Live-in caregivers provide an invaluable service to their clients. The peace of mind that clients and their families receive knowing someone is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is invaluable.
Unlike traditional caregivers who take designated 15-minute or 30-minute lunch breaks at a specific time of day, live-in caregivers have multiple breaks built into their daily schedules. That’s because caregivers who live with their clients have a different rhythm than traditional caregivers. So let’s take a closer look at a day in the life of a live-in caregiver.
The Live-In Caregiving Rhythm
First, we should specify that we’re talking about live-in caregivers employed by professional, licensed caregiving agencies. Georgetown Home Care works closely with clients and their families to find live-in caregivers who seamlessly transition into the household. This allows loved ones to age in place happily while having the assistance they need.
A caregiver’s role is to support the daily rhythm and lifestyle of the client while providing a helping hand with anything they need. This may include:
- Medication reminders
- Mobility support and transfers
- Grocery shopping and meal support
- Transportation to appointments, social gatherings, meetings/clubs, religious/spiritual services, outings, entertainment, etc.
- Company while exercising
- Light housekeeping and linen changes
- Incontinence care
- Managing the calendar
- Running errands
And, of course, most live-in caregivers and their clients have fun together playing games, reading, watching shows and movies, decorating for the holidays, and so on.
Because caregivers are there to provide support as needed, their breaks are peppered throughout the day.
A Typical Daily Schedule
A caregiver’s day may look something like this:
- 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: Get the client up and dressed, make coffee, and assemble a light breakfast.
- 9:00 a.m.: Downtime. While the client watches the news or reads the morning paper, the caregiver can join them or take some time for themselves.
- 10:00 a.m. to Noon: This is an ideal time to head out for appointments, run errands, take a walk, or exercise together. This may also be a good time to clean the house, do laundry, and change the linens.
- Noon to 1:00 p.m.: The caregiver prepares a healthy lunch for the client and themselves. Some days, they may eat together; other days, clients may choose to have a neighbor or friend over for lunch or have an online lunch date with a family member or friend. In this case, caregivers have time to themselves.
- 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Depending on the morning schedule, this is another window that allows for a short walk around the block, indoor exercises on hot or rainy days, time enjoying the porch or patio, shopping, or driving clients to spend time with friends.
- 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Rest time. Most seniors enjoy a rest time in the afternoon, especially if they have had a busy day socializing with friends or attending doctors/specialist appointments. Our caregivers may use this time to watch a show, read a book, or break their latest Candy Crush record.
- 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Snack time. Many of our clients like to have a hot cup of tea or decaf coffee and a snack around this time, and the caregiver prepares that for them. As with other meal and snack times, the caregiver follows their lead as to whether or not they want company. This window also allows time to do puzzles, word games, and other brain games that stimulate the mind.
- 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Dinner preparation. We know firsthand that diet and nutrition are essential for aging well, maintaining a healthy brain, and managing existing medical conditions. Our caregivers prepare healthy and delicious dinners based on clients’ preferences and dietary needs.
- 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Dinner time. Typically, clients and caregivers eat dinner together. But if clients have guests, caregivers excuse themselves to the living room or bedroom to eat their meal. And, of course, on some nights, clients want to dine out at their favorite restaurant, in which case caregivers drive them there and back.
- 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: The daily wind-down. Creating a relaxing and habitual wind-down routine is essential for helping everyone get a good night’s sleep. This is especially true for clients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Caregivers will dim the lights, play some soothing music, and use relaxing aromatherapy oils if the client is so inclined.
Once bathed and changed into their pajamas, clients may choose to watch TV or a movie or listen to music. At least 30 minutes before bedtime, the caregiver turns off all electronics and assists in the bathroom one more time before tucking the client into bed.
Caregivers Get at Least Eight Hours of Sleep Per Night
So, do live-in caregivers get time off? Absolutely. There are multiple windows throughout the day where caregivers get time to themselves through breaks to do what they please.
Once clients are in bed, the caregiver’s time is their own, but they must remain on-site. While they may be woken up to assist the client, we do have strict agreements with clients and their families to keep these interruptions to a minimum.
On average, our caregivers only need to assist a client once, or occasionally twice, at night. Most often, clients sleep through the night without waking their caregiver.
If a client consistently requires help more than twice every night, we revisit the arrangement. In this case, it may be best for the client to shift to having separate daytime and overnight caregiving teams rather than a live-in caregiver.
Do Live-In Caregivers Get Paid Time Off (PTO)?
Yes. Georgetown Home Care allows employees to accrue paid time off. To use their accrued PTO, caregivers must schedule it in advance with the clients and their families and have it approved by their manager. We provide a substitute caregiver to the client while their regular caregiver enjoys their vacation.
Live-in caregivers have an amazing opportunity to make money without paying for rent or utilities while also having enough time off for a healthy work-life balance.
Would you like to learn more about beginning a career as a live-in caregiver? Then reach out to Georgetown Home Care! We are always on the lookout for kind, hardworking individuals who want to make a good living while caring for others. Does that sound like you?
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