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I have heard this model can be beneficial for both parties – finding someone to live in the spare bedroom of your parent’s home to keep them company and make sure your parent is safe. The person lives in the home for free or for small pay in exchange for a place to live.

We are on a tight budget and my mother has a spare bedroom/bathroom that I can use with this type of arrangement. Has anyone had experience with this, positive or negative? Every situation is different, but I was thinking I would arrange it to where the person would agree to be at the house between the hours of 9p-9a or 10p-8a, with their days left to do whatever they want/need to do. Would need to figure out details like responsibilities, if any, while they reside in the home, vacation, etc. The resident would be in the home primarily if mom needed something in the middle of the night, if she fell in the middle of the night, etc.

Any thoughts?

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I agree with NHK, I would never even consider a situation like this. As needs increase you would need to change caregivers. So many unknowns could happen. I can see how the concept would be attractive, however. Agencies will have someone live in the home, then send another caregiver to cover weekends, and they get paid. What if the person realizes this is just too much after a week or two, or the arrangement is not working for you or the family member? I sure would not want to have to find someone new on a short notice situation. I'd assisted living out of the question?
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I am a single parent and used a situation like this for a night time caregiver for my son while I worked nights (We have a spare bedroom). I went through many but all in all it was a good situation. Now my son is older and we use the spare room for Mom with severe dementia and i care for her full time instead. You do need to check references carefully and do a background check. You might want to see what it would cost to get the person bonded. I used college age or young adults for the most part and I know there are those in that category that would be great with the elderly. You just have to find the right fit.
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Whoa. The word "companionship" scares me a little. It could mean different things to different people. I would never suggest such an arrangement.
Are you suggesting a rental situation? Why? Need income? If so, you are setting yourself up for some problems. There are license d caregivers who will reside in your home overnight. You pay them. They don't pay you.
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My In laws had a live in companion/caretaker for a while. They did it as a job, not as a way for free rent. It started out with the companion cooking, shopping, driving to appointments, and doing laundry. It works for a while but in the end they needed more care than she could give them.

If you're worried about her needing help at night, that makes it even more a caregiving situation. If she needs help at night, then the persons has their sleep interrupted. A stranger with a job outside your home can't realistically sign up for that. A relative might do it for a while, but it's very hard.

Other advice as good: references and a clear description (do it in writing) of roles, responsibilities, and hours are needed.
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As a retired RN, I have thought about doing this with my parents, but I would go to the local nursing college and try to find a college student who was interested in free or low cost rent, in return for providing care, and a student nurse could do some basic physical care when it was needed. A student nurse would also have better assessment skills in terms of communicating with you too.
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Be sure to do a background check. Have seen a few bad cases.
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A client of mine did this and it was horrible.The person took advantage of the client, moved her son in also and his friends hung out all the time. The client was afraid to say anything because the son was a biker. The neighbors ended up calling her daughter who lived out of state and telling her about all the parties going on over there. The client was in her late 60's early 70's and the lady who moved in was in her late 60's and it appeared they were both afraid of the sons friends. Daughter ended up having to get the police to evict the woman and for months on end after that, someone was ringing the door bell in the middle of the night, trashing her yard, calling and hanging up. She ended up moving to a assisted living.
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I would be very clear and specific about the arrangement and have the companion sign a lease that specifies the terms of her living there. It could be a wonderful situation or it could be a nightmare - the determiner is in how well you plan.
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If the companion is the same age or condition as your elder, then what happens if the companion, or both of them, worsen and need more help? Would the companion have to leave (which might be a hardship on the companion) so a third person could move in to care for your elder? Would a third person be brought in to care for both?

If the same-age companion has no home or resources of her own, then you might end up being responsible for two elders instead of one.
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My father-in-law (80's)had a younger family friend(60's) live with him in exchange for the friend doing odd jobs around the house and errands that my FIL was no longer able to do. It was a good arrangement for both and lasted until my FIL's death.
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yes, my mother and I shared a mobile-home. At first it felt strange. At 53, suddenly I was living at home again and felt like I was the child to teenager again. In my mind the roles had to be adjusted. We got along great, it wasn't easy at first. My mother had dementia, as it got worse she was very grateful I was there. It worked out for the best for both of us. Shortly after she moved back into the home (she was in assisted living for a year), I was laid off from my job. I did not have to worry about going out, looking for work, I had a new job...being my mother's caregiver. her income paid the space rent and put food on the table. She passed away in August. While she was here, I was able to take her to the doctor, posted pictures and videos on Facebook to share with the family. They did not have to worry about her care, everything was being taken care of. No more scammers calling her for money. I picked up the phone and they hung up.
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Does your mother have dementia? A total new ballgame, does your mother require nursing, lifting, toileting, another ballgame. If she is just elderly and you'd rather have someone to be a companion, then I think it is a great idea to have some other person in her state of health and age live with her. A dog or cat is good too for companionship and gives the elder a reason to get up and take care of someone other than themselves. Prepare though to step in if she can't take care of the animal any longer, as in, you take him or her in, no ifs ands or buts in this case.
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I think it sounds like an awesome arrangement if you can find someone you and your mother trust and that your mother likes. Even better - does she have any friends or family members that are living alone that this might appeal to?
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The local organic food market has a bulletin board where people often advertise looking for a room, often saying they are mature, quiet, have nursing or caregiving experience -- and good local references.
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Additional Title: companionship and keeping an eye on your elder?
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