It’s a challenge we see often with our clients.  They want mom or dad to stay at home.  In fact, they PROMISED them they could stay there.  But the costs of doing so can be exorbitant.   The economics get really frustrating when the loved one doesn’t need a lot of care, but can’t be left alone.  You need someone in the house 24/7.   With typical home care in Chapel Hill costing $20 to $22/hour, that’s $175,000 or more per year!

In cases like these, live in care  is a more affordable option and can reduce the cost of 24/7 by half.  Live in is when someone stays with mom or dad for an extended time, typically five or seven days at a stretch.   In some cases, caregivers will stay for weeks with only modest breaks.

In live in situations, the caregiver has a reasonable amount for sleep, exercise, eating, phone calls, watching TV, etc.  After all, they are living there.   They help your loved one as needed but can also take care of their personal needs.

In most live in cases, the caregiver receives board as part of the compensation.  When she buys groceries, she purchases for the client as well as herself.  When she prepares meals, she enjoys the same food as the client, or might make something for herself based on dietary needs and preferences.

For live in to work well, the caregiver has to have a private bedroom or area where she can sleep.  If possible, there will also be a private bathroom.

Live in is unlike 24/7 care, in which the caregiver does not go to bed.   24/7 cases have multiple people who are awake at all times to assist the client.  24/7 care is appropriate when your loved one just had a procedure and has to be monitored around the clock.  Every hour is available for them.

Even more than with hourly care arrangements, the chemistry between mom or dad and the caregiver is crucial.  Some clients want to chat all day long.  Others want to be alone and don’t want much interaction with the caregiver.  Getting this chemistry right is key to a successful live in placement.

About the Author:

Lorenzo Mejia and his wife, Mary Lynn Ryerson, are the owners of Acorn, a caregiver registry located in Chapel Hill.

They founded Acorn based on their experiences caring for his mom, who suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease.  In 2013, he became a Qualified Dementia Care Specialist.  In 2014, the Alzheimer’s Foundation named him the Dementia Care Professional of the Year in the United States.

Lorenzo is the founder of Dementia Friendly Orange County an effort to make local businesses more accommodating to people with dementia.

Lorenzo speaks often on dementia and the challenges associated with caring for loved ones.  He has been interviewed by ABC News and National Public Radio.  He is an advisor to Orange County’s OC-CARES Dementia Capable Community Project.

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Acorn provides screened and vetted in-home caregivers for clients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS and other similar conditions. Options include 24/7, live-in, weekly, weekend or hourly care. Acorn serves Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, Pittsboro and surrounding areas in Orange, Chatham, Durham and Wake counties.