A live-in caregiver spends quality time talking with her client as part of her live-in caregiver duties.

What Are a Live-In Caregiver’s Duties?


Becoming a live-in caregiver and supporting clients who want to remain in their homes despite age-related changes is rewarding. The desire to help is commendable, but it’s important that you have an accurate picture of what’s expected of you and that your work is valued by your employer.

Understanding the live-in caregiver job description before you embark on this career path ensures that you’re clear on what it takes to be a live-in vs. full-time or part-time caregiver—and that you aren’t taken for granted or exploited by employers.

Work for an Agency That Respects Live-In Caregiver Boundaries

Not sure what to look for in an agency that’s going to

You can take several steps to secure a job as a live-in caregiver while ensuring fair compensation for a reasonable workload.

Choose a Licensed Home Care Agency

The first step in securing a job that honors work time with some downtime is to seek employment through a licensed caregiver agency.

Working independently may be tempting, but you have no protection from clients who expect more than the standard live-in caregiver job description, don’t honor your time off, or start deducting wages in lieu of “expenses” despite original agreements.

When working for a licensed, reputable home care agency, you’re protected in multiple ways. Our caregivers:

  • Have access to honest input from current employees.
  • Enjoy a competitive, livable wage (boosted by minimal living expenses).
  • Have stated time off, including paid holidays, vacation, and sick days.
  • Benefit from a team of caregivers who relieve you when you’ve scheduled paid time off, are ill, or if the client’s needs exceed the description of duties.
  • Have access to healthcare and retirement benefits.

None of these are guaranteed if you aren’t working with an agency registered with—and governed by—the state.

Doubtless, the lines can seem blurry when caregivers live with their clients. However, there are also numerous benefits of this dynamic. In addition to forming an undeniable bond with the client, live-in caregivers enjoy things like:

  • Free rent
  • A room and bathroom of their own
  • Free utilities, usually including TV and internet access (if clients don’t have these services, caregivers may need to pay out of pocket)
  • Meals and snacks (mainly in alignment with the client’s tastes/preferences)

That said, there is no doubt that a live-in caregiver job description should clearly outline the caregiver’s hours, duties, and responsibilities so there is no disillusionment on either side.

Live-In Caregiver Duties Should Be Clearly Defined

Never work with any agency or client unless you have a written contract outlining the general expectations and description of duties. Here at Georgetown Home Care, that includes:

Honoring the Company’s Core Values 

During your interview and orientation, we’ll share our Georgetown Home Care (GHC) five core values. Our caregivers must share and agree to uphold these values to optimize the quality of care we provide to clients and families as well as to continually nourish our positive company culture.

A Commitment to 16 Hours of Attentive Time

Live-in caregivers aren’t working tirelessly all day long, but they must be available all day—and throughout the night—to support the overall care needs of the client.

It is expected that live-in caregivers:

  • Are available for 16 hours per day. These hours are compensated via a “daily rate” in compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Have six hours of personal time (although they may not be continuous).
  • Get at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep per night but be available to help clients as needed. If clients routinely need support or assistance more than two times per night, we work with them and their families to provide another level of support.
  • Must remain at the client’s premises during the entire live-in shift (not including scheduled time off) unless they’ve been instructed otherwise by the client OR have secured permission from the Field Supervisor ahead of time.
  • Communicate regularly with their Field Supervisor and keep up-to-date client records (more on that below).

This is Georgetown Home Care’s commitment to clients and their families, therefore our live-in caregivers must be equally committed.

Executing the Client’s Care Plan

We take great care in creating our clients’ care plans. These are initially created when we assess them and they contract with our agency for services. However, age-related changes result in care plan updates, all upheld by the caregivers.

These plans include information about the client’s needs based on things like:

  • Medical history
  • Medication prescriptions
  • Any degree of cognitive decline
  • Dietary restrictions/recommendations
  • Personal care/hygiene needs
  • Physical therapy/exercise recommendations from their healthcare team

As the primary caregiver, your input is essential to keeping client care plans up to date.

General Companionship and Personal Care

Ultimately, live-in caregivers are assigned to clients who can no longer remain home independently. In some cases, this is due to mobility issues or medical complications that prevent them from performing everyday tasks without support.

For others, cognitive decline or dementia makes constant supervision essential for their safety and to prevent them from wandering and or putting themselves at other risks.

Therefore, as a live-in care provider, your job is to tend to the client’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. These duties are included but are not limited to:

  • General companionship and social stimulation
  • Errand running, meal planning, and meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Transfers for wheelchair or bed bound clients
  • Light housekeeping
  • Laundry and linen changes
  • Assisting clients with personal hygiene needs, like getting dressed each morning and ready for bed each night, bathing/showering, nail trimming, and other general grooming tasks
  • Bathroom support or incontinence care
  • Having fun (reading, playing games, watching TV or movies, listening to music, taking walks, going on outings together, dancing, etc.)

We do our best to ensure caregivers are assigned to clients with similar interests to make it a smooth and enjoyable experience for both parties.

Utilizing GHC’s Documentation System

Live-in caregivers are part of a team overseen by a Field Supervisor. You are the one whose finger is on the pulse of the client’s daily experiences, changes, and needs. Using our in-house documentation system, you will clock in and out for shifts and communicate regularly with the Field Supervisor using the software provided to you.

Your comments, observations, notes, and alerts are the foundation of the client’s care plan and therefore are essential to meeting the client’s changing needs.

Feel the Call to Become a Live-In Caregiver?

We believe caregiving is a true calling and one with invaluable rewards. Are you interested in learning more about live-in caregiver duties? Do you feel you have what it takes to become a live-in caregiver?

There is a growing demand for people just like you as aging adults increasingly choose to remain in their homes. Apply now, and we can get you on a case within 24-48 hours of receiving your application!

Apply Now

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