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Anyone have a personal assistaint or cargiver?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Offset Entity, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Offset Entity

    Offset Entity

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    Im trying to hire a personal assistant/caregiver combo person for 1-2 days a week. anyone have any experience with hired help? my hope is that they will be able to be a caretaker on bad days and help with projects/gardening on good days. Id love to hear any tips or thoughts on this.
    Thanks.
     
  2. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

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    Hi @Offset Entity . I understand the problem and have tried different ways of dealing with it as my level of needs has increased.

    My household consists of 2 people - self and daughter, both with ME, both housebound and mostly bed bound, so we need quite a lot of help to keep functioning.

    I employ a range of people to do different things. Currently this consists of -

    Gardener - 2 hours once a fortnight - found via a friend

    Cleaner - 2 hours once a week - employed through a cleaning agency

    Cook housekeeper - 3 hours once a week (she is a friend who I pay mainly to cook stuff we can freeze, but she also does errands, takes us to appointments, and does washing, ironing etc).
    She can't come every week but enough to do what's needed.

    Personal care - 3 half hour visits a week to help me shower and dress and/or do bits of housekeeping like washing dishes or hanging up washing. Employed through a care agency.

    ....................

    This comes out at an average of 7.5 hours a week, but spread over 5 days which I find less tiring than supervising someone over a full day.

    I find this works better than expecting the same person to do all of these things - each is doing the thing they feel comfortable with / are trained to do. It can be difficult to find someone flexible enough to be willing to do everything and reliable enough to stick with you for long before a better job comes up. I've had many cleaners, gardeners and carers over the years - it takes a lot of the stress out if you leave it to the agency to find them, but it is more expensive.

    It also means if one of them is off sick or on holiday, we're not left stranded with no help. And if there's a problem with an individual cleaner or carer, the agency will send someone different, so I don't have the awkwardness of sacking them and having to find someone else.

    I realise this is not what you described as wanting, just thought a different approach might interest you or anyone else reading this thread. Good luck with finding what you want.
     
  3. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member

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    The other side.
    @trishrhymes

    That sounds like a good setup.

    In the deep dark past (i.e. before they decided to transfer me from DLA to nothing, for my benefit according to the way they talk) I might have been able to afford it, but, even though I considered employing a cleaner and erm..(is general dogsbody a recognised position these days?) for a few hours a week I was never up to organising it, and was reluctant to invest the resources/time needed to find out what was possible given that having other people around can negatively impact me, and having heard quite a few horror stories.

    I am glad you've managed to sort things out to your satisfaction for you and your daughter :)
     
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  4. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

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    Thanks, @Wonko. I sympathise. We can only afford it because we're lucky to have DLA / PIP disability benefits, and I am a pensioner.

    And I agree the invasion of the house by helpers can have a negative impact - that's why I've had to sack a couple of people sent by the agencies. We're very lucky at the moment to have a good set of helpers. It hasn't always been like that. If I can't handle having them around on bad days, I tell them what I want done and stay out of sight.
     
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  5. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I have a woman who helps me three hrs a week and I pay her privately. I found her from an agency who charged $25/hr but I stole her from the agency (which is very common here!) and her private rate is only $16/hr b/c I pay her cash and nothing is deducted like w/agency.

    She cleans my entire apt, does laundry, changes sheets on both beds, dusts & vacuums, empties trash & boxes, washes dishes, and whatever else I need that particular week.

    I no longer need help w/taking a shower or any personal care. I can also prepare meals on my own. My family and friends drive me to my medical appts, grocery shopping etc.

    She is the best caregiver/house cleaner I've had and if either of us need to change the day or hours we just text each other and no agency involved.
     
  6. Offset Entity

    Offset Entity

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    Thanks for your replies guys,
    I think your right @trishrhymes it would be better to have a couple of people each with there own skillsets. Unfortunately I can't really afford more than 1 day per week or to use an agency so I'm hoping to build a good working relationship with just the one helper. Hopefully someone will want 50$ and a meal to run errands and clean up once a week. Just gonna roll the Craigslist dice and see what happens XD
     
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  7. Offset Entity

    Offset Entity

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    UPDATE:
    Had a meeting with my first Craigslist response and it went amazing. she took care of her disabled son until he passed a few years back and is about to start nursing school. apparently ihss doesn't pay her too well and the 50$ +gas for 5-8 hours of work sounds like a great deal to her.

