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I answered an ad on this site and within about 5 seconds there was a person calling me on the phone wanting to send someone out to do an assessment of my mother and home. This rattled me as I am just beginning to look and see what my options are for help within the home. When you are looking at $18 to $20 an hour it makes me sick and wonder how can I afford this? Has anyone ever hired someone from a church or a student? Mom really just needs a companion or baby sitter person who can watch her while I run errands or run to the doctor. She is able to take care of her own personal needs like the bathroom and making herself a drink. It would be nice if the person would talk to her and visit but I do not know where to begin. What do I look for and look out for? Did you have to lock up everything of value and all paperwork in file cabinets?

My sister will be taking care of Mom for three weeks while I go on vacation and she says she needs help as she cannot do this alone....yet I do it every single day alone, but in her eyes that is different...yeah its me not her!

If this does not work and relieve some of my everyday stress I am going to have to look for alternatives. Does anyone know what Adult Day Care costs run?

I guess I need a Nanny for Mom or a Friend.

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There is a Home Care Sevice in Ottawa that serves individuals who require assistance to live independently in the comfort of their own homes. A big benefit of hiring in-home help is that your loved one gets to stay in a familiar environment. In the later parts of peoples' lives, they tend to get easily confused and can frequently forget where they are. By allowing them to stay in their home, they are less likely to deal with the frustration of being somewhere they are unfamiliar with. Sometimes this options is less of a fight than convincing a senior to move out of their home of many years!
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Eyerishlass: Unfortunately I do not have ANY friends who I can ask to help me. I have been stuck in this house for 17 years and therefore those who had been friends have moved on. When I came here I was ill and put on disability, then my aunt, father, brother in law and now Mom became people I have cared for, for free. I am at my wits end however with Mom and the dementia, it is so much harder to handle. It's really the wearing away of yourself and I need to be able to get out of the house when errands need to be done or a doctor appointment comes up for me.

I asked my daughters friend who just became an RN and she said there were notices up at her school where people were hiring students to help out with their elderly parents. Too bad the school is an hour away! There is a college close to us that I may try. My daughter is graduating and my niece is just starting college so I am hoping and praying they may be able to help a little until they have jobs or their work load becomes too great.

I have found that the kids in our family shy away from helping as the dementia has become to hard for them to deal with. They are basically "afraid" or "disgusted" with the behaviors and it is very hard for them to handle. My nephew was last here on Christmas Day and prior to that may have been Easter 2013. He says he cannot deal with it and has to stay away. My daughter became so distraught that she was contemplating suicide, so I do not want to push any of them to help. It is funny however that we were expected to help with our grandparents, our feelings did not come into play. I don't know which is best.
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There are many ways to get good home care without fear of 'dark individuals' preying on the weak and agencies charging a small fortune. I've always said that there are plenty of active nurses who eventually know someone who is willing to work a little extra at a reasonable rate, without paying an inflated agency fee. Ask existing nurses, physicians' offices. Placing an ad maybe be risky but at the same time trying to find an immaculate person to fit in is difficult. Someone who appears to have an immaculate front I have found doesn't always pan out like somebody who has had confrontations.Certainly background checks can be helpful but their accuracy maybe questionable, and often can be politically founded. I would say references from established nurses is the best reference.
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Hello HolyCow,

Here is an eBook that our AgingCare.com editors have written that gives you a step-by-step on how to search for home care. I've also included an article that defines alternative ways to pay for home care.

https://www.agingcare.com/eBook/Home-Care

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/paying-for-home-care-155405.htm

Hope this helps,

Ashley T.
The AgingCare.com Team
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I don't know about you but I'm always wary when someone starts soliciting my business so aggressively right off the bat. It puts me off and makes me uncomfortable. I would have been rattled too.

If you have a friend who can sit with your mom while you do errands that's great. Do you have any friends who have offered to help if you need it? If so, now would be the time to call on them.

Placing an ad for a "sitter" or "companion" is risky. And if you did place an ad, yes, you'd want to lock up everything of value because there are people who will answer your ad that shouldn't be trusted, people who are opportunists and prey upon the elderly. You would have to do a complete background check on them (not just personal references). Criminal, Family Registry, professional references (hopefully they'll be medical-related), etc. Even if you only need someone to be there with your mom while you're gone you'll want someone who can be trusted.

If you can find a nursing student that might work. She'd probably be looking for a little extra money. But you'd have to check references for a student as well. Ascertain that she IS in fact a student, etc.

If you go through an agency, yes, you pay for all of their services (and you are usually required to have a 2-hour minimum) but the caregiver you get will have already had her references and background checked by the agency when she was hired. If, for some reason she can't be there, the agency will send a replacement but only after discussing it with you first. She will be experienced in sitting and visiting with elderly people and will know how to put your mom at ease. But you're right, it is expensive. But you're paying for professional services.

You can always ask around, see if anyone knows of anyone or has used the services of anyone in particular. The church might know of someone.

I'm so glad your sister is taking your place for 3 weeks! It's always good when a family member steps in and has no idea what we've been going through all this time. And if she's going to need help getting to know an agency now might be a good idea. Unlike a daycare an agency is a 24/7 business and since your mom has dementia she might be more comfortable in her home with a sitter as opposed to going out to a daycare. If she can afford it.
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Find your local technical college and see if they have a CNA program or something similar. That way you know the person is interested in pursuing a career caring for people. Just be sure to ask for references and make sure you follow up with them.
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