Frequently Asked Questions

We cover England and Wales. As the carers live with you for weeks at a time, most are happy to travel for a few hours to go to care for someone. We will only introduce you to carers who are happy to go where you are.

Our mission is to help people live happily and independently at home with a great live-in care service, and give peace of mind to the families concerned. Most people would choose to stay at home instead of going to a care home and we exist to make that possible.
So why Careleaf instead of other live-in care agencies?

We’ve been carers ourselves – We were founded by and are still run by experienced live-in carers, so we understand from personal experience what it’s like and what you need. We’ll be there to listen to you and offer advice when things get difficult and to offer our combined decades of expertise working in care.

A fair price – During our time as live-in carers we felt the fees that many agencies charged were overpriced and we wondered what service they were offering to justify them. We also felt many of these agencies seemed unsupportive, so we started Careleaf to offer a better, more caring service at a fair price.

Personal bespoke service – We are large enough to have a healthy pool of experienced carers and small enough to know all of our clients and carers personally and offer a friendly one to one service. So you won’t be navigating a switchboard or speaking to different agency staff each time you call.

Experienced carers who care – We only choose the best, experienced carers to register with us and we are mindful about which carers we introduce to a particular client, taking care to carefully match. Our carers really appreciate the fact that we have worked in care ourselves, and this helps us to attract good people that we like to work with. Many of our carers have come through recommendations.

Our ethics – We have a deep interest in mindfulness, ancient wisdom traditions and living with integrity in a way that is not harming others. Caring is a life choice for us first and a business second and thus we are committed to serving others and working honestly and with a caring nature.

We offer a friendly, attentive and personal service at a reasonable price.

The service fee pays for the following:

Kind, experienced carers – Carers don’t just appear… For each carer registered with us, we’ve spent dozens of hours reviewing applications and interviewing potential candidates, then spending time with all the paperwork and speaking to references. With our expertise, we are skilled at picking the right people. As we have been providing care since 2015, we have established various networks and the majority of our carers these days come through referrals.

Continuity – If a carer needs to leave suddenly we’ll find a replacement, if a carer isn’t gelling with your loved one then we’ll find a replacement. When a carer takes a break we’ll find a replacement. Having carers available when needed and ensuring continuity of care is what we work tirelessly to ensure.

Expertise, advice and mediation – Many things can happen while a carer is with you. For example, your loved one’s mobility can dramatically decrease or they can become more confused. Care needs change so we are here to help advise during this process. Sometimes disagreements can arise between the client and the carer. We’re here to help by listening to both sides and offer our combined decades of experience to help resolve any problems.

Support for the carer – It can sometimes be lonely work being away from friends and family. We speak to the carers regularly to offer support and a listening ear as a happy carer means a happy client.

The competitive fee we offer pays for us to work full time to make this happen.

The cost of live-in care is made up of the rate the carer gets paid and the agency fee. Our fee is £22+VAT a day for all levels of care. (*Please note, the daily service fee of £26.40 inc VAT is for ongoing placements. For shorter or respite placements please refer to the next FAQ question on the cost of short-term and respite care.).

The rate for the carer varies depending on the level of care required. Typically where care is required for one person, the rate is upwards of £115 a day, but usually less than £140 a day. This is just a rough guide so please do call us on 01273 900262 to discuss your needs for a more accurate quote.

If there is a couple who both require care then the rate is usually upwards of £140 but can vary depending on the needs. Again, this is just a rough guide.

For the total cost you will need to consider the daily rate for the carer, the careleaf daily service fee, food for the carer and travel expenses for the carer to travel to you from their UK location (up to £30 for each way).

Often care is required on a short term basis. This could be after a hip operation for example, or to cover for holiday for a partner who is the main carer. The minimum placement is usually a week. The daily rate for the carer is the same as with longer placements. See our pricing page for an indication. The careleaf service fee is on a sliding scale as follows with VAT in addition:

Up to 2 weeks: £28 a day for the first two weeks

2-4 weeks: £25 per day

Over 4 weeks: £22 per day

We are live-in care specialists and only work with live-in carers. If you require hourly care we recommend contacting local care providers in your area. It may be that hourly care is needed to provide a break for your carer. Unfortunately, we are not able to help organise this although we can offer advice on the best steps to take.

