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Apply for a Monkey

Our service monkeys are provided at no cost to our recipients.

The Application Process - Steps Towards Enhanced Independence

The process of applying for a Helping Hands monkey helper is seven steps that typically take three to six months. These are important months during which applicants and Helping Hands staff members get to know each other. Our staff members guide applicants through each stage:

Step One

Read and understand our eligibility requirements. We have carefully developed these requirements based on more than 35 years of experience with the types of candidates and home environments that are appropriate for a monkey helper, and the types of recipients who are able to provide a monkey with long-term care that meets our standards.

Step Two

If you meet the eligibility requirements you may submit an inquiry form. If you prefer, write us a letter describing how you meet the requirements. Mail your letter to Helping Hands, 541 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02134 or email it to apply@monkeyhelpers.org.

Step Three

Receive and complete a formal application. If our staff confirms that you have met our eligibility requirements, we will send you a formal application. This application asks for more details about your home environment, your mobility impairments and range of motion, and the kinds of tasks you need help doing. This full application can be mailed or emailed to us.

Step Four

Provide references.  Helping Hands will ask for a minimum of three personal references from non-family members as well as at least one reference from a medical professional currently involved in your medical care (usually your primary care physician). You must sign a waiver and return it to Helping Hands before we are able to contact your physician for a reference.

Step Five

Make a video. We will ask you to make a home video and sketch the floor plan of your home. This is one of the most important parts of the application process. These tools supplement our interviews with you and your caregiver(s), and allow our Placement Team to see your home environment as well as your range of motion and the equipment you use for everyday activities. 

Steps Six and Seven

Participate in phone interviews and a home visit. These steps can happen during any part of the application process.  Helping Hands will schedule a phone interview (or several) with you and your caretakers so we can talk together about expectations, guidelines, and what life with a monkey is like. This is a great time to ask all your questions so you are well informed as you consider this important decision with your family and caretakers.

Helping Hands will also make a home visit prior to placement. During this visit we continue to assess your readiness for a monkey helper, and talk in person about the placement week, expectations, home modifications, and the roles and responsibilities that you and your family and caretakers need to anticipate if you are approved as a recipient.