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At the early part of this year we were just starting to discuss possibly hiring someone to come in to our home and help care for my 88 yr old father who has mild to moderate dementia. Then the pandemic arrived and we not only stopped the discussion but also took him out of adult daycare that he had been attending three days a week. For those who've had help come in to your home, what did you do when the pandemic hit? Did you continue having someone come in (wearing a mask, I'm assuming)? How has that been working out? I'd really like to know if it's safe to go ahead and hire someone while all of this is going on.

Any caregiver should be doing a self assessment before seeing any elder.  They should be wearing appropriate PPE and practicing guidelines established by the CDC.  I know people who stopped having Aides assist them at first but really needed the services so they may now have returned to limited services.  Adult Day programs are still closed here but guidelines have just been released for re-opening.  Meals on Wheels are being delivered but congregate meal sites are closed but most are providing take & eat meals.  I think as long as people are being safe and your area is not a 'hot spot' having an elder receive services need would be fine.  Please use an Agency so that you know they are getting the training and support they need to do the job.
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Reply to EllensOnly
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My housekeeper ( once a month, only works that job for my DD and I) also works part time for a home care agency. Since COVID, her part time job has boomed, as so many CGs quit . She has had no problems, none of her Pts have gotten COVID, nor have we. She is very clean and reliable, so for us it is win win. On her day here she cleans and entertains mom, and hubs gets a break to run his errends as she makes sure Mom eats, etc. And her hubs works for a durable medical equipment company and he is still healthy too.
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My 85 yo husband has mild/moderate dementia. I had respite care come in a couple times a week prior to Covid to give me a break. Since then I have stopped using the provider partially because I cannot ask her to only work for us and because she does work with others, I just don’t want to take the chance. My husband cannot remember to social distance and doesn’t like wearing a mask so we stay home and do online shopping.
We are fortunate to have a large backyard that we can walk around for some exercise. We talk to our neighbors over our fence and keep in touch with others over the phone. So far it’s working ok although I really would like a break!
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KaleyBug Jul 12, 2020
You sound like me, my parents live across the street we are on a dead end with good size yards and neighbors we have known since 1969. Some of the neighborhood children have moved back with elder parents to help. I also let the help for mom go. Sometimes I feel like a break but for the most part its easy. I go back and forth 3 times a day. Both parents sleep in. Then go to bed by 8. Dad took ill a few weeks ago and is only getting his strength back so I help him morning and evening. The rest of the day he is functioning ok. I am able to escape for up to 3-4 hours here and there so I just take it one day at a time. All my helpers either work with other clients to or in assisted living. The only person I am considering bringIng back is the CNA through hospice for twice a week morning bed baths for mom. The young lady before covid, came in bathed mom and got her up and in her recliner. Then around 10:30am she would text me she was done and leaving. We would pass on the driveway as I was walking over. Hospice wears the N95 face mask when they come in. Mom does not wear a mask but I have a face shield for her.
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My mom continued with the same evening sitter she had before Covid. The sitter has a full time day job. The benefits out weigh the risk to my mom. She is careful about wearing a mask and constantly sanitizing everything. The sitter cooks, shops, helps mom shower, monitors meds, checks her BP and does light housekeeping. Priceless
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Pstracy Jul 13, 2020
Who or what type of agency do you go through for this type of help? And do they take insurance?
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My husband is a hospice patient and I only allow his nurse and the same shower aide to come into my home. Before Covid, I would get different nurses and aides, now I told hospice I will only permit his assigned nurse and only his male aide. For us, it has worked out well.
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I live with and care for my elder parents (dad 103 and deaf and active) and mom (almost 98 with dementia). I also work part-time (now remotely from home). The bottom line is I have been doing this for years and I am 60+ and I wish I had more energy...but the truth is I don't and they are messy...very messy. I just can't do it all. Every weekend my list is made and my head is filled with "I should's". Last year we were part of a program that allowed for us to arrange for hiring privately someone that was to give me as a caregiver respite. Mom was negative and uncooperative in re to companionship or assistance with personal care. The care plan included light housekeeping. After weeks elapsed with no progress I focused on getting help with the housekeeping, in areas only my parents used and NOT even asking for the kitchen to be done. In the end I realized with help from people in this forum what I really might want/need was house cleaning help. And so I was going to go down that road and just about to turn down it when COVID hit. And knowing what I do, my attitude is now what I do and when I get to it to do it will be enough. I'm just not willing to take chances. If the person coming in has another job at a nursing home, they are potentially bringing in the virus, mask, gloves, help...but I'm just not willing to take the chances..it's not worth it. Health care people go home and some get undressed in their garages and shower before seeing family...that's how concerned they are. I was livid last night to see the credit card bill and realize my own father had gone to local stores (grocery etc) NINETEEN TIMES in a month. That means he brought the risk home to my mother and me who have been far more isolated. I've been doing the shopping and told him to give me a list. No matter how much reassurance and precautions anyone takes...there's still a risk. Most of the cases in our area have stricken those in nursing homes...but again, it's many of those workers who are not being paid adequately who take on 2nd jobs with the agencies hoping to not have to work much. IF I had to go forward, I would try to find a single individual who doesn't provide such care for anyone else...it is a horrible and challenging time for all of us.
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My dad was in MC for over a year. He has moderate Alzheimers. He was giving up after weeks of no contact other than window visits. We decided to take him out and put him in a handicap accessible apartment and hire full time help. We started just before Memorial Day. It’s worked great! He’s on hospice and we’ve declined aides coming in to shower him as they are in/out of too many places. Dad’s caregivers handle everything from meds, meals, cleaning, laundry, incontinence care and most importantly, they provide companionship! It’s been a true blessing!
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DadsGurl Jul 12, 2020
I forgot to mention we take the temperature of everyone before they come in. It’s not fail safe, but Dad has freedom he so longed for during lockdown. He was quitting before we removed him; not from his cancer or Alzheimer’s, but from being socially isolated. Several people in his MC facility gave up and died just a couple weeks after total lockdown.
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Take it from someone that has a lost one that was in assisted living. I Put my wife into an assisted living home were she contracted the virus. I was married to her for 52 years. She was my life.

