A live-in caregiver helps her client with medication.

Working as a Live-In Caregiver vs. Working at a Nursing Home


Live-in caregivers and nursing home caregivers share a similar calling: to provide physical and emotional support for the elderly. However, outside of the universal caregiving services these positions have in common, their jobs and environments are very different.

Whether you’re considering answering the call to become a caregiver for aging adults or are already on staff in a nursing home or acute care facility, we want to highlight key differences between working as a caregiver in a client’s home vs. working in a facility-based position.

5 Benefits of Becoming a Live-In Caregiver

As a licensed caregiving agency providing live-in services to our clients and families, we consistently hire caregivers who are grateful to transition from facility-based jobs to agency-centered homecare positions.

The following are five things they love most after making the change from facility to home-based caregiving.

1. More Human-to-Human Connection

Yes—free rent, higher wages, and better benefits (more on those below) are certainly positive factors of working in a client’s home. But what we hear the most is how much more content and fulfilled our caregivers are when they begin living with their clients at home.

Gone are the facility smells and industrial environments. Protocols are essential, but they are far more organic and woven into the everyday routine of the client, caregiver, and household. It’s like the caregivers can set down a heavy burden, breathe deeply, and begin the true business of caring—which drew them to this work in the first place.

In a person’s home, you:

  • Automatically benefit from a comfortable home setting.
  • Have a fluid and more flexible routine.
  • Build strong, caring, and heart-centered relationships with your clients and their families.
  • Finally, get the time you need to provide clients with the level of care they deserve, rather than feeling frustrated and overwhelmed from being limited to “bare-minimum” care due to an overloaded patient roster.
  • Enjoy a much less chaotic environment.

In-home caregiving is caregiving as it used to be and as it should be—and there is something incredibly satisfying about that. At Georgetown Home Care, our clients’ and caregivers’ hearts are central to our mission of providing the best care possible.

2. Better Pay and Benefits

Most caregivers find their financial landscape is healthier once they transition from facility-based care to live-in home care. There are several reasons for this:

Live-In Care Providers Earn Competitive Wages Plus Enjoy Free Rent and Utilities

Your hourly wages remain the same whether you’re a part-time, full-time, or live-in caregiver. According to Indeed.com, the average caregiver wages in the United States range between $16 and $25 per hour. That is notably lower than the wages we offer at Georgetown Home Care.

Our live-in caregivers often work three to five days per week and make significantly higher than the national average. We even have some live-in caregivers who work seven days a week and make over $100K annually.

Our agency has some of the most competitive rates in the region, but these will fluctuate depending on caregiver experience, length of time at our agency, and job performance (punctuality, dependability, compassionate attention to clients, client/family feedback, excellent interpersonal skills, and so on).

When you take into account that rent, utilities, and most of the food expenses are covered by the client—the earning potential and savings are considerable.

Paid Time Off (PTO) and Respite Care

We understand firsthand that caregiving is both rewarding and demanding. That’s why high-quality agencies provide paid time off, breaks, and respite care opportunities.

Our managers remain in close contact with caregivers and ensure they have adequate time off to rest and rejuvenate, spend time with family and friends during the holidays, or take an annual vacation.

Benefits (Health, Dental, Vision & 401k)

Georgetown Home Care provides all employees a full benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance as well as worker’s compensation. We also offer employer-matching 401k plans. Your work as a live-in caregiver vs. nursing home employee supports your well-being now and into the future.

3. More Flexibility & Freedom

Caregivers working in homes have far more freedom and flexibility than those that clock into a standardized shift in a nursing home or acute care facility.

While live-in caregivers must honor the job description, company protocols, and shift requirements, this time is balanced between the client’s needs and the agency’s desire to ensure you have enough sleep, rest, and time off to remain invested in doing your best.

Plus, a large part of your job is providing companionship and social engagement for seniors who live at home—many of whom have been alone and unable to interact with their community without support.

Together, you and your client can weave “must-dos” and “want-to-dos” into each day, which is game-changing for caregivers used to operating on a stringent schedule and dictated rhythm.

4. More Input With Scheduling and Shifts

When you’re hired as a live-in caregiver, you aren’t beholden to that position forever. We value and invest in caregivers who do excellent work, and appreciate the caregiver’s input when scheduling and establishing shifts.

If you find live-in caregiving is not the right fit for you, our team works to transition you out of that position and into a full-time, overnight, or part-time caregiver role. Because our caregivers work in teams, we are able to customize scheduling (with ample notice, of course) that prevents you from having to deal with shift conflicts or competition with other employees for “the best shifts.”

5. Joy and Fun

Client health and safety is a top priority, but we also emphasize social engagement and the need for joy and fun. Many of our clients rely on their caregivers to help them engage in the activities they love—the ones that bring them joy and make life worth living.

This can be as simple as playing cards, watching movies, or listening/dancing to music. You can also take them on outings to their favorite places, visit restaurants they love, or catch a movie at the local theater. The more fun you have with clients, the more rewarding the job will be.

Contact Georgetown Home Care to Learn More

We would love to show you the difference between home-based caregiving positions and nursing home jobs so you can see if you would like to join our team. We’re always on the lookout for caregivers just like you and can place you in a client’s home within the first week after you’re hired. Click below to get started!

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