In addition to providing companion care, personal care assistants can help with the following:
Grooming, including bathing and dressing
They can't provide medical services, such as diabetes care, but can help administer prescribed medications and -- if they have the proper training -- can help move those with mobility limitations.
How they help
Many caregivers enlist personal care assistants to solve problems in their home care situations, such as a small woman hiring a strong aide who can help move a spouse from bed to a chair, or a son concerned about privacy hiring a woman to bathe his mother. The added assistance often enables a person to remain at home rather than move to a facility. And for caregivers, hiring this help can provide peace of mind, especially if the personal care assistant provides regular services and so is familiar to the person receiving care.
What they cost
Costs range from $10 to $40 per hour for intermittent help; $120 to $200 per day or more for live-in care.
How to get started
Use Caring.com's Senior Living Directory to search for in-home care agencies, most of which provide personal care assistants, by city or zip code -- and to see ratings and reviews.