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I am in New Jersey and will pay out of my pocket. Mom will visit from India and she will get nervous if I leave the house for 4 hrs. She has mild dementia (I think) ...no formal diagnosis yet. I know the rate varies all over USA but what's a decent average? The person will just sit next to mom and keep assuring her that I will be back soon. Thank you.

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Thank you all
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Wren, I had an agency live in for my Mom and a private companion --- both in NJ.
The companion was asking $20/hour but had a great deal of experience and ws highly recommended by a house of worship staff. This was 6 years ago! You can ask neighbors and friends for recommendations. Perhaps a college student studying in the medical field? Or an out of work neighbor. As someone else suggested, I told my Mom that my friend needed references to work with seniors.
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In this small community, the agency I would use charges $25 per hour. Even just to sit by mom and reassure her. I hope you go through an agency.
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Around $25/hour unless you are in the NYC metro area. If it's for more than 4 hours at a time, the rate usually goes down a bit.

If Mom protests too much, assure you that "you hired 'Mary' because she's the daughter of a friend, and in need of temporary job." You're doing your friend a favor.

I would definitely check with others if there is an active ethnic community that you can tap into. Hopefully they can recommend some good caregivers.
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Thank you all - Mom has only Indian rupees, not $ and I would never dream of asking her to pay for this (maybe cultural norms at work here...:-)) if she ever agrees to someone watching her. If she protests, I will keep repeating,"it's for my peace of mind.." like you all advise.

I don't know about volunteers in the Indian community - have to look into this..thank you!
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If your mom is visiting from India - is there a local Indian community where you live that might have volunteers or people who work with the elderly that might make a better cultural fit with your mom?
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In Texas, the going rate from a licensed caregiver (through a Home Health company) is $25 an hour, to do nothing more than a babysitter would for a young child. This is the rate for someone who fits what you need. If your mom was to need nursing/medical care throughout the day, the rate would be much higher.
Please don't pick just anyone. Either go through a service or possibly pick someone you know that is capable of caring for her. If you choose a licensed caregiving service, you have someone that answers to you should something go wrong. It also means that the caregivers are trained to work with the elderly and know basic first aid/cpr.
I will say that if you'll look up at the top bar of this page, there's a place to click that says "Find Care". It's a wonderful, free service provided by this website. They give you the names of several companies in your area that provide care.
Good luck!
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Wren, for my Dad, he had hired caregivers from an Agency, he lived in a very large metro area and the average rate is $30/hour. The Agency was licensed, insured, bonded and had workman's comp insurance in case one of their employees got hurt on the job.

You may be able to find a person to "babysit" for much less, but would the person be experienced with someone who has dementia. Dementia is a learning curve, thus someone not familiar might say things that would upset your Mom. Such as trying to correct Mom on what Mom says, which isn't a good thing to do with dementia.

Actually your Mom should be paying this expense, not you.

With an Agency, you may request someone who speaks Mom's native language. 
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