How are other family arrangements made when one sibling is the primary caregiver and getting paid for caring for their parents?

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I'm new to the board and want to say thanks in advance for reading this and offering any advice.

My brother, Rod, lives with my dad, who is 84 and nearly blind. He has no mental issues. Due to his eyesight, he requires a good deal of help.

My brother is paid from a small trust set up to cover Daddy's care. If my brother didn't care for Daddy he would live in assisted living, which we (there are five siblings) would prefer not to do, but are open to if need be. Rod likes the job, but it is often challenging.

Here is the issue: as it's now structured one of the siblings acts as a defacto boss to Rod in terms of raises, bonuses, time off, etc. This has inevitably led to conflicts and hurt feelings (does he deserve a raise? maybe, maybe not). What I'm trying to find are any examples of how others have structured similar arrangements so family relationships stay in tact and the care giver is treated fairly.

Thanks again for your time.

Sam

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I'm so glad that there are people out there who appreciate family caregivers. My cousin who was my grandfather's POA was horribly cruel to me when I brought Grampa to live with me, and it has severed my relationship with that whole side of the family. Really made me question "man's inhumanity to man." There are other similar stories on different threads on this site. How can people do this to anyone, let alone their own relatives?
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I thought about this some more and here are a couple more points....

When my mother lived in Assisted Care, we had to get her prescriptions delivered from their designated pharmacy that pre-boxed them. This included any over the counter meds like Tylenol, so we paid a lot for OTC meds. We also paid a $30 monthly fee for the pharmacy to pre-box and deliver them.

Now that she is home with me, I called around to get the best price on her OTC meds. We were paying $15 for a month's supply of Floragen 3 and I found it at Wal-Mart Pharmacy for $10 so that's a $60 annual savings on one drug. We also don't have to pay the fee to sort her meds for another $360 per year savings.

When/If you consider Assisted Care, be sure to look at all the costs involved.

The other point I would like to make is that the elderly continue to decline so your brother's job will continue to get more difficult. Consider this when you consider whether he deserves a raise or not. Most working folks expect to get a raise but did their jobs actually get more difficult to do?

Be sure to walk a mile in your brother's shoes and take care of your dad for several days. Your brother needs your family to value what he is doing for your dad and to advocate for him. For most of us, caring for our parents is a labor of love and we would all be millionaires if we were actually compensated for all we do.

Julie Q
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In case it is helpful, we were paying $5,000 per month for our mother to be in Assisted Care. You get what you pay for and this was a nice place but not top of the line by any means.

Are any in-home caregivers getting this kind of money? The Assisted Care Facility raised their rates every year she was there. I agree that there isn't a "price" that you can put on caring for a loved one but I believe I offer much better care, stimulation and natural home cooked food for our mother. My sibs are happy and grateful that I decided to move our mother in with me. She would have eventually run out of money within the next year so it wasn't a difficult decision. She is able to financially contribute to our household and her money will go much futher since I am frugal with it.

You may want to check around to see what you would have to pay for care for your Dad to be in assisted care and then figure out if your brother is adequately compensated.

Julie Q
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Hello all you caring people. My name is Teresa. I have a son who is on SSI. He is only 28 years old. He is at my house right now, do to he was evicted from his group home because he got sick. I brought hime home for now. If it was up to me! I would let him stay and take care of him.His Dad won't let him. I can see he wouldn't make it on his own as far as taking his meds,cooking,cleaning and hygene. I am wondering if I was to move to another house with him. Could I get some sort of money help to stay with him. I would not be able to work. Unless I had a stay at home computer job or something.
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Hi SamS,
I think it is admirable that your family wishes to care for your Father at home rather than an ALS. I truly believe that, with appropriate care, he will live longer in his own home and in an environment he is accustomed to. I am in a similar situation, caring for my 93 year old Mother who is currently bed-ridden mainly due to the health challenges she's faced over the past year and a half. Although there are only two siblings in our family, and very little finances to draw from, I have assumed the caregiver responsibility. I have since used my savings to support myself for the last year and a half, and my personal finances have collapsed because this situation was not foreseen. Since there are no Florida government agencies in place to help caregiver with finances, it is up to the family provide what is allowable, and the ingenuity of the caregiver to create an income.

I believe the information and ideas CarolynE has provided here is very helpful, and can be used as a guide to restore family harmony.

It is a joy for me to take care of my Mother, and I would not trade anything for this time I am giving to her, although I just wish circumstances were different, in that she is more mobile and able to do what she loves .... being a Foster Grandparent and working in her yard.

I wish you the best.

Sincerely,
Veronica O.
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Hello Sam,
We are paying a sister to care for our mother. The important thing that you need to remember is you cannot put a price on the care of your father, someone you love. It was difficult for us to determine how much to pay our sister, but we based her weekly wage on what was available in the estate to do this and an estimated guess of how long she would be needed to provide mother's care. Of course, the cost of living, minimum wage, hourly cost to hire a caregiver (here it starts at $16.00/hour for non-bonded/non-medical persons) can be used to help decide. Remember there may be tax deductions for the cost of paying your brother and depending on your fathers income Medicaid may have some help/compensation. One of the things your caregiver brother is missing out on is contributing to Social Security as you are likely paying him cash as we are to our sister. So, when it comes time for him to retire his SS check will be substantially less if he is a caregiver for many years. Advice him to invest some of his income for retirement.
It is extremely important that you and your siblings give your brother time off regularly (at least several days a month if possible). The fact that he stays with your father day and night is important to recognize. We are paying our sister 40 hours a week wage, even though she is there 24/7. Remember, caregiving is not an easy task, particularly as a parent's dementia creeps in.
There are usually various Eldercare and/or Aging Programs in most towns that offer part-time or occassional "adult babysitting" so your brother can have a day to himself.
If your family estate has limited funding to pay your brother on a long-term basis or to give him raises, etc. you need to explain this to him. If the funding is available for yearly raises, we base raises on what government workers get which is typically 2-5% per year depending on budgets of course.
If the cost of paying your brother uses up the money in your family estate, then there are State programs that will pay for his care in an adult care facility. You will have to sell your fathers home to get this assistance and empty his bank accounts. Even your fathers Social Security check will pay for part of an Adult Care Facility cost, but they do let him keep a small portion of the Social Security for personal items (as you probably know, care facilities provide food, rooms, medical care, etc.)
I apologize if my note to you is rambling, but I am typing as I think of things that may help you.
Hopefully, you have your father's estate set up in a Living Trust?
Something to think about - when your caregiving brother needs a vacation, you must continue his wage, so that he can enjoy a nice vacation like the rest of you, one of you or all of you need to be available to care for your father for the length of your brother's vacation, and very importantly be positive and encouraging towards your brother as much as possible.
If you think about it your brother has offered to provide care for your father a total of 8,760 hours a year - being available day and night if your father needs him. Divide those hours into whatever salary you are paying him and I bet his hourly wage will be very low.
Something else you can do to compensate your brother is give your father's vehicle to him, or sell the vehicle and put the income in a saviings account to draw from to help pay your brother. --- just a few ideas.
Hope this helps,
Sincerely,
Carolyn E.
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