Choosing an assistant for your elderly or handicapped relative


So when you go home for the holidays, you realize that a relative needs a little (or more than a little) assistance.  Since you live out of town, you need to find help from non-family.


How to decide who to hire?


1.  Plan your work and work your plan.  First, find a few agencies to consider.  The Internet is a great place to start.  See what the agency says about itself, and rely on your first impression.


2.  Talk to the head of the agency.  Explore what he or she thinks your relative needs.  Compare what services they think are needed with what you were thinking.


3.  Discuss your budgetary constraints.  If you feel uncomfortable discussing financial issues, it is not the agency for you.


4.  Be specific about what services you want that are not strictly personal in nature.  “Light housekeeping” may not include laundry or cleaning the bathroom.


5.  Meet the actual caregiver. Find out his or her experience and training. Be certain that if services are needed daily that back-up caregivers are available when needed and meet them and find out about them too.


This article was written with assistance from:


Zina Thompson

Elizabeth’s Helping Hands

(314) 397-2216