Careleaf is an introduction agency who “introduce” self-employed carers. This is a model approved by the CQC and although it falls out of the scope of their regulations, it conforms to the Health & Social Care Act 2008. Although we do not employ the carers ourselves, on a practical level we are actively involved in the welfare of the client by offering advice, mediation when problems arise, regularly communicating with the carers to make sure they are happy, and working hard in the background to make sure there are always carers there when you need them. On a practical level, we are often communicating with clients and carers as much as if not more than managed care agencies who employ the carer.

Careleaf is an introduction agency who “introduce” self-employed carers, as opposed to a managed agency who employ the carers. We have an article that elaborates more on the differences between a managed agency and an introduction agency.

Yes. We take this very seriously. As a minimum, all our carers have a recent DBS check or relevant criminal record check from their own country where required. We check their ID and right to work in the UK. We contact 2 references, professional references by phone if possible to get a really good sense of what they are like. Many referees are happy to talk to potential clients so often you will be able to hear about how the carers work ‘from the horse’s mouth’.

We ask that all of our carers have some previous care work experience which involves previous training. And we ask that the carers keep their training up to date. In addition, we provide a Careleaf training pack to help carers know everything they need to know.  For clients that require advanced moving and handling techniques, such as using hoists, we ensure our carers have completed specific training for this.

Yes, our carers are with you 7 days a week. This is usually how live in care works – that the carers work 7 days a week until it’s time to take a break.

We ask you to provide a minimum of 2 hours break (more if possible), during daylight hours. Usually this will be after lunch, between 1.30 and 3.30 for example. This is important as the carers need to be able to switch off from their role as a carer and to have time to do other things. Some days it might not be possible to provide a formal break so the carers need to be flexible, but you would need to give your carer extra time off on another day. If this isn’t going to be possible then please do speak to us to discuss an alternative solution.

This depends on what kind of rota you’d like and what kind of rota the carers like to work with. A typical rota would be for a carer to work 6 weeks then take a 2 week break, when another carer would come to replace them. Having two carers rotating 2 weeks on 2 weeks off is another variation.

Usually carers like to stay between 2 and 8 weeks before taking a break. Some have other commitments such as their own family and like to work 2-3 weeks at a time. Some like to stay for months if they can!  If the work is more intensive usually more frequent breaks will be required.  But as the carers work 7 days a week it is not usually possible to have the same carer 365 days a year.

Usually not. As carers work 7 days a week they will inevitably need breaks.  They will have friends and family they will need to visit and will need to take holidays.

Typically it takes a bit of time to understand your needs, do all the paperwork and find the right match. Usually a few weeks is a comfortable amount of time from initial inquiry to having the first carer arrive but in many cases we can move a lot quicker than that.

Personalities don’t always gel or sometimes the carer won’t be the right fit and this happens with live in care.  If this happens then we’ll help find another carer who you think will be a better match and arrange a handover. We encourage that you speak to the carers before they come, this usually helps to know if they will be a good fit.

Typically carers work on a self employed basis as this is usually the most convenient arrangement for the client and the carer. We check that the carer has registered as self employed but they are responsible for paying their tax and national insurance.

If you need a replacement carer in a hurry we will go out of our way to find someone for you as quickly as possible.

We provide a suggested contract between the carer and the client. Amendments can be made to this contract between the carer and the client as long as both parties are happy. This contract outlines what the client and carer are to expect from each other.

Our service fee is paid either as a single invoice at the end of the month, ideally via bank transfer, or a standing order.  Short term placements can be paid as a single invoice. The carer’s fee is paid directly to the carer, ideally via a bank transfer. Carers usually like to be paid every fortnight, and some like to be paid weekly if possible. Other methods of payment such as a cheque can also be arranged.