A Sitter for the Elderly: Responsibilities, Cost of Care, Pros & Cons

AllsWell Team

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Taking care of your elderly relatives requires a lot of time and effort. It gets even more challenging when you finish your shift at 6 pm and spend hours with seniors afterward to return home late at night. The need for constant care and socialization makes hiring a private sitter for the elderly the best option.

Today we will discuss the pros and cons of sitters for the elderly, their rates, and how to find the best one to suit your needs. 

Who Is a Private Sitter For the Elderly and What Does a Sitter Do?

A private sitter for the elderly is a person who works with a senior to provide them with whatever assistance is necessary. They can help with basic needs like eating, dressing, and bathing. You probably know how nannies for kids work – A sitter for the elderly does a similar job.

A private sitter for the elderly is also responsible for taking meds, housekeeping, transportation, and measuring blood pressure. Their primary function is being a great caregiver with all possible tasks, including emotional support. Hence, the caregiver must build a warm relationship with the person they care for. 

A private sitter for the elderly doesn't require any degree. Yet, in most cases, they are hired by an organization and complete a Certified Nursing Assistant course or its alternative to get employed. Only then can they work as a private sitter for the elderly.  

How Much Does a Private Sitter For the Elderly Cost? What Options Are There?

Recent National Library of Medicine research states that the demand for caregivers is increasing, as is the age of an average elderly US citizen. The problem is that the number of sitters for the elderly doesn't cover the demand. That's why hiring a private sitter for the elderly may be difficult and expensive nowadays.

The prices may vary depending on the number of visits and home care agencies' rates. The national average ranges from 16 to 28 USD per hour. That can come quite pricey, but the senior caregiving market offers many options. Some of them are free and engage volunteers. For instance, you can order:

Medical Escort

This service includes transportation to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Senior people usually need regular medical check-ups, so a medical escort with a follow-up is a good choice in these scenarios.

Daily Meal Deliveries

This service is used for food deliveries so that your loved one doesn't need to cook for themselves. The menu is personalized according to a medical diet. 

Light Caregiving

Some organizations try to minimize the pricing with basic personal care options. They usually assist with easy routine tasks like shopping or transportation and cost less. 

Regular Personal Care

Regular Personal Care means hiring a private sitter for the elderly to perform transportation, housekeeping, and cooking. This option is the ultimate choice for a senior that needs assistance with their daily routine, including health care and housekeeping.

Special Needs Assistance

Special needs private sitters for the elderly do the same job as regular personal care assistants, but their clients usually have severe mental and physical conditions like dementia and diabetes.

Read about Choosing a GPS Tracker For Dementia Patients

What Are the Pros & Cons of Private Sitters for the Elderly?

Having analyzed the types of private caregiving, let's examine its pros and cons.

Pros:

Versatility

Caregiving companies offer a broad spectrum of services to suit any needs. Regardless of whether your senior has health issues or leads an active lifestyle, you will probably find the right private sitter for the elderly.

Individual approach

A private sitter for the elderly can concentrate all their attention on one senior. This makes their performance much better. Moreover, having a personal caregiver will probably build a strong connection with an elderly relative, which is difficult to achieve at a nursing home.

Flexible Schedule

Hiring a sitter for the elderly, you set the time and frequency of their visits. Hence, you can organize the schedule to occasionally visit your seniors on your own and decide when your relative needs a caregiver the most.

Cons:

Trust

It is difficult to let a stranger into your house, even if they have dozens of positive reviews and medical course certificates. Seniors don't like new people in their personal space and don't want to feel helpless.

Pricing

Private care is expensive for most citizens. Especially when a private sitter for the elderly visits a senior daily and has many responsibilities. So choose your caregiver and the volume of help you need wisely to avoid wasting money.

How to Find a Good Private Sitter for the Elderly?

Let's say you've considered all the pros and cons and decided you need a private sitter for the elderly. There are several steps to find a good one:

  1. Plan Beforehand

What service do you need, and how much are you ready to spend? If you're lucky, you can apply for a free volunteer program.

  1. Think About Your Requirements

What do you need most from a private sitter for the elderly? Patience, punctuality, good manners, or reliability? Remember that any candidate will have some drawbacks, so you need to understand what is critical and what you can put up with.

  1. Interview Them

Discuss the most probable scenarios and understand whether the candidate will find a common language with your senior. Ask questions about family, caregiving, and values to make sure this is the right person.

  1. Do a Test Run

Get the candidate acquainted with the senior and see how they will interact with each other.

  1. Establish Good Relationships

Technically the sitter for the elderly is now a part of your family, so it would be a good idea to know them better and make your communication closer.

What To Do If a Private Sitter is Unavailable?

The private sitter for the elderly is a living person that isn't available 24/7. The only thing that can take care of your loved ones without interruptions is technology. So while you're looking for the perfect private sitter, install the AllsWell Alert app on your seniors' phone to monitor them while they're alone. 

AllsWell Alert combines inactivity monitoring with panic button functionality. It enables users to send an emergency SOS message with their GPS coordinates manually and automatically. For automated alerts, you need to set up inactivity timers that will trigger an SOS signal if the person is inactive longer than needed.

Try AllsWell on Android and iOS for free with a 30-day trial.

Final Thoughts

Despite the cons and nuances listed above, finding a private sitter for the elderly is a good choice. It saves time and simplifies the life of seniors. Caregiving covers their needs in socialization and, combined with a personal safety app like AllsWell, becomes a great way to make your loved ones safer.

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