@Grivusangel -- I'm glad agencies that handle screening are more common. When my aunt was taking care of her mother-in-law, they had a terrible time finding someone reliable, who wouldn't steal items from the home and so forth.
A business has the resources to run in-depth background checks and get legitimate references for applicants before they're hired.
Yeah, a home attendant can make all the difference in the world. It sure has for my mom. There's a program in my town called Senior Companions, where older people who are still in good health volunteer to stay with others who may need a little help. They may just stay for an hour or so, and talk with the person, watch a little television, or play a game. Sometimes, they do a little light housekeeping. It's a way to check in on the person without making them feel like they're under surveillance.