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My sister may lose her job as a plant tech. Her house flooded due to an icemaker line. My God, the damage.


She has been an employee of this company for roughly 18 years. She is thoughtful, polite, nurturing and loves to read. But she had to take off 3 weeks for her home disaster. Employers don't like that. It used to be ok to leave workers in your house without you being there, it is not like that now.


Should her job go south, I think she would be a good companion aide. What would you expect from that person? I am just feeling this out. She is 66. I don't know she would do. She is comfortable financially, but helps her kids. Looking for ideas and suggestions. She would be good at reading to charge, discussing current events, light housekeeping, etc. I see ads for this kind of thing. She does not know I am asking this.

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Just an update here. My sib is in no way interested in this idea. Nada. Furthermore she has no idea what her household expenses are. None. She pays the yard guy. She pays one of her kids car payment. She pays their cell plan. She has been assured nothing will change. I found this out yesterday.oy.
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Reply to Segoline
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I think there are many opportunities for companions. I've used them and others in the AL/memory care facility where my Mom was used them. They are used for non medical things. Taking the elder out for short walks. Preparing light meals. Laundry. Etc. At the facility, the family was out of state and had the companions take their Dad on walks, play music for him, take him out to the garden area and report back to the daughters.
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Reply to geewiz
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To me, it seems unjustified for a company to let go a good employee with 18 years seniority just because she took off 3 weeks to deal with a personal catastrophe. Might it be that they were looking for an excuse to let her go because she's at the high end of their plant tech pay scale? I don't put anything past the beancounters these days. Might it be worth a visit to an employment attorney for a consult? Age discrimination is a thing.

I would urge your sister to go to the library and ask the librarian to help her research careers and industries. Her local community college's course catalog offers a wealth of ideas for classes she may want to take.

Companion aides are needed. And if she can help someone with groceries and help plan and prepare meals, that's worth a lot. Nutrition is one of the first things that suffers when an elder loses mobility.

I think there are lots of ways your sister can earn money while helping other senior citizens. I'd also urge her to sit down with her finances and make sure that her budget meets her needs, she has money to carry her through this transition, and that her retirement savings will last.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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Most people want help with bathing too. Helping with meals. Maybe errands too.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Isthisrealyreal Apr 20, 2019
Companion sitters would not be bath aids, to much liability.

Any hands on care is a different job description. It would be called a caregiver.
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My friends aunt had a paid friend. They were like girl friends. Went to eat at DQ every week. Took her to get her hair done. Had their nails done together. Went shopping together. Watched certain tv shows and enjoyed long chats.
When aunt went into a NH shortly before she died, her *friend* would bring her things she needed from home, play bingo and other activities with her at the NH, visit and just sit with her. The family was so appreciative. She had a bright personality and was always dressed really cute and well groomed. I have no idea how they met and worked out the details, but it was a great arrangement.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Segoline, there is a huge need for companion sitters.

I did that as a volunteer position for several years and I was just that, a companion sitter.

Basic job description.

I could serve prepared food and drinks.

I could play games, cards, do puzzles, etc. with my companion.

I could not do any kind of actual caregiving.

No medications could be handled by me and I couldn't even remind them to take.

These were the rules of the organization, oh yeah, I couldn't be asked to stay longer than 4 hours.

My heart goes out to your sister, I had a wing nut on my toilet break while at work and yep, it was a mess. No fun to deal with water damage.

If she ends up being interested she could probably be as busy as she wanted to be and charge based on what she wanted to do. If she wanted to cook or do housekeeping she could charge more. If she doesn't do hands on care, ie toileting, meds then she wouldn't need any certification or anything.

I personally found it very fulfilling and I became attached to the people I sat with. We all became friends and enjoyed our visits. I worked with elders in financial straits and none of them would have been able to pay anything for this service.

I think it's a great question as many people here will one day be trying to figure out how to fill their days.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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I reported my post. So pearl clutchers, you can relax.
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Reply to Segoline
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AliBoBali Apr 17, 2019
Gah, I keep hitting "Helpful Answer" lately when I want to "Reply." Anyway...

Segoline, if you're going to post here with any kind of question, ya gotta take the good and leave the rest... right? It's not a trainwreck if someone says "she should Google" because that's also a tip in its own right, isn't it? That's how I know how long CNA school is, because I looked it up online.

I can't help but think some of these discussions would go so much better in person. :-)
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You know what, never mind. I can see this heading into train wreck territory. I have a relative who would be very good at this. But God Almighty. And you know what, I work with people who would hire her in a heartbeat. I should not have added a personal note. Perhaps that was the downfall. As I said, I don't know she would do. I don't what you generally would expect. I was simply trying to find out.
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Reply to Segoline
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Some U.S. states have "senior companion" programs where trained senior volunteers are given a small stipend to work with other seniors. If your sister doesn't need a significant amount of income, this might be a possibility for her as I beleive there is a small stipend and some other benefits. It's income-based, i.e., geared toward lower-income seniors who serve as volunteers.

Maybe check out here:
https://dailycaring.com/senior-companions-volunteers-give-you-break/
and here: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps/senior-corps-programs/senior-companions
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AliBoBali Apr 17, 2019
My dad had a Senior Companion briefly. The funding was lost for the local program so then he stopped getting his weekly visit.

I was so happy to get someone -- a man only about 10 years younger than him -- to come visit my isolated dad once a week, take him out to do simple things. They used to listen to jazz albums together. It was a great gift to my dad, and to me because I had an emotional buffer for a change, someone else to bring my dad's spirits up and engage him.

I think the man was paid somewhere in the range of $15/hour, with only a couple of hours paid per weekly visit, but he was worth so much more than that to my dad, and to me.
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This forum seeks all kinds of caregiving solutions. That is WHY I asked the question. Many people cannot convince their parent to go to something called ADULT DAY CARE, they really need to re name that, quite frankly.

Rude poster, you are so very welcome to report my question. Why don't you do that instead of being a jerk. Ok? Good!

If inappropriate, I personally will ask it be removed. There are some elders who just need a companion or visitor for short time. I am simply trying to find out if there is a need.

Newbiewife, thank you.
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Reply to Segoline
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worriedinCali Apr 18, 2019
Your question is more than appropriate for this forum. Pay the snarky snarkers no mind segoline!
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When/if the time comes that sis loses her job AND wants to work as a home health aid, perhaps putting out an advertisement in a local paper stating exactly what you did here ("thoughtful, polite, nurturing, loves to read" "would read to charge, do light housekeeping") and some other details... Maybe that would be enough to get the attention of a local who needs such services.

I think it's more realistic that if sis wants to do HHA (home health aid) work, she should look into local classes for CNA - certified nursing assistant. It's 4-12 weeks of school, depending on state requirements. Is she in the US?
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Reply to AliBoBali
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I think people here may have hired people such as this for their loved ones, so I don't think it's an inappropriate question at all. A lot of people on this site have been thrust into a caregiver role, not volunteered to become one as this person is asking about.
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Reply to newbiewife
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Well bless your heart.
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Reply to Segoline
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Why don't you Google it? But this forum is for caregivers with questions about all that goes into caregiving. Not about job descriptions. Sorry about your sister but you need to use Google or Bing!
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NYDaughterInLaw Apr 20, 2019
Is "Google it" really the best you could do? Why even bother answering Seg's question if you're so irritated by it? FYI: sorry with the word but after it is not an apology. Sorry about calling you out but someone had to do it!
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