If you have ever taken care of an elderly parent (or parent-in-law), it eventually
becomes a real "grind." It isn't a question of patience, love, or devotion. It just gets harder and harder to handle. My 96 year old mother-in-law lives with my wife and me. She has lived with us for 6+ years and is truely a great lady and we're blessed to have her in our lives. But, (and that is a rather significant "but") it changes all the dynamics in the household. The nest was empty; but now it's overflowing! We just knew we needed some help but wanted to ensure that we were getting the best care/help at an affordable price; afterall, this was going to be an out-of-pocket expense to us. So, we contacted the local four-year college, where we knew some of the faculty, and had an ad posted on the student bulletin board advertising for part-time help. Turns out education and health care related majors have already had background "checks," required by the college and we were able to easily get references from faculty we already knew and trusted. We found three great students that come three afternoons a week and read to my mother-in-law for 3 to 4 hours for a minimal expense. It has made a tremendous difference in our lives and the "change in scenery" has been a real blessing to our mother-in-law. Everyone "wins" on this arrangement!