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My in-laws are very old-fashioned, in their late 80's. I'm not sure they will take kindly to outside help, and even though they have plenty of funds, they are still old fashioned, very frugal and I don't think would like a stranger, per se, coming into our home sit with them. They aren't opposed to PT or OT because it's covered by their Medicare and me or my husband are always there with them. Hubby's siblings are of no help, they all live too far, and won't help anyway even if they did live close (they would rather see them in a nursing home as opposed to helping in any way)...I know, sad. My oldest son helps out on occasion and it works out well, however, he goes to school and works, so he doesn't have a lot of free time. I would like to bring in an agency like Visiting Angels, for maybe 8 hours a week or so, just to give my husband and I some time together to go out, be it grocery shopping or a dinner/movie. Can some of you share experiences of bringing additional help into your home when your loved one was at first opposed to the idea or thought they couldn't afford it (even when they could)? Has anyone had bad experiences with outside caregivers/companions? I would love to hear all points of view. Thank you in advance!

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my parents had an aide come in to help with shopping & driving, once a week. she was also supposed to clean, but it turned out, she would complain about the vacuum cleaner being too heavy, or she was too tired to mop, or her back hurt so she would clean the following week.
she also talked politics, religion, and other nasty subjects,
It took my parents a LONG time to get up the courage to tell me how this supposedly angelic aide, who cost almost $30/hour, was really quite a rat.
So I finally discontinued her services.
She was through a national agency/chain/franchise service. I dont' think it fair to say the name here (?).
But anyhow, this experience made me learn that even with the agencies, where they are supposedly "screened" and vetted, are not immune to poor aides.
We have since hired a privately selected aide who only charges $20/hour, and she is working out really well.
We found her through church and also she has worked for some neighbors.
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I immediately lined out a health aide through a company to come in as soon as I knew dad would be moving in. First be prepared that there might be minimal hours required each day you have her come in. Also dad did not want to pay for this and can afford it, pretty much the same as your situation. I'm DPOA for him, pay all of his other bills, after awhile he just assumed I was paying for his health aide or Medicare was, I said nothing. As DPOA I know he needs the health aide because I simply cannot do everything, I want to make sure he has everything he needs, so he needs a health aide. She comes in and sits with him so I can keep working part time, do shopping, etc... She cleans his living area, bathes him, does his laundry, nails, cuts his hair, lines out his meds and cooks his meals. She comes out for four hours every other day. I had tried two other aides, one dropped him, could not change his diaper, the other wouldn't do anything unless I told her what to do step by step. Overall, I highly recommend it, it gives you a break and them a break, and if there are any questions to your caregiving abilities from family etc..., you have a health aide/nurse, etc... to back you up
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Sorry about the typegraphic mistakes. My message got sent in before I had a chance to correct it. O wANTED TO ADD THAT i MARVEL AT THE CARING,
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My husband has died but I still read these questions. I had him iwth me in our maine vacation house and got some help in there to ge him up, help him shower,etc. I oculd't handle him. she was wonderful and when she wasn't tending to him, she vaccued and did thinkgs on her own.when we came back to Md. i got a woman and when she turned on the water for hte shower i heard him scream. she neglected to ge the right mis before she put it on him and it was cold. she was annoyed when i mentioned it. when she wasn't tending ot him she used her phoe. I wasn't ahppy with her. later i put him in a samll group home where they were the most loving,caring peopl ien the world and took excellent care of him. they wer like family and allmost all the staff came to his memorial sevice.
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is mom in rehab? I watched the aides when there was nothing going on when visiting . the ones that were asking if there was anything needed from the patients were the ones I approached to hire. talking to the other aides about them also helps. I removed all jewelry,money bank books,etc. and had clothing within reach so there would be no reason for the aide to scurry throughdrawers looking for anything. a lot of elders get robbed when napping or in the tub with aides present but remember you can find angels too. I was lucky mine came on call if there was a bathroom accident, worked 7 days a week for 12 an hr. you don't find many like that she visits my mom in rehab more than the family does keeps an eye out for me. lol. also put medications away. also look into senior companions with your local office for the aging if you have that..
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I had a similar situation with my mother. She was in the last phases of parkinsons disease and, though I have a sister, still I was the only one tending to her needs. She didn't want anyone else in her home.

