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Question DetailsAsked on 12/18/2017

I am looking for a nighttime sitter for my dad in the Canton Georgia area!!

He is in Northside Cherokee Hospital. We just want my mom to have a break from being their all night!
He is under the care of doctors and nurses but we like to have someone with him to keep him company! He has MDS but got pneumonia because he was aspirating his food! His lungs sound better, so we are hopefully looking at discharge soon!

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1 Answer


You are looking for a "respite nurse" or "respite healthcare aide".

Generally, for full-time in-room people watching over a patient in a hospital room (outside visiting hours), it has to be a family member, or a licensed nurse registered with the hospital. Check with the Patient and Family Support or Patient Advocate (or similar name) office at the hospital on what their rules are about who is allowed - they likely also have a list of support people available for this purpose.

His primary doctor on the case should also be able to provide support referrals.

Home Healthcare - In-Home and Nurse Practitioners would be the closest Angies List categories for this - probably about $10-15/hr for a home aide type, $20-30/hr for a night nurse depending on expertise.

Hospice organizations also offer observational and support nursing of this type for relatively short periods of time - for a few days as respite workers like you are looking for, on up to several months for terminal home hospice duty where the nurse works like a demon for several weeks to months for one patient (commonly as a 24 hour live-in nurse), then takes a week or few break before taking on the next patient. Home healthcare - Hospice is the category for that - and also if you need a hospice type nurse after he goes home again.

There might also be a nursing college nearby who might offer nursing students for hire for this sort of observational duty - a lot of nursing student are looking for practical experience hours needed for their initial certification, and might work here because you are just looking for soemone to watch over him and alert nurses to any problems - not to actually provide nursing service. Might be about $8-15/hr for that service.

Be aware if you hire someone directly (rather than through an agency) and they are not running a business of routinely doing this for various clients (as many hospice type workers do), then you are liable for tax withholding, worker's compensation insurance, state disaability and unemployment tax withholding/payment, etc. Federal payments over $2000/year to any one provider require federal tax withholding and employer tax payments by you, less in some states for state taxes and employee insurance. So MUCH simpler to use an independent contractor, or get the person through the hospital or a home aide agency, though of course more expensive in that case.

One other possibility - though commonly only in private rooms because of space and occupancy limitations - is most hospitals will wheel in another bed or cot with daily linen changes for a family member to sleep over, for about $25-40/day additional without meals, Allows different family members to cover different nights.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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