I know this is a national site, but does anyone know any good resources to find help locally? We are looking for someone who can spend a few hours a few times a week with my 86-year-old mother, either in her room or preferably taking her out shopping, to museums, etc.

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Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. Great ideas!
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Peter, I would begin with a list of possible roles you want the individual you hire to be able to fill. Then think about the skills they need. Driver's license, car and insurance or public transportation? Meal prep? Communication skills (language ability)?
You can do a computer search of firms that offer these services. That is a starting point.
Where is Mom, at home? There are several routes you can consider. I initially used an 'out of work' friend. When she found a position, I went to the local church (we had no connection with it) and asked if they knew of anyone that would be interested and good for this role. They told me they had a 'perfect person'. I gave them my phone number and the woman called me. We met and she was perfect.
You can do a computer search on companion services for your zip code. You can use word of mouth to seek out candidates. You can look around Mom's neighborhood and see if there are any stay at home Moms that would like to pick up some extra money while the children are at school. Finally, when my Mom was in assisted living, I observed such companions hired for other residents. I had just struck up a starting point for one when my Mom took a turn for the worse and didn't return to the facility.
After I met and liked someone, I would do the first day with them. I showed them where her 'stuff' was and showed them around the complex. I made sure my Mom was comfortable with them and vice versa.
As always, if someone is coming into a home, I recommend locking up all financial data and valuables
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