When I took the job as caregiver for a 91 year old woman with moderate to severe dementia, I did not know what I was getting myself into. After a few days of providing live-in care, I found myself the subject of daily derogatory put-downs, name calling, refusal to accept any assistance, accusations of stealing property and valuables. In essence she sees me as someone not worthy of her respect on any level. Her narcissistic abuse has turned my life into a living h*ll in just one month.

Moving forward, in addition to free room and board, what financial compensation can a live-in caregiver for this type of patient expect or request?Qualifications include : Education- M.Ed. Experience- 30 years  in the Education and Training Industry and 2 years  as a Dementia live-in Caregiver.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
My word, working for an unmedicated narcissist must be horrible. After dealing with mthr, a nasty narc herself, you could not pay me to do what you are doing. Couldn't you get in trouble if you left your charge at home alone and she burned down the house, and blamed you for it all? There is no way I would work without the legal protection of a corporation or LLC over me.

For the live in regardless of the senior condition, you Atleast deserve to be paid $250 up, be provided with food and room and also free WiFi access. And in Illinois you also have to have 8 hrs of sleep of which 5 hrs are undisturbed. If the family doesn’t want to get night care and u okay with helping out then you can negotiate for the to raise your pay however I wouldn’t do it bcoz sleep is more important.

some families prefer private duty caregivers especially for someone with memory issues to eliminate the confusion of them having to deal with new Caregiver every time and again. However even when working as a private duty Caregiver I still make sure to discuss the laws with the family and still play by the rules because often time if you fail to do so they treat you with little to no respect and demand so much from you. It’s really important to let them understand what you are ought to do and what you not .

You stay there and you can do a lot of staff like cleaning the rugs out of your goodwill so they really need to understand that.

Too be completely honest she may not be able too help it ,or you maybe are not the right care giver for her,she sounds like she's in denial of needing help too.that being said nobody maybe right for her. Not saying your not qualified too be but just that honestly the patients and caregivers need too have a connection too give best care and accept the care . if you and her don't have an understanding that she needs your help and you're understanding what she help expects and how she expects too receive said help then you're doing her no good and she's doing you no good making you doubt yourself. Maybe move on and find a sweet old lady or gentlemen that wants your help. Meet with the patients 1st get too know them then discuss pay and benefits with her financial advisor. You deserve adequate compensation yes,but put the patients 1st if you do you won't have these problems and you and the patients will have mutual respect and compensation will be negotiable within reason. 9 exp with my dad lung cancer , then 5 years with a neighbor,waist down paraplegic, I never knew lived there before his daughter asked me too meet him and past 3.5 years my wife been blind. Done it free and for pay and if you don't get along with the one needing help your wasting your time and they're not getting best help possible, albeit because of stubbornness on your patients part it seems

Thank you all for responding to my question. Your replies have given me food for thought as I re -consider the pro and cons of working as a private live-in caregiver vs. working for a professional Caregiving Agency which is licensed, bonded, and insured.

In 2012, my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and since I trusted her care to no one besides myself, I retired and became her full-time caregiver. During the following eighteen months we had together, she told me that her wish was that I would consider caregiving as a new career path. She was always proud of my energetic, nurturing and compassionate way with senior citizens and enjoyed the enthusiasm felt when her friends shared  how much they loved me for it.

It was a blessing to be by Mom's caregiver, and the quality of life we were able to share during our precious time together gets me through the tough times when I  still miss the comfort of her voice and her sound advice. When my Mom passsed away in 2014 , the decision to follow up with her wish,  helped me through my grief. Although my present assignment, full of ups and downs, is probably the hardest thing I have ever done, and for as long as it lasts, I know that my 91 year old narcissist/dementia patient will understand on some level that I am with her when she needs me most. 

My life as a caregiver for aging citizens in Dallas, Texas is a life of quality not quantity. When the going gets rough, it is comforting to remember that providing care and making a difference in someone's life everyday is an incredibly gratifying reward.

Thank you all again for your supportive and enlightening comments.

Best Regards,

The room and board agreement has never seemed fair to me. But I could never speculate as to whether you could ever extract some cash payment from your employer.

They KNEW how old mom was when they hired you. So they didn’t give full disclosure about the job. This is sounding like a dead end situation.

I’ve always thought working for an agency was limiting but they should give backup to their employees.

Follow your instincts and decide if being on duty 24/7 is a great idea anyway.

Zoe, a person in their 90's has set social values that they had learned from their own parents. I noticed that with my own Mom, who also was in her 90's, my gosh the things she would say to the caregivers we tried to have her accept. Nope, never, nada.

With live-in conditions it can become complicated. Usually the family who hires a live-in caregiver believes that since the caregiver is getting free room and board, they don't expect to also pay the caregiver. That in itself doesn't make any sense. Live-in caregivers have bills to pay, too.

Plus you will be doing the work of 3 full-time caregivers each day, thus working 168 hours a week with zero pay. You will crash and burn from this. Time to rethink this.

You might do better working for a professional caregiving Agency which is licensed, bonded, insured and that has workman's comp should any of their caregivers get hurt on the job. You work only the required number of hours and then you get to go home to rest so to be refreshed for your next shift.

With your outstanding education and work background, just curious why you are doing caregiving now.

Where you are located will determine the range of pay. If you don’t have an agreement in place, you will have difficulty amending an agreement that you have done for a month. You can renegotiate going forward but can’t get retro. Are you private pay or expecting public assistance like Medicaid? In home waiver programs have long lists and don’t pay for 24/7 care. It’s unfortunate that you were caught off guard with 2 prior years experience as dementia caregiver. With a masters, you will never get paid comparably as caregiver unless you are a registered nurse, you might maybe get $10-15 per hour with no benefits unless thru agency.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter