Hiring Help for Home
People with myasthenia gravis (MG) often find that they need help around the house at some point in their lives. This help may come in the form of cleaning, cooking, transportation, personal care, or many other tasks. Recognizing that you need help is good for you, as well as your loved ones.
Types of support
After you recognize you need extra support to stay healthy and safe at home, think about what type of help would be best. There are several types of help to consider:1
- Cleaning, laundry, ironing
- Yard maintenance
- Shopping and picking up prescriptions
- Personal care, such as dressing and bathing
- Driving to appointments
- Companionship and conversation
- Home nursing care, such as blood pressure checks and reminders to take medicine
It is helpful to write a job description of what you would like the person to do and what kind of requirements you have. For example, does the person need to:1
- Speak a certain language
- Be a man or a woman
- Cook, especially if a special diet is needed
- Lift someone in and out of bed or a chair
- Drive your car or theirs
- Take care of pets
- Do light or heavy housework and laundry
- Be licensed as an HHA (home health aide), LVN (licensed vocational nurse), or CNA (certified nursing assistant)
Among the things to think about, you and your loved ones should consider:1
- What hours you need help
- What you can afford to pay
- Whether you will reimburse the person for mileage
- Whether you will provide them food
- Whether they will live in your house
Finding home help
Once you have decided what type of help you need, you will know where to search to find the right person. It may be easy to find someone for yard work or house cleaning by asking friends or searching a service like CraigsList or NextDoor.
Security is an obvious concern when hiring anyone for more personal tasks. This is especially true if the person will have access to your personal details and money. When hiring someone for cooking meals, companionship, driving to appointments, and picking up prescriptions, a background check is a good idea.
Your options for finding a responsible, compassionate person who is trained and screened with a background check include:1-3
- A home health agency
- A home health care registry
- Family Caregiver Alliance
- Medicare’s Home Health Compare
- National Respite Network
You may also be able to pay a family member to be your caretaker. This comes with its own pitfalls, such as tax consequences and emotional complications, but it works well for some families.
What is the cost?
In-home help can be expensive, and not everyone has insurance or deep pockets. Depending on the skills required, pay starts at around $12 to $20 an hour for someone who is cooking, cleaning, and providing companionship. Someone who provides nursing skills may begin at $25 an hour and go up. However, pay rates vary widely across the country.3
There are options if you cannot afford to pay for care. Some examples include:2
- Trade services. You may not be able to climb stairs or do laundry, but you may be able to trade other services with a friend or neighbor.
- Medicaid offers in-home health services, but what is offered varies widely by state. Medicare pays for limited in-home care services.
- Area Agency on Aging offers help paying for temporary services for older adults
- Veterans and military families may be able to find financial support through the Veterans Administration or TRICARE
- A reverse mortgage or annuity may be options for homeowners and savings
- Myasthenia gravis support groups, churches, and other assistance groups may provide services such as once-a-month house cleaning, weekly day sitting, and more