    Im really excited and want to hire her but i am a bit anxious about introducing a mostly stranger into my intimate personal life (cleaning bedroom/making bed. going through medical files and organizing etc.)

    anyone have any tips on being safe and establishing trust with these kind of caretakers? im not going to background check her or anything but i plan on calling her reference as soon as i have the energy for a phone conversation.
    - Should i lock up my abuse-able meds and money i have laying around?
    - should i let her have knowledge of/access too my sensitive personal info ( Going through medical records has everything needed for her to steal identity)

    I know i should build some trust before trusting her with these things but is it better to just always be on guard?
    Im just nervous since she is a person that responded to my Craigslist ad and not affiliated with an insured care taking service.

    Id love to hear your guys opinions. am i being paranoid? or are these legitimate concerns? I have a tendency to over worry and over think things so its helpful to hear other peoples point of view.
     
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  8. trishrhymes

    trishrhymes Senior Member

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    I'd say prepare carefully what you want to ask the referee about trust and responsibility and ask them to confirm what she has told you about herself is true etc. I think the fact that she has been accepted for nursing school, assuming it's true, is a good sign if she had to pass an interview and get references for that.

    Then if it were me I would start off with only getting her to do stuff you are completely comfortable with anyone doing like cleaning, cooking etc. When you feel you know her better you can gradually start introducing more personal stuff and see how she handles it. Good luck!
     
  9. tudiemoore

    tudiemoore Senior Member

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    Yes, I'm paranoid--some of that comes from doing therapy groups with prisoners in a maximum-security prison, doing a "good deed" but having jewelry stolen by a seemingly innocent young woman I had met at yoga class and later invited for supper. And then there was the retired nurse (friend's aunt) who, I found out later, was a cocaine addict and she...

    I have seen, heard and experienced so many things that could shake one's trust during my years on the planet!
    I would definitely do a background check, follow up on her references, and interview at least a total of six people.

    I am sure this is another drain on limited energy but necessary but you are having someone in your home and
    entrusting them with literally all your worldly possessions, so to speak, but mainly you!
    I am sending you some detective vibes---:eek: !
    tm
     
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  10. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    I have a cleaner and someone who helps in the garden. These are both private paid arrangements.

    The gardener is a trusted friend. The cleaner was referred to me by someone whose judgement I trust. I formed a good impression about the cleaner when I met her and nothing since has changed that. That said, I don't leave cash, valuables or personal documents out when she comes over.

    I recently negotiated with her to help out with transport to outings and appointments. She previously worked in disability and aged care and has said she could also help out with personal care if need be. I would be comfortable with that.

    If I were in your situation with a new person I would just proceed with a bit of caution, don't leave valuables, meds etc out on view and see how you go. Trust your instincts. If you don't feel comfortable with this person then find someone else.

    Edit: I would check that reference first

    Best wishes Andy
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  11. Jennifer J

    Jennifer J Senior Member

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    Hi, I didn't read everyone's response and can't write more now but wanted to get something to you.

    I've had craigslist helpers in the past. I google all the things I can (name, address, phone number, email address...) to find out about them before I even meet with them. At some point in the process I look up the site that has court and arrest records to see if anything comes up. Really glad I've done each of those. Some real promising people came up with things that made me change my mind.

    I only have a 10 x 10 living space, so they were always in my sight. It never got to the point that I thought they were capable (skills wise) of handling more personal/medical information for me, wish they could have. I would have them grocery shop before they came over and I'd pay them when they got here so I wouldn't worry about something happening to my money.

    Proceed with caution over (a long) time would be how I'd do it if you were going to let them have more access to things. Do small tests to see what they are capable of (trust, dependability, skills, thinking processes, etc.). I wouldn't keep anything out. Due to my energy and lack of resources and money an ounce of prevention is worth it to me. I hope something here helps. Let us know how it goes (if you can and are up for it). Good luck. :)
     
  12. Offset Entity

    Offset Entity

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    @Jennifer J What is the site you used to lookup court and arrest records?

    Update on Caregiver situation.
    She just came over for dinner with me and my parents and to do a some light housekeeping. everything went pretty well. shes really nice and is very accommodating. she is currently living part time in her car and is really happy for the work. I have her scheduled for later this week to take me on some errands.

    im going to slowly increase her responsibilities as i show her the way i like to do things and see where things go.

