Caregiver Out for a Walk with Client

Many client families reach out to us unsure if they should be pursuing live-in or hourly care. Each option has its benefits, and a family can be better served by one or the other at different points in the care journey.

Generally speaking, hourly care will be the better option if the elderly individual needs fewer than 10 hours of care per day. If the senior can either get the day started or get to bed on their own, or if they can be independent in the middle of the day between an aide’s shifts, hourly care will be the more economical option.

If a loved one needs more than 10 hours of care per day, it starts to become more economical to hire live-in help, assuming, of course, that the home setup can accommodate a live-in aide. A live-in will generally charge for about 13 hours of care per day, since they are entitled to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep plus an hour break during the day. However, since the client is providing room and board, the rates for live-in care are usually lower, and 13 hours of live-in care can cost the same as 10 hours of hourly care.

Having a live-in aide provides the additional benefit of having someone in the house in case there is an emergency overnight. Although the caregiver has the right expect 8 hours of uninterrupted “off” time, he or she is present in case of a fall or toileting need.

If the aging individual is active at night, regularly getting up from bed, a live-in caregiver, who is technically off duty during those night hours, may not be the best fit. Most clients in this situation opt for hourly care that includes an overnight shift. The night-time aide will remain alert, attentive and available to assist with any overnight needs, including assistance transferring, walking and toileting. Although not necessarily as economical as a single live-in aide, caregivers providing 12-hour shifts are usually more flexible in the rates they will charge.

Another element to consider is the elderly individual’s preferences and tolerances. Some clients may resist having live-in help, seeing it as a less independent living arrangement. Others may prefer a single live-in aide to a rotating set of aides covering multiple shifts, and may find the single caregiver less confusing or disorienting than acclimating to a daytime aide and a nighttime one.

The most important thing for families to remember is that homecare offers the greatest flexibility and preservation of independence compared to other forms of senior care. A client can try one arrangement, and if it doesn’t work well, pivot to another. If capabilities improve and the individual needs less care in time, hours can be scaled back or rearranged. If additional shifts are needed or would improve the aging individual’s quality of care, schedules can easily be modified.

From West Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale, from Jupiter to Sunrise, Boca Home Care Services has been helping our neighbors and friends in South Florida retain their independence and remain in their own homes for over twenty-five yearsCall one of our care specialists today to discuss whether live-in or hourly care is right for your loved one.