Caregiver agencies for elderly parent
I'm looking for recommendations for a caregiver agency. My elderly parent in Berkeley mainly needs companionship and light housekeeping perhaps 2-3x/wk. I've contacted 2 agencies but they tend to make appts to meet then cancel last minute due to scheduling issues. Is this just the nature of the business? I'm still working with one of them but want back-up choices just in case.
Mar 29, 2023
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My parents have had great experiences with Kindred At Home. Almost everyone they have sent has been wonderful. They have been using their services for over 2 years.
My post-stroke father needed companionship and light housekeeping (and more) for 12 years. He actually had 24-hr home care in three shifts. Home care is a difficult industry from all angles. For clients it’s expensive and often unreliable: last-minute cancellations and turnover of regular clients is very high. As a low-skill profession, it’s very low-paying for workers with little incentive to stay. It’s hard for business owners to recruit and keep employees.
We worked with several agencies over time. We did lots of interviewing to determine the ethics of the company.
We had one worker for the whole 12 years, several that lasted half that, many that stayed around for 1-2 years and many that only came once or for a few weeks. We had one worker that secretly smoked pot and drank on the job, one that would leave my dad unattended overnight and lied about it, one that let Dad fondle her. One that dropped him during a transfer and lied about it. That was 4 bad apples (that were caught) out of the at least fifty that mostly graciously and kindly helped my Dad.
My advice is to just know up front that it can be a lot of work to maintain home care. It will require a consistent commitment on your part to manage it.
The agencies are good because they have all the insurance and do the recruiting. And the workers sometimes get unemployment and sick and vacation benefits.
Have you ever hired long term childcare or housecleaning services? Did you use agency or hire independently? For the 2-3 hours/week I might recommend looking yourself for someone on Craigslist etc.
Turnover is always hard because the new aides need to be trained and your parent has to get used to a new person. Then again, each new person might be the perfect long-term fit you’ve been looking for! Despite the seemingly endless hassles, looking back there were so many angels and bright moments for my dad and for us. It made our visits so much richer, so we could enjoy dad without having to do endless chores. I’m wishing you so much success, patience, and serendipity.
I'm sorry to hear you've had this experience. It can be really stressful to take care of our parents. I can recommend an amazing caregiver: Jonathan J. Levine. He is a wonderfully patient, kind and empathetic soul and very reliable. You can check out his LinkedIn profile HERE. He has experience with elders with disabilities and dementia and those who need the type of care you are describing. His email is jonathan.jay.levine [at] gmail.com
Home care agencies usually require a minimum of 4 hours per shift with the cost around $35/hour. Here are two contacts that can help you set up home care:
-Andy Hashimi at Lighthouse Professional Placement & Caregivers, 925-525-2727
-Fernando Aquino at Your Senior Living Consultants, 510-938-0017
Hope you find the right caregiver for your needs. Best of luck!
I have used Care.com for support services for my daughter. Their data base includes elder care. I've been pleased with the one person that I hired and was able to verify her qualifications as well.