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Checklist for Choosing In-Home Help

Updated on September 9, 2011

Keeping your independence

Nobody likes to be a burden to anyone, whether your body has given out due to illness, age, or disability. If you are in that situation or know someone who is, I don't have to tell you how depressing it can be to feel like you are a bother to family or friends. The key is independence. Getting there can seem overwhelming so here's some tips to help you navigate your way.

Assess your needs. What are you able to do and what do you need help with. This may sound trivial but any service you talk to is going to ask. Give it some serious thought so you don't leave anything out. Think about your days, your routines, your appointments, your frustrations. Do you need companionship, housekeeping, medical, or someone to do your errands or take you to appointments? Maybe you need a combination? How many hours a week?

Here's list of possible services to look for:

  • companionship
  • personal grooming
  • accompaniment to appointments
  • assistance with getting around
  • light household tasks
  • in-home medical care

Assess your budget. Do you have insurance, SSI, or cash money to pay for this in-home help? See what's covered and what's not. It may make a big difference in what you decide you can live without. In today's economy, many agencies know money is tight for their customers and have adjusted accordingly.

Find a reputable service. People who are disabled or elderly are easy targets for criminals. Make sure whoever you hire comes with a background check (criminal and credit). Since this person will be spending a lot of time with you, make sure you LIKE THEM. I know this sounds weird but if you don't enjoy being with this person, get someone else. Believe it or not, many agencies will let you change associates based simply on the fact that you don't like them. Amazing. That's what I call customer service!


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    • my_girl_sara profile image

      Cynthia Lyerly 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the nice comment.

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 4 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear mygirlsara

      I never expected to find myself in a position to need help from others, it was always the other way around. Due to a severe illness and foot injury I find I need to use a wheelchair for at least the next 6 months. People generally are very kind and caring but I need my independence back. As you say the greatest requirement is that you should like your carer.

      Voted up and useful

      Kind regards Peter