Visiting Angels Blog

Live-In Care and Your Family's Options

As they think about options for aging loved ones, many families wonder, should we consider round-the-clock home care? Can we afford it? These are conversations we have regularly at Visiting Angels Joplin, and we understand that each family's situation is unique. Determining what type of care your loved one needs and calculating the overall expense can be overwhelming. We’ve been there, too, and we can help.


Visiting Angels Joplin offers 24-hour home care, live-in care, and personalized plans that combine both. In fact, Visiting Angels currently offers more options for round-the-clock care than any other home care agency in Joplin. In 2016, the state laws regulating home care changed and many area agencies dropped live-in care as a result. At Visiting Angels Joplin, however, we see the value in giving families multiple options so that together we can develop a care plan that best suits their loved ones.


What's the Difference Between 24-Hour Care and Live-In Care?


Round-the-clock care for seniors falls into two categories: 24-hour care and live-in care. With 24-hour care, a caregiver is present and alert 24 hours per day. This means multiple caregivers are needed each day, since labor laws prevent caregivers from working 24 hours straight without sleep. This also means that families will pay an hourly rate for each caregiver, resulting in a much higher total cost.


For some seniors, like those suffering from dementia, it may be necessary to have a caregiver present and awake at all times, providing constant supervision. However, not everyone requires that level of supervision. Live-in care insures that a caregiver is present 24 hours per day, but they sleep during the night at the senior's residence. That way, caregivers get the rest required by state regulations, but they're also available to assist should they be needed. A live-in caregiver would be available to help a senior use the bathroom or get a drink of water, for example. If your family's situation falls within state guidelines, a live-in caregiver may be an effective and economical solution for you.


What’s the Difference in Cost?


Twenty-four hour caregivers are paid an hourly rate, which adds up quickly. Live-in caregivers, however, are paid a flat daily rate. As long as they get the rest required by state regulations, live-in caregivers are allowed to work shifts from 24-72 hours long. So, rather than cycling through two or three caregivers per day, seniors have a total of three live-in caregivers per week. For most families, paying the flat daily rate for a live-in caregiver adds up to about half the cost of paying for 24-hour care over the same time period.


Some families try to mitigate the cost of 24-hour care by providing overnight supervision themselves. However, we've found that most families can save money by switching to live-in care. They can sleep in their own homes and rest assured that someone is attending to their loved one's needs throughout the night.  


For other families, a combination of live-in care and hourly care works best. Some older adults require more care during the night, and a live-in caregiver who is awakened often might not meet the state requirements for sleep and downtime on a 24-hour shift. In such cases, many families find that they can pay the daily rate for a live-in caregiver who is available during their senior's waking hours and an hourly rate for an overnight caregiver who remains awake and alert through the night. This combination of live-in and hourly care is still less expensive than paying the hourly rate for 24-hour care around the clock.  


What Does a Live-In Caregiver Do?


Our caregivers help with all the normal activities of daily living. Some of our seniors rely more on their Visiting Angels for companionship and others for physical care. Depending on each person's needs, our caregivers help with bathing, using the bathroom, laundry, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation to appointments, and more. If they are able, we enjoy taking our seniors on outings that are safe and appropriate to their abilities and health. Visiting Angels Joplin is a home care provider, which means we do not offer medical care. However, we do assist with everything necessary for quality of life, which is important for seniors’ overall health.


Many of our seniors who require round-the-clock care start with live-in care. Because we keep detailed documentation of their needs and our caregivers' activities, we can evaluate over time whether steps toward 24-hour care are needed. Whether your loved one could benefit from 24-hour care, live-in care, or a combination of both, Visiting Angels Joplin is ready to help. And, because we offer multiple types of care, we can develop a plan that fits your senior's needs and your family's budget. Contact us today, and let's talk about developing a personalized plan for your loved one’s care.


Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.