PRACTICAL VIEW : Helpful Advice

Hired helpers who don't do what they are supposed to do are among their biggest problems, say elderly people who remain at home.

Such down-to-earth facts are the focus of a new book, "Home Care for Older People: A Consumer's Guide," from the United Seniors Health Cooperative in Washington.

Writers Anne Werner and James Firman, talked not only with researchers but with scores of elderly people who live alone.

Regarding employees, the book recommends that the householder and helper agree on such terms as "light housekeeping" before the job starts.

Employers say they often feel anxious about workers arriving late and leaving early, or being absent when most needed.

The paperback also lists sources of home care, makes sense of Medicare and Medicaid and discusses such documents as employers' tax forms for household workers.

The publication is available for $12 from the United Seniors Health Cooperative, 1331 H. St. N.W., Suite 500., Washington, D.C. 20005. Information: (202) 393-6222.

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