I am the caretaker for my grandparents in the Chicagoland area. I have been at it for several years now, but I am 33 and my role of caretaker came on suddenly, though not entirely as a surprise. My Grandparents are 88 and 86, with differing and evolving levels of care.
Up until this point, I have simply been cooking, cleaning, corresponding with doctors, shopping, performing minor physical rehab, and working with one who has a touch and go case of dementia (can care for herself one day, and has no idea how to turn a shower on the next.)
It has taken a massive toll on me physically and psychologically at a younger age, and as a result it has been difficult to remove myself from day-to-day operations enough to properly research care alternatives so they don't have to end up in a nursing home, which is of course what they've expressly asked. Though one day in the not too distant future, that may become the case.
For the mean time, they just moved to a smaller, safer place (geriatric-friendly bathrooms, no steps, etc.) and the lease is 18 months, so they'll be there for a solid period of time.
I am totally lost on this because I don't know a single person my age who is having to care or coordinate care on any level like this, so I don't know who to ask or where to go when it comes to my title question: How do I find an independent caretaker, and for that matter where, who is not simply an agent of one of the few home-visiting services such as visiting angels, etc or one of the "big box" home care provider services??
Thank you for any help you may be able to offer!!