How do I bring a caregiver into the house when my husband doesn't want one? He is ok sometimes but he can be so busy he does things that he would never do normaly. He needs guidance.

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It took me awhile to get my mother to try an agency caregiver. I started by collecting information about agencies in my area. I called my local hospital and asked for a social worker. I asked her specific questions about each agency (note: they will be hesitant to recommend just one.) Ask the question, "if your family member needed assistance, which agency would you choose?" Finally, I narrowed my search down to two.

I collected all the brochures and materials. Then I invited their representative to come to my Mom's home and she and I interviewed them. (this accomplishes two things: Mom got a chance to talk with someone in person and I got to observe how they answered my questions.)

I chose the agency that had more mature caregivers, hired within the immediate area, and are paid a salary (they are more reliable). Most of their staff are former nurses or medical personel and are familiar with helping the elderly.

Mom's caregiver only comes in once a month...but it gives me some respite and she gets to visit with a new person. I also have a "back-up" person for when I need to be out of town.

So far Mom seems to like her.

My final piece of advice: ask very specific questions. Some staff at caregiving agencies only want to do the "light" stuff...such as visiting with their clients...or playing cards. Mom had one caregiver in the past who did not want to bathe her or help her with light housekeeping. So I would recommend making a list of items that are important to you and ask whether these are covered in their care program. Also, watch for "body English" - this will tell you a lot about the company.

Good luck,
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