When you have a loved one who needs more care than you can provide yourself, and the option of assisted living facilities doesn’t sound right to you or to your loved one, it’s time to look into finding a senior helper or possibly a home helper. A senior helper is someone who is focused on helping your elderly family member maintain his or her independence, and ensuring he or she can remain in the home they love. A home helper provides care to both seniors, for the same reason, and also to those recovering from illness or injury, dealing with a long-term disease that prevents them from being able to care for themselves, new mothers, and working parents who need help with daily living tasks around the home. Neither type of helper will help with administration of medication, but instead will remind the person they are caring for, or a parent, as the case may be, when it is time for medication to be taken.

Person in wheelchair who is receiving assistance from a home helper

Senior helpers are matched with not only the person they will be caring for, but also with the other family members who will be present most of the time in the home. Some agencies will match more than one helper to a senior, so that when the primary helper is unavailable, the substitute helper arriving to the senior’s home is not a stranger. For those agencies that do not provide up-front substitute helpers, it may be a wise choice to ask if doing so is possible. Home helpers are also matched with family members.

A senior citizen or elderly person can enjoy looking forward to their senior helper, who will paint with them, play cards, read to them, as well as many other enjoyable activities that family members may not have the time or the inclination for. This is because senior helpers are matched based on their enjoyment of different activities to your senior. These activities are in addition to errands, shopping, cooking meals to be eaten with the senior and cleaning up afterward, senior’s laundry, personal care from hair styling to helping bathe and shower, and many other activities that help ensure a senior’s needs are fully met. Taking notes about a senior’s health situation and providing their written observations can be very helpful to family members when visiting the senior’s doctor.

Helping hand provider giving assistance to a senior clientHome helpers are available to assist with day-to-day activities needed to keep a household running smoothly, but are much more than just a maid or babysitter. Home helpers can help with planning healthier meals, cutting costs through coupons and other avenues when food shopping, doing laundry, helping with different activities such as school projects, gardening, and several other areas, if needed. If a new baby has joined your family, taking care of the new mother can include emotional support, helping with the baby, keeping the home maintained with the usual household chores of laundry, meals, and dishes, as well as other activities, including educational ones.

A home helper can help someone recovering from an illness or injury, which can help them by keeping them from becoming discouraged in their recovery process. Helping by ensuring daily tasks are completed can be very beneficial in keeping the person from becoming overwhelmed by all the changes in his or her life. This is also true for those with long-term diseases and other conditions. Often, the disease itself is not as bad as the changes it forces on the person afflicted.

It’s true that some helpers are available without going through an agency, but choosing an agency is preferred over going it alone for several reasons. An agency can be the go between you and your helper should you ever need one. This is highly unlikely, but knowing you have someone you can turn to is always better than having to go it alone. Agencies also keep records of tax forms, immunizations if required by law, and pay stubs for helpers. Agencies can also run background checks on helpers, including driving records, in many states much easier than private citizens can because of privacy issues. Ensuring a helper has been educated regarding different ways to care for seniors and others who need care can be difficult, but an agency can help ensure that educational standards are met, and continuing education is also pursued and completed. An agency can also help you out in the case of needing an emergency helper, even if you’ve never used that agency in the past.