Finding a helper near Tarpon Springs
July 29, 2016 9:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to figure out how I can get help my sister from 3000 miles away. I'm hoping to be able to hire her a helper or aide to get some very important things done, but I don't know where to start. She's in Palm Harbor FL (near Tarpon Springs).

In short, my sister is dealing with severe agoraphobia, as well as other issues. She has sold her house; the closing is coming up, and she has less than 2 weeks to finish packing her house and move. We have movers hired, and storage reserved if we can't find her an apartment in time.

Basically, I'm looking for a caretaker type person (preferably female) to help her get packed up and move, help her get settled, be a part time companion of sorts to accompany her to the grocery store, makes sure she remembers to go to her psych appointments and the like.

I really wish I could be there to help her. My brother was able to go down from Boston and spend several days helping her organize things, but he had to get back home. I'm on the West Coast, and for various reasons, I can't get down there until mid-September. Unfortunately, my sister has no friends. My brother and I are the only family we have, really, so it's up to us to try and get her to a good and stable place. For now, daily checkins have to suffice.

Are there any safe, trustworthy services like this in Palm Harbor or nearby? Any suggestions on where to start looking? Any help would be appreciated.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Human Relations (4 answers total)
I have no local suggestions but I might start by googling for "sober coach" or "sober companion" in the area, even if your sister doesn't have a substance abuse problem.

A decent one will be able to help her with tasks, organizing, managing a schedule, etc. and hopefully have some training or experience with mental disorders; panic and anxiety issues, for example, are pretty common with substance abuse.
posted by lalex at 10:25 PM on July 29, 2016

I don't know Palm Harbor, but when I had to move my mother into an assisted living facility and do most of what you are seeking, the facility gave us the name of a moving service (no movers) that came and organized, helped pare down everything and packed her up. They were with her all day for about 4 days before the move and unpacked everything after the move as well as took her to Walmart to get supplies and food. I would call an over 55 community that has various levels of care and ask them if they could recommend anyone. We could not have been any happier about the service than we were. Worth every penny. The two ladies who helped her also sent us (my siblings and me) a daily email with updates as well as pictures of what was moving, what was gong to be sold or donated and of my mother sort of smiling. Sort of.

Here is the service that helped us in Chapel Hill, NC. Maybe checking out their website can help you search in Palm Harbor?

I also think you should find a local social worker who can help her with her daily day to day tasks going forward.
posted by AugustWest at 10:28 PM on July 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

You could try searching for personal service workers (psw) in your area. I know people who have done this job and it's basically to make sure their client's needs are met. Sometimes this is more medical help and physical help (bathing, toileting, dressing) but they can also do tasks like shopping for groceries, helping around the house. I don't know your area specifically but doing a google search for personal service workers in your area, or posting a job ad on Kijii will hopefully find you someone.
posted by Lay Off The Books at 6:47 AM on July 30, 2016

Well, is a good place to start to find helpers. Thats exactly one of their categories... adult part time helper. Just ask for Skype interviews etc, should he easy to manage.

I live in the vicinity, 50 miles or so, if a first hand interview is something you want i could probably help out. Just memail me.
posted by chasles at 6:54 AM on July 30, 2016

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