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Old 05-20-2009, 08:32 PM   #1
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Seeking in home caregiver part time in Sacramento

How do I find an in home care giver with experience with Alzheimer's patients? Have been looking for over a year. Just need someone to help out my mother, the full time care giver, at night, when sun downing begins. Dad is finding it more and more difficult to get to sleep. He needs someone to walk around with him and keep him company and help him through his many bouts with anxiety at night. He doesn't need medical help, really just companionship. I've found people via Craigslist, friends of friends and church, but no one with any experience with this disease and so they don't work out for long. Help!

 
Old 05-21-2009, 04:00 AM   #2
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Re: Seeking in home caregiver part time in Sacramento

We had a Home Health Aide in New York for my Mom. We (my brother and I) asked her doctor for a list of licensed, bonded agencies, and interviewd people from several of them. We chose the one we felt was best.

We thought it was very expensive, at $19 per hour. But later when Mom had to go to a nursing home we found out how cheap that is, comparitively.

The aide came from 9 to 3 every day, which nearly covered my working hurs. Mom was alone in the early morning hours. In reptrospect we should have hired her to come from 6 to 3.

She accompanied Mom wherever she wanted to go that day, sometimes to a senior center (by bus), to a local swimming pool, or shopping. She helped Mom pay for her coffee at the Center, since Mom had been losing money before that, probably giving them a $20 instead of a $5 and not waiting for change. Back at hme she helped Mom with a bath or hairwash, made a light lunch and washed the dishes, then sat with Mom until I came home.

It gave us a feeling of security to know that Mom was not wandering around the city alone and getting lost. Before we hired the Aide Mom had gotten lost 3 times that we know of.

However, the downside was that Mom resented having her. She complained all the time that she felt like a prisoner in her own home, always under supervision, and in spite of her being from a bonded agency, Mom was afraid to take a nap in her presence for fear she would steal something.

The nursing hme proved to be a better solution. There were activities for the patients every day, no need for bus rides or long walks to get there, no way of getting lost. Mom trusted the nurses, never feared that anyone would steal anything, and did not feel 'like a prisoner". The NH also made sure she had her right medications at the right time, and was having normal bowel movements, things the home health aide could not do.

However, if you do get an Aide, make sure she comes from a licensed agency, as there are people out there who advertise themselves as Eldercare people but really have no idea what it entails.

Good luck

Love,

Martha

 
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
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Re: Seeking in home caregiver part time in Sacramento

I was fortunate to find a part-time caregiver for my husband through a local discount-paper, but I live in an area where many people look for part-time work. The lady I found also works part-time as an aide for a NH, and has been wonderful (we're on our second year with her, and she hasn't asked for a single day off or been more than 10 minutes late on rare occasions).

I received over 20 ads in response to my ad. Some of the people who responded claimed to have "special" experience, to be practical nurses, etc., and their hourly rate was much higher. Some people didn't have any experience with Alzheimers (students, housewives looking for work while their kids were in school, cleaning ladies looking for an easier position). After I sifted through the callers, I still had four or five people to interview.

I admit that I didn't even check my caregiver's references. If I lived in a different community, that would have been very dumb. This individual had lived in the community for many years, had deep family roots and the NH where she worked had already done background checks. She had also worked for a family once before for several years, and offered them to me as references.

I don't ask her to do household chores, since she isn't a cleaning lady. I let her use my car to take DH on outings, like walking in the mall, so that they aren't housebound. I stock the refrigerator with whatever she wants. I give her a paid day off whenever I can be home, plus a week's pay at Christmas, her birthday off, etc. This works out to two or three paid weeks a year. She's not demanding at all, so it has worked out for both of us. Her hourly rate is not much more than a babysitter, but it is still slightly more than the cost of the day care center that I also use for DH. As DH's condition has deteriorated, she has shown what a wonderful person she is. She even has started helping him brush his teeth after meals, reminds him to use the bathroom, helps him with clothing and is helping him eat. She's an absolute gem, and I feel very blessed to have found her. Sometimes I think that I will want to keep paying her to take care of me when DH goes into a nursing home someday, since it's almost like having my own Mom back...she's such a nice, caring person.

Depending on the location and if you will need to have backups if someone doesn't show up, you may have to use an agency. You can stick with local churches or AD support groups for referrals, and just hope to find someone who is reliable. Some of this is a matter of luck.

Last edited by Beginning; 05-21-2009 at 10:07 PM.

 
Old 05-21-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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Re: Seeking in home caregiver part time in Sacramento

I located the caregiver that stayed with Mom and Dad for a year through the chaplin at the local hospital. She was an angel with experience in dealing with ALZ patients. We were lucky and she basically fell in our laps.

I would definitely check with the Alzheimer's Association for referals. Here the Department of Aging keeps a list of qualified caregivers. Many times local facilities or hospitals can give referals. The sitter that was with Mom and Dad last year for a while was referred by the Assisted Living Facility. If there is a CNA program or nursing program they may haev students that are qualified. I do know that locally there are always ads in the newspaper for and from caregivers.

It would definitely be advisable to do a background check. You may have to weed though many to find the right match. It's a matter of turning over every possibility until you find what you are looking for. I do wish you luck in your search.... and don't give up

Love, deb

 
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