Flexible, rewarding work that pays well, gives a great feeling of job satisfaction, needs no previous experience and offers a guaranteed income.

If that sounds attractive, a career as a live-in carer could be for you. Live-in carers help clients to stay living at home, where they want to be, living the life they want to lead.

“Brilliant support and the booking teams have been really on the ball with everything.”

Jerry T. – Christies Carer, August 2015

“Fantastic, world class training!”

Mary F. – Christies Carer, August 2015

“I have learned so much since joining Christies Care. Thank you for the confidence you’ve placed in me and the excellent opportunities I have been given to grow to my full potential.”

Tracey M. – Christies Carer, August 2016

“I said I would do caring for three months initially but I’m really enjoying it. It’s so gratifying and the clients are very grateful for the things that us carers do for them.”

Clydene M. – Christies Carer, August 2016

“I am impressed with the training I had and the support too.”

Marta S. – Christies Carer, September 2016

“Thank you to my support team, booking coordinators and the whole Christies Care team for the support, training and encouragement to help with providing excellent service to our clients.”

Gertrude A. – Christies Carer, September 2016

“Thank you very much for your help and understanding for the past 13 years. I will for ever be thankful and grateful to Christies Care staff, especially the Green team.”

Eunice A. – Christies Carer, September 2016

“I have already recommended Christies Care to friends because of the excellent support, flexibility of working, the training and accommodation which are all excellent.”

Rebecca P. – Christies Carer, September 2016

“I can’t see how Christies Care can improve as they are the best and have changed my life.”

Barbara T. – Christies Carer, September 2016

“The Blue team are very good and very supportive.”

Catherine G. – Christies Carer, September 2016

“I commend the entire Yellow support team. Thank you for all the first class support.”

Tracey M. – Christies Carer, August 2016

“Brilliant team, good support.”

Nicola M. – Christies Carer, August 2016

“My first experience with a client was a learning curve and I had mixed emotions – excited, and scared stiff. I found the dementia training with Hels (Helen Drain, Deputy Training Team Leader), invaluable and very helpful. This was a very positive experience and I learnt a lot about myself.”

Meg B. -, Christies Carer, August 2016

“I will always deal with Aimee (Carer Support coordinator) as I know what I ask will always be followed up and always be done. I knows I can rely on Aimee for support!”

Bernice G. – Christies Carer, August 2016

“You guys at Christies Care really are amazing!”

Keira C. Christies Carer, August 2016

“Sam, James and Aimee are fantastic and I always get good support and training.”

Bernadette C. – Christies Carer, August 2016

“Just want to say thank you to Christies Care for all the support and training you gave me during my time with you. It’s only a few months since l left the Organisation and already l am getting awards in my new profession as a support worker. Your intense training has enabled me to be recognised. Thank you so much.”

Gani P. – past Christies Carer, August 2016

If you are semi-retired or are working in a job that you don’t like, and you want the satisfaction of improving people’s lives, it worth finding out more about being a carer.

What is a job in care?

Working in care is about providing personal and practical support to help people live their lives. It’s about supporting them to maintain their independence, dignity and control.

Here are the main types of care for the elderly:

Domiciliary or In-Home Care (Hourly) – This is the most common type of care. Carers call in to their client’s houses, for an hour, a few hours a day. This type of care has seen a lot of bad press recently, especially with more local authorities getting carers to do 15 minute visits. There are good hourly care agencies out there, though. The good ones train their carers well, make sure that their clients get a good service, and pay their carers properly (Home Instead and Right at Home are two such extremely good agencies).

Domiciliary or In-Home Care (Live-in) – This is what Christies Care specialises in. We are a private sector, in-home live-in care provider and operate nationally. As a live-in carer, you provide as much help and care as is needed to enable your clients to live as independently as possible.

This can include help with cooking and cleaning the house, medication, washing or toileting. It also includes client companionship, so they have stimulation, someone to talk to, someone to play cards with, or just the knowledge that there is someone else there.

In a Residential Care or Nursing Home – Care homes range in size from very small homes with few beds to large-scale facilities. They offer care and support throughout the day and night. You will help with washing, dressing, at meal times and with toileting. There may also be entertainments and outings. However, carers commonly complain that they don’t have enough time to give good care to the inmates, and no care home can give the 1:1 care that live-in care does.

Of these options we will focus upon Live-in care – where we have most experience.

What does it take to be a good carer?

This is an important question. Live-in care is hard work and not suited to everyone, but for those people it does suit it can be a rewarding and fulfilling job.


The most important quality that we look for in our candidates is their attitude and compassion. The people who make the best carers are those who are genuinely interested in the wellbeing and welfare of those around them. Care skills can be taught and we will provide free, first-class training, but personality and compassion will be your natural characteristic.

Other attributes

There are a variety of other important attributes that we look for in a carer. Some of these are essential, and most likely to be found in the over 50s:

Speak clear English – our clients need to understand their carers and know that they are going to be understood. It is because of this that we have to make sure that our carers have very good spoken and written English. It doesn’t need to be your first language, but you must be able to understand, write and speak very well. We carry out a telephone interview with all of our candidates to check on this.

