How much does it cost to have someone check in with an elder a few hours a day and take them to run errands?

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Good input, Lilliput! I agree 100%. I had to "feel my way" with my first paid caregiving assignment. No list of duties, just 5 hours to do them in! :-) Now I ask! I remember one caregiver who went to a client I now do respite care for, and when told the woman is often bowel incontenent, the caregiver said "I don't handle things like that. We have people who do that." Ha - really? Like you dial "Cleanup 911" or something? So, yes, be sure to ask some tough things like "What would you do if Dad soiled himself?" or "Do you have experience with..." It's not a bad idea to jot down some things like "Dad loves to talk about his time in the Army" so that the caregiver has something to go on if things get too quiet. I generally test those waters with a new client myself. Also, I would watch the potential caregiver interact with the elderly family member. Is she/he loud? Gentle? Respectful? Timid? One of the caregivers my female client dismissed talked down to her so badly she could not handle it. She meant well, but it was like talking to a little child or a dog, actually. So get a feel for how the caregiver interacts with your family member. Oh I'm just so wordy. :-)
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If you do your homework (checking references, getting background checks), you will not have as many bad experiences. I have to say that everyone I hired showed up on time and did what they were asked to do. They really liked being around Mom and she liked visiting with them too.
I agree with 195Austin, this is a business arrangement. It is all right to be cordial to a caregiver, but first and foremost they are hired to care for your parent. If they just want to sit and visit, or clean out the refrigerator, it's time to look for a new caregiver. I tend to hire more mature caregivers who have more experience and know what they are getting into.
On the flip side, be respectful to the caregiver by providing them a written list of duties, having supplies on hand so they can do their job (ie: cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, personal care items, etc.) and paying on time. I pay weekly....cuts down on paperwork too!
I usually get a good sense of a person just by interviewing them in person. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions and be upfront about what your parent needs. You want to know BEFORE you hire someone if there is something that they would rather not do.
It's a tough job being either a family or paid caregiver. Mutual respect is absolutely necessary.
good luck on finding a caregiver.
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I charge $15 per hour, or up to $25 if there is deep house cleaning involved. There is a free online "matching" site which runs criminal background checks on potential caregivers. It's care.com I was hired by a family as a result of posting my info on that page. You will also be able to obtain references, etc, off that site. The agency I'm working for is rather elite, and the charges are much higher. You always have the right to say "no thank you" to a caregiver. IF you have an ethical private pay caregiver, they will offer to spend some quality time with you prior to reaching an employment agreement. We also want to know what WE are getting into! Ha.
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Here where I live it was 17-25 an hour for an agency and the aides at the nursing home he was in most of the time in mant stays in rehab it was about one dollar more then they were making at their job. Near the end of his life I finally found a good agency but never got to hire them because he was byond home care but I did learn the difference between a good agency and a not so good one. The agency I was going to use sent someone to the N.H. to talk to both of us and the social worker and the nurses on his unit and were going to give me the hours I wanted-the evenings were hardest for me and that is when I needed the most help. I would call several agencies and talk to them the cheapest one was the worse, The main thing I learned is not to try so hard to be their friend at first and make sure they know what their job is one aide was sitting eating ice cream with the husband and woke me up from a much needed nap to get his w/c out of our car-I was resting because I was up most nights caring for him-one male aide was not able to give him a complete bath another talked for the whole time and did not have time to bathe him-one aide took my partial plate which was expensive to replace-I could go on and on one aide broke many things. Ask around other people in your area which agency they used and if someone does not work out do not be afraid to speak up and with an agency ask how they will be paid-one agency had us give the aide the money and at least once he did not turn it in to the agency-good luck.
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Most caregiving companies ask for a two hour minumum. But during that time they can be doing personal care, errands, light housekeeping, etc.

We pay $19./hr if we use an agency. And anywhere between $12. - 15./hr when we hire privately.

Regardless, make sure you check references and meet this person. Also, check in on them once and awhile. Before you allow anyone into your family member's home, remove all valuables, cash, and important papers from their home and put them in a safe place....better safe than sorry.
good luck
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