Talk to me about hiring a companion for my aunt

My aunt is aged and her mind is gently going. She’s had the odd accident with cigarettes. She really needs someone to be there with her. In older days this person would have been called a companion - a woman in her 50s or so. Not a nurse, but partly a domestic / chauffeuse / guide / secretary (in the proper sense) etc.

Dopers, please tell me of your experiences with such people, and how to advertise for them and choose them.

My grandma is in her late 70’s and when my grandpa passed away, we were scared of the same thing. Although my granny is a VERY active 70+ year old, she had a fairly large house all to herself. My family hired a 50 year old woman to come and she cleans/cooks/keeps my granny company. I’ll have to ask my dad for more details but from my understanding, we found her through word of mouth. We are Vietnamese and the Vietnamese population is fairly small in Denver so we just put the word out and found someone.

She and my granny get along pretty well. My granny is happy to have the company and the lady we hired is happy to have a steady income coming in. I think we pay her $10 an hr? But there are many nights where she’ll spend the night in the guest rooms so I have no idea how that works out.

Hope this helps

Have you considered hiring a hooker?


No, I hadn’t. And I don’t think I will.

Well, in the UK the traditional way of hiring a companion (yes, they’re still called that) is to put a classified advertisement in The Lady.

Possibly something like this is what you’re looking for.

In Spain it works mostly by word of mouth.

I realize it’s not the case, but one of my mother’s neighbors (an older, long-time widow who has several not-so-bad illnesses and is starting to have short-term-memory problems) considered: a live-in companion; looking for someone to move in with her on an “au pair” basis, she wouldn’t charge rent and the boarder would be expected to assist her with things like doctor’s visits so long as they didn’t interfere with the boarder’s “real job” (I had a similar arrangement with my Jamaican landlady in Miami, I started going to the doctor with her spontaneously because that’s just what I’m used to doing and she lowered my rent); hiring a nurse’s aid to come in when she wakes up, which is when she feels worst. What she’s done for now is give copies of her keys to two neighbors who haven’t been traveling at the same time for over 30 years and get one of those bracelets you use to call the hospital if you feel bad and can’t reach the phone. But like I said, in her case the worst problems are physical and not that bad.