    I have really high hopes for this. Shes a little bit quirky and lives in her car but im more than quirky and live with my parents so who am i to judge? i think this could be really good for the both of us. i will just have to remind myself to take it slow and not be too trusting to fast.

    never heard back from her reference but ive checked up on her online presence and everything checks out.

    What do you guys have your caretaker's/helpers do? do your caretakers work the whole time or are they sometimes "on-call" just hanging out with you/at your place?

    im trying to figure out how to make to most of the extra help. ive been kind of on my own for a while and somethings feel weird to have a stranger do for me.
     
  13. tudiemoore

    tudiemoore Senior Member

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    So happy you found someone to come in as a helper--
    You most likely will quickly think of many things she can do to help you.

    I would just really think about those things that are difficult for you, bathing and dressing, doing errands?
    I don't have anyone currently but when I did I gave a lot of thought to, frankly, getting my money's worth!

    Always had a mental list of needs/wants while there was someone available--
    Was difficult at first to not "make friends" but to see it as a business relationship.
    This is about you taking care of you :redface:
    tm
     
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  14. Alvin2

    Alvin2 If humans were rational...

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    I really think you need to look into the legal implications here, injury at your house, whether she is an employee and you have to follow legal requirements, declaring income to the government etc. I'm kinda paranoid that way so i would be scared of keeping things under the table if there are problems (especially keeping in mind its not an acquaintance but someone you met from a kijiji ad). Last thing you need is to have the state coming after you and ending up in court.
     
  15. Offset Entity

    Offset Entity

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    @Alvin2 the way i see it she poses the same risks of lawsuit as letting anyone into the home, (assuming she is in good faith and all) as far as her reporting income thats on her end in my opinion. as far as i know she is reporting it. lots of people hire others under the table and do fine.

    I realize there is some risk involved but were just working together person to person, trusting a new person can be risky but sometimes that's how the best relationships are formed. honestly i am a bit nervous about the whole thing.
     
  16. Alvin2

    Alvin2 If humans were rational...

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    I assume if she is injured in your home you can be sued successfully :(
    Someone once said trust but verify, being friendly doesn't mean much in the world of business, as much as i would like to blindly trust i always look out for my own interests because if i get screwed over i'm screwed. I don't know what you legally have to do in this situation but i would look into it for your location because your taking the biggest risk here.
    This is not about friendliness and relationships, this is about protecting yourself while getting the help you need. I don't mean to be so negative, i am just the type pf person who always dots my i's and crosses my t's
     
  17. Offset Entity

    Offset Entity

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    i think your right @Alvin2 im just having alot of trouble at the moment and i am not really sure how to figure all that out. i cant afford minimum wage and i could really use the help so my thought was to just put it out there and see who responded and this women seems very genuine. i guess time will tell. I will try to figure out the legal stuff in the mean time but im not sure im going to be happy with what i find lol i guess im in a little denial about the risks. just really happy to have some to help.
     
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  18. Alvin2

    Alvin2 If humans were rational...

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    believe me i can't blame you, i'm in trouble too and i don't know what to do about it :bang-head:
    i am wary of trusting strangers with business, its different if its a friend or acquaintance but with a stranger there may be other motives, and you can't tell by talking to them, the best grifters are the most 'likeable'
     
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  19. Jennifer J

    Jennifer J Senior Member

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    Hi, Offset Entity. Here's for the county I checked out my past potential help. I checked each of the case types. Hopefully this is something available in your county in your state.

    http://courtindex.sdcourt.ca.gov/CISPublic/namesearch

    Once I hired them, I asked to see and get a copy of their driver's license and social security card.

    Good luck. :)
     
  20. tudiemoore

    tudiemoore Senior Member

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    I would never have thought of copies of driver's license and social security card!
    Background check, yes--due to my "criminal background", as therapist in a prison.

    A lot to consider, Offset Entiity, I know.
    I hope you'll take your time to go forward.

    I know I regret sharing/hiring some of the people I did.
    Especially losing my grandmother's wedding ring and the watch my father gave me--it was the only thing I had from him.

    Don't mean to be such a downer but--
    "With age comes wisdom"--that surely must be a saying of someone eons ago on a mountain top in a place far, far away!

    Never give up!
    We've got your back--
    tm
     
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