About Live-In Caregiver Programs

Written by michelle larowe
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Hiring a live-in caregiver can be the perfect solution for those needing flexible or extended care. Live-in caregivers offer the highest level of flexibility and you'll never have to worry about your caregiver not showing up. From nannies to nurses, live-in caregivers are hired to meet the specific needs of their clients. Whether it be to care for your children while you and your spouse go on vacation or to care for your elderly father who needs help with his personal care, live-in caregivers can be found to do what you need done.


Live-in caregiver programs facilitate a working relationship between an employer and employee. These programs can facilitate child care services, health care services, or companion services. In the United States, nanny placement agencies are commonly used to help match a family with a live-in nanny. Visit the website of the International Nanny Association at nanny.org to find a list of reputable placement agencies. The au pair program is another type of live-in child care program. Through this government-run program, foreign nationals can come into the United States, live with an American family and experience American life in exchange for child care services. Elderly care placement agencies like Home With Help in Scottsdale, Arizona, places live-in companions, homemakers and personal-service providers.

Time Frame

The amount of hours per day a live-in caregiver may work will vary from situation to situation. Some live-in caregivers strictly work overnights while others are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In cases where 24-hour care is consistently needed, two or more caregivers may share the job. Some live-in caregivers are hired to work an 8- to 10-hour day, and their room and board is included as part of their salary package. This is a common case for families who hire live-in nannies.


If hiring a live-in caregiver, it's important to perform a thorough background screening. Most quality placement agencies will do this screening for you, but even so, you should still personally check a potential caregiver's references. If you choose to hire a live-in caregiver on your own, be sure to perform a criminal background check, request a copy of the candidate's driving record and verify former employment references. You'll also want to speak to at least three personal references.


Since the workplace of your employee is your home, it's important to draw some professional boundaries. These should include what areas of the home are off-limits, what the house rules are and what level of personal discussions are and are not acceptable. Having a written work agreement can help to clarify the boundaries and clearly communicate what is and is not acceptable in your home.


Just because a live-in caregiver is around, it doesn't mean she's available and willing to work more than she is contracted to. It can be easy to call on someone for help or for backup care, but if you need assistance or coverage during hours your live-in caregiver is not scheduled to work, you'll need to ask her if she's able to work rather than assuming that she will because she's there. Failure to do so can cause resentment and upset your live-in caregiver. You'll also need to be willing to pay her for any hours she's worked above what you've agreed upon.

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