Hiring the Right Person

My mother needs help but she’s reluctant to let anyone come in. How do I hire the right person?

Isabelle in Montana, 46

Once you reach the decision to hire someone else to help with your elder care challenges, you need to determine the answers to the following questions:


* Who is going to pay for the help (you/your elder/insurance)?

* Does the helper take insurance as a form of payment? If so, what insurance?

* Should you hire a therapist, and if so, what type(s)?

* Does your elder need an aide of companion to live in the home 24/7?

* Who pours and dispenses your elder’s medication?

Aides should be hired only to take care of your elder and perform the agreed upon chores directly related to that care. Don’t load them up with extraneous duties, even if you see they’re highly competent, unless of course the aide agrees to it. Then, they should be duly compensated for additional tasks. Also, and this is very important, take the time to make a match. Have the potential helper spend some time with your elder before they’re hired.

Hiring an aide really comes down to a matter of time and financial resources. If you and your elder have the financial resources to free up some of your time, I highly recommend hiring help. Even if it’s for just 10 hours a week, you’ll be amazed at the difference a well-organized, competent aide can make in your life and the life of your elder.

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