You're Going to Need Help

Three innovative services to lighten the load. 

It’s a reality that everyone helping an older parent discovers sooner or later.

There’s only so much of you to go around. 

You can’t do everything and be everywhere all at once. Especially when helping mom or dad isn’t the only ball you’re juggling. 

At some point, you’re going to need help. 

But there’s no reason to wait until “it’s a lot” becomes “it’s too much” before you figure out where that help is coming from. 

Options for in-home help used to be limited to siblings and hiring home aids through healthcare agencies. But that’s changing.

Here are three innovative services that can help lighten the load:

GoGoGrandparent lets mom or dad talk with a human to arrange screened and monitored transportation services from Uber or Lyft. If it takes more time for you to show dad how to use the Uber app on a smartphone than to keep driving him yourself, GoGo a no-brainer.

GoGo acts as an agent and an advocate for riders and their families. They screen for drivers who have a good service history with older adults. GoGo can also screen for vehicles that are easier for dad to get in and out of. And when a trip ends, they notify authorized family or friends.

Be aware: GoGo is becoming a one-stop shop for a variety of services that support independent living for older adults. So if you like their approach, you can also use them for groceries, meals, and prescription deliveries.

Lotsahelpinghands makes it easy to create a free, private web site so you can organize help from friends and family into a care community.

Invite as many people as you want to join your care team. Use the private calendar to coordinate meals, rides, and appointments and email to request help and share updates. You can even invite other coordinators to help manage specific tasks. 

Lotsahelpinghands is ideal if you’re managing a medical emergency or a chronic health condition. But it’s also a simple way to keep far-flung family in the loop about mom’s status when there isn’t a crisis. 

CareYaya is a growing non-profit companion care service that matches your parent with healthcare students from leading universities. 

Caregivers are highly motivated and screened, and about a third hold CNA certifications, but they are not trained caregivers. That means services are strictly limited to non-medical care. 

CareYaya acts as a registry, not a home care agency. Availability depends on caregivers’ schedules. So it’s ideal if you need to get away overnight on a weekend. The hourly rate is significantly less that what you’ll pay an agency — and it all goes to the caregiver. 

Be aware: CareYaya operates within a 30 to 45-minute drive of major universities. They’re expanding, but they are not nationwide. You can find a list of the states and communities where they are active in their FAQs.

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Thanks for caring,

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