The way I got around this was to let her know it was "me" who was needing the help because I worried so much about her when I was not with her and that I needed some time for myself (without worrying). Since mother loved me, this sold her! I was, thus, able to get a nursing assistant into my home to give her daily baths, clean her room and socialize with her 4 hrs each morning 5 days a week for the remaining years of her life.
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Wondermomma, I know how you feel. My mom came to live with my husband and I and we always have to have someone with her because of falling issues. She is very unstable on her feet. Also, her dementia can occasionally cause delusions and she tries to exit seek. So, we are always there. If I go downstairs my husband comes up. It’s very stressful and confining. Especially since we used to travel quite often. I think that is the most stressful part of all of this. The feeling of confinement.
Recently an adult day care center has opened up here in town. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are successful (it’s a small town). We went for an interview and mom will go for her first day in a week. If this does not work out then we are going to pursue care in our home so that we can get a break together. For now, we take breaks separately. I work out of my home and feel like I have to be there all the time while she is awake.
When my father became ill, and we moved him from the nursing home to his own home, he required nursing care for several hours each morning. We ended up hiring the same woman, on our own, for four more additional hours in the evening to set up his feeding tube and do his medications. My mom ended up loving her.
My concerns with her were that each time I went to visit (once a month for a week) was that she seemed to almost take over my parents. It was something I couldn’t pin down but it seemed like I had to remind her that she worked for us and that she wasn’t one of us. Yes, she was there for 8 hours a day helping my dad with his feedings and helping mom to keep the house clean (which was a major task), but she was there because we hired her.
My parents had a house full of collectibles. Since my mom has dementia she was always giving things away to the caregiver because she was an angel for all that she did for my mom and dad. I have no idea of what my mother gave her and I never will.
The caregiver was a great help, don’t get me wrong. Things would have been much worse if she hadn’t been there. We never would have been able to allow my father to die at home, which was his wish. But, she needed more oversight than what we were able to give. After he passed away we brought mom to live with us because we couldn’t afford to hire someone to be with her 24/7. Soon we will get her qualified for Medicaid and will have assisted living as a backup if we get to the point where are unable to handle it any longer. I have 8 living siblings and none of them are willing to have her live with them.
We have put different locks on our office doors and our personal spaces that we do not want anyone to enter. We are doing this in preparation of having someone come into our home when we are not here. I think it is better to be prepared rather than surprised later on. It may seem distrustful to do such a thing, but I feel it is the smart thing to do. Yes, companies check these caregivers out, but there is no guarantee of what may happen when we are not there. Just saying, be prepared rather than sorry.
It took some time for my mom and dad to become comfortable with someone in their own home and I am sure that it will be the same as having someone come into our home to help mom. She can still shower herself and dress herself but she forgets to eat, doesn’t clean up after herself after going to the bathroom and forgets her medications, so someone needs to be there watching her at all times.
Don’t know if I helped but it helped me to share with y’all.
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A long time ago I was hired as a nurse at Visiting Angels. I interviewed for 45 min., was hired, and they wanted to send me out to an evaluation right that minute. They didn't know me, hadn't checked my references, hadn't done any kind of background check on me, nothing. I turned the job down.
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I was a caregiver for my wife for three years. At first I could do everything needed. But as she became more ill, I couldn't do it all. I proposed hiring a housekeeper and she objected. I told it, "It's not for you, it is for me. I need this help." She later commented, "I don't know how we got along without her." I suggest letting your in-laws know, we really need help and we are going to hire some. It might work or it might not, but it did work for me.
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I had to go through this with my Dad, who is now placed in Memory Care, and am now assessing my Mom re: her needing help part time at home with her being alone. The above responders are correct....what worked for me, was telling my Dad it was ' a trial period for a month'. Neither of them wanted strangers in the house, but they could not help each other at all as my Dad's dementia worsened. He had always catered to and cared for Mom and paid all the bills etc. She couldn't become his caregiver in any way, shape or form! I had called police for a welfare check numerous times, because I live out of town, and no other family in their town. So explained to them that their lawyer said, to keep control as they wished it, they needed an agency involved, because if neighbors were calling police when they were yelling at each other, then sooner or later, Adult Protective Services would get involved and the parents would have to choices as to decisions, and even I could not help assure they got what they wanted to happen. Dad agreed, and after a few weeks, came to enjoy the caregiver who came to help. Mom kept that caregiver with her for 6 months after Dad was placed, due to a fractured back and using a walker, getting PT etc. But, then decided she needed no one again. Now she has declined more and I and our daughters can see that she will soon not be ok at home again. I have POA, so don't know how you would make this happen if you did not have control of their finances to pay the bills, as they could refuse to use their money to pay for a service they do not want. My mother would be a nut case if she knew what I paid for with "her" money right now....but she needs the support. She thinks all these people doing yard work and home repairs etc, are 'volunteering' because she is 'so old'! And, we too, have big issues with caregivers and others who cannot speak English well enough for hard of hearing, elderly, with dementia to understand. Heck, I am still with it and only 69, and when I call Dad's facility to check on him, I cannot understand most of those who try to talk to me on the phone. This is what our country is coming to apparently.
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I am an R.N. w2ho worked home health for many years with the mentally difficult clients. My first bit of advice is to remove ANY jewelry from the home-place in a locked box in a bank.
