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Mom w dementia is at home w 24/7 aide. So light housekeeping, grocery shopping etc all handled. What are some ideas for the routine stuff like changing storms and screens and cleaning gutters, as well as the unexpected things like a light switch broke or rugs need a thorough steam cleaning, that isn’t within the aides duties? Also for general check ins - if you use a geriatric care manager, how much of this is done by them, or do they hire others for stuff?

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We were fortunate that Mom had a local guy that did small construction work and she used him for years for the little things that needed fixing around the house. She hired the neighbor’s granddaughter to mow her lawn and mu cousin’s son has a tree business so she hired him to do those chores. She kept a list of other things that she needed done (change the windows, put out the hoses, replace a ceiling light bulb, wash the windows and curtains) when we visited my husband & I took care of the Honey-Do list.

 When the time came to sell her house I called the wife of her handyman who was a realtor and listed the house with her. I knew if there were questions about when this was replaced or that done that her husband would know better than I would. BTW we listed the house on a Friday and accepted and offer on the following Monday, maybe one of the advantages of being from a small town.
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Reply to EllensOnly
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Those tasks are handled through a variety of ways - a company who cleans for elders (go through the elder's case worker) or some use a trusted friend.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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As someone mentioned, NextDoor is a great place to look for a handy man. If you post your needs, you will get recommendations from your Mother’s neighbors - which are usually the best way to find great people. Also, they have one day a week, Wednesday maybe?, when businesses are allowed to post themselves.
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Reply to BeckyT
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For home items that break - appliances, a/c, jacuzzi bathtub, etc - get a home warranty service company. (like American Home Shield) In Houston, no swimming pool, septic system or hot tub, the price is about $500 a year for the policy and you pay about $75 service fee per problem. Ex: Stove won't work and appliance man comes. He can't fix it because there is a problem with gas line so a plumber is called. You only pay one $75 fee no matter how many servicemen have to come. If you happen to have a stove problem and an a/c problem at the same time, you would pay $75 x 2.
This has worked for my mother's home because we aren't waiting on family member to have the time to come or trying to locate someone when it happens.
As for yard work or minor things (clean gutters, change light bulbs) start with neighbors who know her first. They may have a good lawn guy or handy man already. You do have to be very careful about who is coming and going in the house. Things can come up missing.
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Reply to my2cents
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We have a wonderful man, Barry who looks after Dad’s place. Dad’s place is about 6 hours from me, but in an Island, so not accessible 24/7, we must plan trips around ferry schedules.

Dad loves his illusion of independance, so Barry does all the yard work, plants, waters and weeds a huge veggie garden. Barry meets other professionals as needed, I had to arrange for the septic tanks to be pumped, Barry met the truck.

During storm season he checks the house inside and out, removes debris etc. If there is damage or work needed he gives me a call, if it is outside regular work.

This works very well for us.

Heavy cleaning falls to me. No rugs to worry about, but stripping and waxing floors, interior painting, washing walls, cleaning ovens. It could be hired out too, but I generally spend 2 weeks there with a plan to scrub and polish. I have a sense of pride in the effect of a good cleaning.
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Reply to Tothill
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Beethere Apr 16, 2019
I need a Barry!
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Depends on where mom lives with the resources. My suggestions would be to call her local city hall, see if they have an office on aging or connect with the local area agency on aging (that's what it is called) for every area of our country is covered by one. You've probably been there enough...to know of a local hardware store or two...they often have business cards or lists of people in the community with decent reputations. You might also want to try something I learned about called Thumbtack.com, or there is homeadvisor for bigger tasks; another great resource is to sign up for her neighborhood on nextdoor.com. You can ask about anything and get referrals from others, though you do want to be cautious about safety issues with strangers...definitely would have them come while the aide is present.
You can go on line to ask about tasks like steam cleaning the carpet, but follow up with phone calls to get estimates and to ensure the people entering the home have had criminal background checks done and you might want to ask if they move furniture or not, if you care.
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Reply to gdaughter
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I live about 30 minutes from dad and I created an account in Nextdoor under his address to keep track of things going on in his neighborhood and get referrals for services. It has worked well and also keeps me up on what is going on in his area.
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Reply to Babs75
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We have two active online groups in our area, one on FaceBook, one on Nextdoor. The first thing I do when I need a service is to search on the group posts, to see if it’s been asked before. Look at posts of people who have actually used the business, not just at his advertising on the webpage. Only when I cannot find someone recommended by a search, do I ask for recommendations. You could discreetly sign up the parent, using their physical address, your email, to gain access, because these groups are closed. Most recently needed a tree trimmer to remove dead limbs. Got excellent referrals, checked license and got copies of their insurance by email. I’ve also found fence installer, painter, plumber, HVAC repair, all same online groups. Nobody is going to know you are asking on the parents’ behalf, won’t know their age or health status, and you can limit the profile details. On Nextdoor details can be limited to the street they live on, not the house number. Our local groups are very active. We even get alerts of burglaries in progress, lol. Nobody has to know you are not the parent.
Best to you for being a helpful daughter.
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Reply to Girlsaylor
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My husband and I have talked about this. He is 72 and I'm 69. When our house gets too much for us to keep up, we will sell and move into an apartment. The money being spent to keep Mom in her home could go towards a nice AL. One less headache.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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When I went to visit my parents once before I moved them here.. their property looked like the Beverly HIllbillies,, and my parents were house proud. I asked the neighbors.. got lots of good advice
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Reply to pamzimmrrt
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Isthisrealyreal Apr 16, 2019
I take it you mean before they moved to California 😊
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When it comes to hiring someone to do work at home, one needs to make sure they are licensed, insured and bonded. In my area we have a local consumer group who puts out a list of all services and one can decide from that list on who to use. I have always had excellent results. I realize not every city has such a group, so one would need to depend on Angie's List or other nationwide groups which I found not as accurate as our local consumer group.

Usually tradesmen know of other tradesmen. If there is one who you think highly of, ask him/her if he/she has any recommendations. That is usually your best bet. My parents did that and found excellent people to help out.

I never use Yelp, or similar, as fake negative reports can be found. The company I work for, we had found people making negative remarks who were never our clients, nor had we ever had a conversation with a person by that name.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Nextdoor Neighbor is a good referral site for local, honest handyman services.

I think that Angie's list is also a good source.

I would be careful sharing any information about the residents of the home. I am overly cautious about strangers knowing that the home has vulnerable seniors, just never know.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Does she have any family member nearby? Or,Tag, you're it?

If you are the only family member,, try finding her a place close to you. It will take some stress off, if you can, and she can afford it.

Ask your local hardware store or neighbors if you are not on Facebook. Get 3 estimates before you hire anyone.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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None of the geriatric care managers in my area would do that. I do what Ahmijoy suggested. I look on Facebook in my area. Ask for references and then have them give a written estimate. For gutters I called a cleaning service that does gutters. For electrical I call a local licensed electrician - same for plumber.
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Reply to UsedupDIL
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Facebook is a good resource for finding a handyman or a company in their town who can help them manage all those tasks. If you find one, ask in the comments section what other’s experiences have been with this person or company or even contact the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce in their town for any reviews. Ask the aide to keep an eye on the handyman and share her opinion with you. If they belong to a church, there are often members who will help out, especially teenagers who might be looking for service hours and can change out a screen. Senior Centers in the area might also have a list of reliable handymen.
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