Andrew Cuomo Governor of you NY directed that  positive patients still  sick  from the virus to be sent to nursing and assisted living homes, they had no ppe safety equipment  and  infected  aids and seniors citizens wiith the disease and eventual murdering over 50, 000 poor people including my wife  . He made sure that his mother was taken out before he did this.  Words could not describe what I think of him and these home home that did not properly protect these loved ones
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tornadojan Aug 26, 2020
I'm so sorry for your loss. It is hard enough to deal with the death of a loved one, but especially under these circumstances, it is especially painful. For whatever it is worth she is in a Covid-free world where she is enjoying peace and happiness - and I know wishing the same for you.

My mom died in February. I know she too is in a better place.
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I’ve had in home care before the virus and continued when the virus appeared. I’ve had no problem. They wear masks and are very careful. sometimes I even let them remove their masks. So far, so good.
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Reply to Hewdays
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I have had a HHA come four days a week , although once I had to turn her away when she arrived sickly. She had been wearing a mask, but I wasn't taking any chances with my 84yrold father.Depending on where you live and if it's a hotspot currently for Covid.Will also play a role in having someone come in the home.
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gdaughter Jul 12, 2020
An outrage and sad commentary on our times if the aide showed up visibly sick.
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My mom was in a rehab center when Covid hit. I had to move to a downstairs apartment in order for her to come home as she is no longer able to walk without assistance. She was in the rehab facility to get stronger with the help of physical therapy. Shes been home since May 22nd and we have had home health nurses and physical therapists come in 3 times a week. They have all worn masks and sanitized their hands often. We also wear masks when they are here. The only exception is if my mom is having shortness of breath that day (due to COPD) then she removes the mask for a few minutes to help her breathe better. We were not asked to wear masks but my mom and i agreed it was the best idea. We haven't had any problems and the nurses and physical therapists are a blessing. We live in a city of about 200,000 in Washington state and our countys numbers are fairly low but slowly rising.
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joelfmi118 Jul 12, 2020
Take it from someone that has a lost one that was in assisted living. I Put my wife into an assisted living home were she contracted the virus. I was married to her for 52 years. She was my life.

Andrew Cuomo Governor of you NY directed that  positive patients still sick from the virus to be sent to nursing and assisted living homes, they had no ppe safety equipment  and infected aids and seniors citizens wiith the disease and eventual murdering over 50, 000 poor people including my wife  . He made sure that his mother was taken out before he did this. Words could not describe
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We continued my dad’s helper throughout this time, and now recently added in home hospice services. For him, the benefits far outweigh the risks. All who come in are careful and practice the recommended guidelines and there’s been no issue thus far. My dad is at peace with knowing this life isn’t forever, also knows Covid is similar to pneumonia in the elderly and doesn’t see that as the worst way to go, so he’s okay with it.
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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My 90 year old mom with Parkinson's had a caregiver from an in home agency twice a week to give me respite prior to COVID. I suspended caregivers until 2 weeks ago. Now I am having one caregiver for a couple hours once a week. She wears a mask, but I need to keep requesting her to wash her hands and sanitize what she touches. I think in home care is relatively safe, I needed to have some sort of respite and mom needed to see someone other than me.
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