in her place. This care provider is not the same as having hourly caregivers in the home day and night, however. A live-in caregiver has the expectation of getting eight hours of sleep per night on a regular, consistent, and reliable basis. This doesn’t meant that she will not help your loved one if he needs something in the middle of the night, but it does mean that this type of care arrangement is not appropriate if your loved one needs regular or complex care at night.
If you have determined that a live-in care provider is the appropriate choice for your aging loved one, it is important that you prepare both your senior and the home for this care provider prior to her first day. This will ensure everyone involved is comfortable and can make the most out of the caregiving relationship. These changes do not need to be large or expensive to be meaningful. Here are five budget-friendly ways you can prepare your home for a live-in caregiver:
- Add locks to the guest room door if there are none. This will establish privacy and comfort for the caregiver while she is sleeping or during her “downtime” in the evening.
- Invest in a mini fridge for the care provider’s quarters so that she can keep her food separate from your loved one’s food. This is especially important if you have established an arrangement in which the caregiver must purchase her own food separately or bring it with her.
- Add shelves to the care provider’s quarters where she can keep toiletries and supplies for her shower.
- Invest in several towels, washcloths, and hand towels and two sets of bedding that are distinctly different from those of your aging loved one so your care provider can use ones specifically for her and keep track of their laundering herself.
- Add a bookshelf to the living room or den where books, magazines, DVDs, and other forms of entertainment can be kept so your caregiver has easy access to them.
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