How can I find a reasonably priced caregiver?

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My mother has alzheimers and I would like to find someone to come in a few hours a week just to keep her company

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I contacted the social worker at my local hospital and asked for agencies in my area that do that kind of work. Usually, they want to be fair to all agencies and say that they are all alike, but after asking more questions she gave me the name of two that she thought were very good.
I had both reps come to talk with me. I asked all the important questions like: How do you screen your applicants? How far away do you hire (very important for having people show up on time)? What services do you offer (some only do companion care, others do personal care, such as bathing and light housekeeping)? and do you have immediate back up service if someone fails to show up? I chose the company that answered all these questions to my satisfaction. They have been great.
My Mom's second caregiver we found through Medicare. Mom had a rehab stay and she was one of the caregivers they sent out. We hire her privately. Both have been wonderful.
If you are only looking for someone to sit with your Mom, you should be able to find a lot of help. Did you consider a church or volunteer group? As long as there is no medical or personal care, a volunteer could be a good solution for you.
If you do pay for care, make sure you have other duties that this person can do while she is there for your Mom. It costs too much just to have a person just sit there for 2 hours (we pay 12 - 15/hr). Also, no matter who comes into your home, lock up all valuables, medications, personal information, etc. As the owner of the agency said to me, "why put temptation in front of anyone?"
good luck
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KRISTY:

I'm sure you're on a tight budget right now. To get your feet wet, attend an Alzheimer's/Dementia Caregiver Support Group at Hales Corners Lutheran Elementary School (5425 S.). It offers community resources and emotional support to caregivers. Believe me, the help you need is right under your nose. Best of luck.

-- ED
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I found someone by advertising on craigslist. I put the amount I was willing to pay in the ad. I checked the references. I currently have VNA coming in, but plan to continue to use the helper that I pay myself.
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