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My father-in-law has Alzheimer’s and is in assisted living. He’s entered another stage of Alzheimer’s recently, and this has really ramped up his neediness (for lack of a better word). Visits help calm him down but we can’t visit him every day.


My husband and I are considering hiring someone from an agency like ‘Home Instead’ to keep him a bit more entertained. Taking him on walks (nearby, of course), playing games, and just keeping his mind occupied. We’re thinking possibly 3 times per week.


His finances are in good shape, so this is something he can afford.


I’d appreciate any feedback on this subject.


Thank you very much.

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Because of several other threads on the subject, I suggest that you are alert for a carer becoming an ‘instant best friend’ and then getting a lot of money out of the client, one way or another. It may be safer going through an agency, though some carers have left the agency and opted for milking the client. It seems to be worse with female carers going for male clients who still have a sex urge. Perhaps you can get an appropriate clause (no payments outside this agreement) written into a contract for private care (which you should have), or a contract with an agency which also gets signed by the carer. It may be unusual, but it’s devastating when it happens.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Hi-

My sister and I did the same thing for our Mom. We started out at three times a week four hours a day with the idea that we could increase the number of hours if we needed more care given. I completely agree with the other comments here regarding finding the right person for Mom. Some of these granny nanny administrators will try to pair you up with whoever is easiest to schedule. Don’t be afraid to push back on the administrator if you feel like it’s not a match. You’ll obviously want to be around for the first visit just to make sure they are getting along. At some point you will have to leave them alone to see if they can be one on one with each other. I went out to grab coffee a couple hours into the first visit.I thought everything was going well but when I returned I got the stare of death from Mom. We fine tuned our description of who we thought would be compatible and the second person worked out well.
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Reply to Hex6837
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Thank you for sharing, and I’m sorry to hear that about your mother. My mother-in-law also had dementia, although it was never officially diagnosed because she became quite vile and we were not able to convince her to see a doctor. She got quite violent and would literally growl, throw things and have angry outbursts where she would hit people. Sadly, she was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away 17 days later.

My father-in-law is very social so that would not be concerning. Any type of company will settle his nervousness. Thanks again, I appreciate your input.
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Reply to Vixtoria
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Vixtoria, I had used the same Agency that you had mentioned for my own Dad. The main thing is to have the Agency send a different person each day until Dad-in-law clicks with a Caregiver. After a week, my own Dad had picked who he really liked, and the caregiver was with him for over a year. It was a perfect match.

Dad first started with the caregiver when he lived at home, then he brought her along to senior living. It worked out great, she worked from 7 a.m. to 1pm. Thus he got to see her smiling face first thing in the morning, this gave him a routine.

Dad had physical therapy couple times a week, so the caregiver made sure he was on time for his appointments. She also would take Dad to the sunroom so he could enjoy the sun and a change of scenery. If there was music entertainment, she would make sure Dad was there.

Another plus, this wonderful caregiver would take Dad to doctor appointments, thus the doctor and Staff knew who she was whenever Dad was there. She would call me after the appointment to let me know what was going on. After any doctor appointment or barbershop trip, she would stop at Burger King as a treat for Dad.

Dad had his caregiver M-F, and on the weekends another caregiver who also had been with him for over a year. She loved to bake, so she would bring him treats. And when Dad was having breakfast and lunch in the dining room, she would help the waitstaff to give her something to do while Dad ate.

Before calling an Agency, check with the facility to see if they allow "outside caregivers" to come into the facilities. Some facilities may not allow this as "strangers" might scare the other residents. The Agency in question knows what paperwork is required by the facilities, thus have all their ducks in a row. Well worth the cost :)
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Reply to freqflyer
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Vixtoria Jun 4, 2019
This is so heartwarming to read, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Your father really benefited from the caregiver, and I hope the same for my father-in-law. Also, thank you for the tip on checking with the nursing home first.
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I think it is a great idea, if he doesn't mind new people.

However, you will have to commit to be present until you are sure it is a good fit.

I would also check the charitable organizations in your area and see if they offer companion sitting.

I do this and I love my people, it is a volunteer program and has limits, but it could be a good resource for someone that is only going to visit.

Best of luck!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Vixtoria Jun 4, 2019
He loves to meet new people. Thank you for suggesting a charitable organization. I’d have never thought of it.
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This really depends on your FIL. I know my mother, an anti-social, borderline recluse would never have accepted a stranger. If your FIL was always a social person who enjoyed meeting people, this might work. If you do hire someone, introduce them as a friend of yours who wanted to meet him. Don’t introduce them as someone you hired to keep him company. Make sure you find someone who has much experience with dementia patients. I’m not sure this person could “calm him down”, though. He may be needing to see someone from his family for that.
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