The ability to cook – and prepare fresh, healthy, British food is another key skill our candidates must be able to demonstrate. One of the big appeals of staying at home instead of going into a residential home is that you have control over what you eat and when you eat. Therefore it is really important that all of our carers are able to cook, understand British cuisine and follow recipes. Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures and we need to be able to share this with our clients.

While other qualities are not essential, they are certainly desirable and will also be common in the over 50s – opening up more work options for them as carers, these include:

Be able to drive – A full driving licence and the confidence to drive in the UK. Being able to drive your client to appointments or to visit friends and family or to go out for the day will mean that both they and you will have fun and share new and exciting experiences.

Preferably non-smoking – Unless a client smokes themselves they often don’t want a carer who smokes, so although we won’t turn you away if you smoke we do find non-smokers have more choice of work.

Previous experience is not necessary

This might surprise you but, apart from these basic things, everything else is down to what our clients might need from a carer. We teach you the skills that you will need to do the job properly, every Christies carer must complete an intensive 11 day course (recently increased to give more training on end-of-life care), so previous experience is not necessary (though it is not discouraged). Our clients have a variety of conditions and needs, some need people who drive as mentioned above for example, so we take on people with a range of backgrounds and skills, to meet our clients’ requirements.

What does a job in care involve?

By definition those in middle age, and even late middle age, have considerable experience of life. They may have worked for many decades and want a new challenge or have never worked and want to try something that gives them a sense of fulfilment.

Whatever the motivation, being a live-in home carer can be a challenging and unpredictable job, but it is also an extremely rewarding position. Every day, when you care for someone, you will be making a huge difference to that person and their family; and sharing some extraordinary moments. This is ideal for a more mature carer who has the experience of past challenges and has seen most that life has to throw at us.

A live-in home carer can come from any background, with any experience. Our carers have been secretaries, bank managers, mothers, nurses, soldiers and teachers. Some were carers for hourly-care agencies or care homes who wanted the time to be able to care for people properly; some have no professional experience at all.

We will give you all the training you need, all we ask is that you are a caring, hard-working, patient, flexible person, who will use your initiative to make your clients happy.

What are the hours?

This is a 24/7 job. To be a live-in carer, you will live with your client. You will be available to help your client throughout the day, though we do insist that all carers have adequate breaks.

You will have your own bedroom, with a TV and in most cases, an internet connection. You will be eating with your client. You will not be paying for your lodging or food.

When you are not working, we have a subsidised guest-house at our head office in Saxmundham. It is cheaper than any surrounding B&B or hotel. Many carers stay there when they want a few days or a week off.

How much will I earn?

When we meet new clients for the first time, or if their situation changes (e.g. their care needs increase), we suggest a suitable fee for their carer. This depends on the individual needs of your client. You will always be told the suggested fee before you start work.

The amount you earn will depend on how many weeks you want to work. If you work for 46 weeks out of the 52 in a year, you will earn about £22,770, as the weekly fees clients pay you are between £450-600 (with the average paying around £495 a week or £22,770). This is more than a newly qualified registered nurse earns. Remember, you get free board and lodging, so you have almost no expenses – you can keep almost all of your earnings (after any applicable tax and NI). In most cases you will be repaid your UK travel costs.

Clients who want a carer mainly for companionship pay towards the lower end of the scale. Clients who need a large amount of personal care pay towards the higher end of the scale.

Will I have a guaranteed income?

If you prove to be a competent and compassionate carer, you could benefit from our guarantee of earnings scheme. This is where we guarantee you work whenever you want it – and if we can’t find work for you, we pay you £430 for that week.

What training will I receive?

As mentioned, all of our carers undertake an 11 day training course covering topics which include medication, continence, safe people moving & handling, end-of-life care and other caring tasks. It is an informative and enjoyable process where you can get the skills and knowledge you need to take on the responsibility of being a live-in carer.

Our training has won awards and is one of the key reasons carers choose Christies Care. A thorough explanation of the value of our training.

Our recruitment team will be able to tell you more about the training, the courses available and answer any questions about this.

What support do I get?

We know that sometimes being a live-in carer can be a stressful job so we give you support and advice wherever possible.

On your first day, when you arrive at our training centre in Saxmundham, you will be introduced to your carer Support Team. These are the people who will ring you when you are at work to see how you are and to see if you are happy with your client.

Most importantly, the carer support team are there to give you help and advice, whatever the question, no matter how trivial.

The carer support team is also there when things go seriously wrong. For example, if you have a family emergency, they’ll do as much as possible to help you get back to your family as fast as possible.

You’ll also meet our Booking Co-ordinators who match carers to their clients and are always on hand to give advice when needed to ensure that everything is going smoothly.

You are not alone

The training team is always on call for advice. If you have any questions while you are with a client you can ring them and they will do their best to help. We also have Local Area Advisors who can come to see you and offer advice and insight.

Join our team

For any over 50s considering a career in care, please get in touch so we can show you why Christies Care is a top employer in this sector. We want to welcome people into the team and give you the training, skills and support to make your career in care a happy one that you can be proud of.

Want to apply? Visit our recruitment section or take a look at one of our ‘Day in the life of a carer’ blogs.