No matter what I did or who I trusted to place in the home after I made my initial assessment , I found WITH EVERY CLIENT & I did this for years, any thing of value was taken. I am in the process of bring more help into this woman's home now & my biggest fear is that things of hers will be taken. I feel as if I had failed so many of these people. Be careful with the help you get. I so wish I could tell you it was not this way but that would be a lie. People, especially those less fortunate, in all my years of experience, which is 40+ years, this happened every time.
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I didn't mention in my earlier posting that in the last two years I have managed to get a week away with my husband on two occasions - all thanks to the services of a live-in carer. I have used the same carer each time and have tried to keep my mum familiar with her by asking her to come and spend a few hours with her on a regular basis to keep the confidence/relationship going. It would be lovely to have this person living in permanently but there's no room for that - when we're away on holiday, she uses our sleeping accommodation, so you need spare accommodation. Also, it's as expensive as a care facility. Maybe, you and your husband could take a holiday - your in-laws would probably agree that you needed one, and also see that whilst they think they could be left for a few hours, they wouldn't want to be left for a week or a few days. This could be your in-road into getting them to accept care.
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We had this situation when my mom wanted to come home from a personal care unit and we knew she could not do it on her own. Both parents said no, but we stood firm and said that we (3 sisters) could not do the 24/7. We choose to have a live in which was way out of their comfort zone . We chose it for several reasons. 1). It was actually close to the same price for 8 hours. 2) It allowed us to have a good nights sleep, 3) most important - it was the same person for what turned out to be 5 weeks. We started out as a 2 week trial. The agency was very schooled in talking to my parents about the benefits. The aid was Africa and had some cultural differences. We treated her like another sister and mom adjusted quickly. It turned out to be the very best decision we made. Mom ended up loving the aid and felt she was sent from God. We got to spend great quality time with mom for the 5 weeks she was home (she died suddenly). It was expensive, but I would make the same decision every day. Btw. Dad is hard if hearing, no hearing aids (stubborn and set in his ways). We thought the accent was going to be a problem. We talked to her about it and she was great at yelling and getting his attention before she started to talk. When we had tried part time aides early it was terribly confusing for mom to have different people in PT, OT, nurses and aides. Then us coming and going. With the live in there was always the same person who was with her, keeping her comfortable
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My experience: Six years ago the social worker assessed my mum as needing personal care to get her out of bed, wheel her to her shower room, bathe, and dress her. I myself had been doing that but I work from home and need the morning to myself to continue my professional work. The social services appointed an agency and a care worker came in for 30 minutes each morning. My mum was against this from the start, and what should have taken 30 minutes stretched into 45 minutes as she behaved stubbornly with the care worker. She complained that she couldn't understand the care worker who had a strong African accent. Throughout the rest of the day she was resentful towards me for agreeing to the suggestions of the social worker, and eventually after three weeks, when it was time for her to have a financial assessment, she refused point blank to continue with the arrangement. It then fell upon me again to take over this responsibility, meaning I lost the time I needed for my own professional work. A year later, the social worker assessed my mum again and assessed my respite needs. She told my mum that she had no option but to accept outside help in getting up, as the situation was making my life very difficult. Interestingly, she asked my mum how old she was, then she asked her how old she had been when I was born (both questions she could answer), and then she asked her how old I was - my mother still thought of me as a young girl although I was 60 at the time. It took the social worker to convince my mum that I was no spring chicken and couldn't be expected to continue. Mum then agreed and we started with 45 minutes morning service with one care worker. After two weeks, the agency did a re-assessment, said it needed two care workers because of mum's mobility issues, and the 45 minutes was extended to one hour. Since then, there has been a gradual increase of care services to include a bed service in the evening, and a toilet service in the afternoon. My mum has come to accept this as a way of life, although she still doesn't like it because in her mind she can still do everything herself). At the same time, her dementia means that she has no idea of her money situation anyway, so I just pay these care expenses and she isn't concerned about them. The whole point I am trying to get over is that where there's opposition to any care package, you need to start small and if possible try to give the impression that the care is to help you and your husband to continue to care for your in-laws. If you had someone for 2 hours a week for just 2 weeks, then increased it to 4, you could work up to 8 or even more hours a week. Your in-laws will quickly adjust to this, especially if the person (and it should be the same person) is able to 'entertain' them with a game of cards, dominoes, looking through their old photo albums and helping them to relive holidays, etc. Regarding the caregiver, you should use either a reputable agency which has checked the references of the person concerned, or someone you know very well who can come in on a paid basis, and you should make sure that the caregiver is easily understood by them. There's a big question to ask here - do your in-laws appreciate that you and your husband are becoming housebound because of them? If not, you should alert them to that fact and point out that you're not able to conduct your own lives because of being housebound and that you need more time to do that. They may respond more positively than you think. If you are not to become extremely resentful, you and your husband need to get out of the house together.
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You are probably better off using an agency vs someone that does it independently. I know you said Visiting Angels, so that would be good. If your parents are connected with a church, maybe someone from there? Talk to the pastor about it for suggestions.

What kind of help do they need? Bathing, meal prep, laundry, housework, grocery shopping? Is dementia an issue?

One of many problems we have had with help at my father's is he is very hard of hearing refuses to get a hearing aide and most aides are foreign with accents. He can't understand what they are saying to him.

I've stressed this to agencies we have used but they have very few aides without accents.
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