Upon a person’s discharge from a hospital or rehab facility to the home, full-time care is needed for a few days to several weeks, depending on the person’s rate of recovery.

24/7 (Live-in) help is very economical and a wise choice for any client who needs ten or more hours per day of help. The cost is about the same and the amount of help doubled. Another situation ideal for live-in help is the client who can no longer live alone, due to cognitive impairment or physical decline.

* There are many advantages in having live-in assistance *

Consistency in Caregivers:

Live-in’s stay in the client’s home day and night. The client doesn’t have to deal with multiple shifts of caregivers each day. In addition, the primary aide usually works five or more consecutive days. A substitute aide provides relief as needed.

Daily Rate versus Hourly Rate:

The labor laws exclude live-in help from minimum wage and overtime laws. To qualify for this daily rate exemption, the client provides room and board to the live-in help. A separate bedroom and bathroom for the aide are preferable.

Higher Comfort Level:

Most clients prefer as few caregivers as possible. Live-in cases require a minimal amount of caregivers, such as one primary live-in and a couple of back-up aides.

A good way of evaluating the need for live-in help versus hourly round the-clock help is to determine if one person can handle the care. If not, then the caregiver will “burn out” and quit the job after a short period of time. Analyze the hours each day that the aide must be attentive. A major factor is the work load. A live-in needs a good night’s sleep in order to provide care the next day. Some client’s suggest that the aide can catch up on her/his sleep during the day. They assume that the aide’s sleep patterns can mirror their own; that is, getting up several times during the night and napping during the day. Rarely does this work out for the aide, who starts to feel “worn out,” after a few sleepless nights.

Another factor in the work schedule is the time that the client wakes up and goes to bed. For example a client who routinely stays up past midnight should not expect the live-in to stay up with her/him. The sleeping patterns of the client must be amenable to the caregiver and provide adequate rest for the caregiver.

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