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Live-Ins in Home Care: What You MUST Know

Updated: Apr 23

A Deep Dive into Live-In Home Care: What You Need to Know

If you've ever wondered about the ins and outs of live-in care? Let's break down the nitty-gritty of live-in care in a way that's easy to understand and relatable.

Why Live-Ins Can Be a Game Changer

Live-in care is like a hidden gem for families needing 24/7 monitoring without breaking the bank. It's a more affordable option compared to traditional hourly care and can potentially keep your loved ones out of pricey assisted living facilities.

The Live-In Home Care Journey Through the Years

In the good old days before 2015, live-in caregivers had some leeway with overtime rules. But fast forward to 2015 and after, things got a bit stricter. Understanding these changes is key for caregivers and agencies to navigate the live-in care landscape effectively.

What to Keep in Mind for Live-In Care

1. Overtime Exemption 101: 

A. The Federal Department of Labor (DOL) mandates that a care provider remain with a client for five days straight (120 consecutive hours) in order to be exempt from overtime laws. If they work less than that, you must pay hourly and cannot deduct for sleeping or down-time.

B. Clients' personal care needs cannot exceed 20% of the time spent with the client. If the client has moderate to severe dementia or heavy care needs, they are not likely live-in appropriate.


2. Room and Board Basics: Live-in caregivers do not necessarily have to bring their own groceries during the time they're working. They prepare and also eat with the client. Live-ins also need a dedicated place to sleep, and should not need to get up more than once per night, in order to remain rested and physically and mentally capable of providing adequate care for extended periods. (You can't expect them to take good care of your clients if they're chopped liver!)


3. Finances:  Piecing this puzzle together can be a challenge. Ideally, a live-in caregiver would work 7 days on, 7 days off and then each day can be paid as a daily rate agreeable to all. However, that's in a perfect world. If you have to staff 1 person for 5 days and shifts on the weekends, overtime could come into play for the hourly staff. Make sure you're billing accordingly.

You may also get stuck in a 4-day/3-day pattern which means there's NO overtime exemption. For instance, if you do not have a live-in caregiver willing to stay 120+ consecutive hours (5 full days) in order to pay a daily rate and circumvent overtime laws, you could ask your caregiver to sign an agreement to take a lower base wage for this client only, so that they receive overtime for every hour over 40, without breaking the agency's bank. Breakdown the money so they can see what they'd be earning per week. Technically, if the staff member can't go home, they're at work and they must be paid within the constraints of the DOL rules.

4. Staffing Considerations: Finding that special gem-of-a-Caregiver who's willing and able to do actual Live-in care, AND can maintain a professional relationship with your client and their family is rare, but possible. And even when you do find the right team, this is not a 'set it and forget it' situation. The agency needs to conduct regular supervisory visits and unannounced pop-ins to ensure that everything is on the up-and-up. Don't even get us started on boundaries!!

Finding the perfect fit for live-in care is like putting together a complex puzzle. But with regular check-ins and a keen eye, agencies can ensure top-tier care.

Wrapping It Up

Live-in care isn't just a care option—it's a game-changer for families seeking round-the-clock support. By understanding the rules, staffing hurdles, and financial puzzles that come with live-in care, agencies and caregivers can create a nurturing environment for their clients.

In a nutshell, diving into the world of live-in care requires attention to detail, a knack for following the rules, and a sprinkle of creativity to provide top-notch care. With the right approach, live-in care can truly transform the lives of those in need of continuous support.

Please reach out if you have any questions, Book a Free 20 minute call. Book Online | Slusher

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