Where does one start to look for a (trustworthy) part-time personal assistant?
October 3, 2012 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Where does one start to look for a (trustworthy) part-time personal assistant?

My mother is in her 70s, living independently, but gradually finding the pace of her life lotistics tiring. In particular, she finds keeping up with mail (sorting, being sure that bills get paid on time) and email (I'm not sure what, but a lot of things appear to need responses) almost overwhelming. I suggested that she get somebody to come once per week or so and just take care of this for her -- at least, such a person could do some of the triage work and/or boil down certain categories of questions for quick turnaround.

So, where does one start to look for such a person? Philadelphia doesn't have TaskRabbit yet, but I presume that there must be other services that can find you long-term part-time help like this, basically a personal assitant. But I wouldn't know how to really find or pick one that would fit my mother's needs, especially given the sensitive nature of giving somebody access to your email account.

Thoughts, suggestions? Extra credit for agencies that will also offer matchmaking for other elder care support, but really the personal assistant is what I need to find sooner rather than later.
posted by acm to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Start to spread the word via your friends, your office mates, your peeps on Facebook, church, whatever. I was a longtime personal assistant and got all my jobs via personal referrals.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:21 PM on October 3, 2012

I'm all about the personal refrerral. But there's also Care.com. They have a section for Senior Care. If I didn't have other resources, I'd go for this one.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging should be able to point you to some options. Also, I wouldn't immediately ask them for a personal assistant reference, but would describe your mother's problems and see what they suggest. I don't know what that might be other than a personal assistant, but they might have some ideas that you haven't thought of.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Local colleges and universities have job center websites that often include these jobs. Obviously, you can get pretty specific in your postings, so this might be a good chance to request students in fields like social work, nursing, etc. -- not the she needs nursing care, but that major might attract some more helpful go-getter types.
posted by Madamina at 1:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

I got my niece to be my personal assistant. I basically put around to my family that I needed a mother's helper kind of person, and was willing to pay. If that's not how your fam is, reach out to your local community center, church, career center, etc. The key is to get already vetted applicants so you don't have to worry about getting taken advantage of.
posted by spunweb at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2012

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