93 year old dad, not capable of living alone any longer moved in with my husband and I. What expenses can we charge him legally?


We supply everything to take care of him, doctor's appointments, food shopping, laundry, meal preparation, cleaning, administrator of medication, etc.



If you can take your grocery expenses before & after as that would cover food, laundry detergent, toiletries etc - but many don't keep track otherwise I would take number of people in the house including him & divide by that into grocery costs then add a fixed small amount for the room - this way the amount will vary & not be an even number which a gift would be - write this up as an agreement with him & have him sign it - if possible have him write the checks for his dignety

Shift to a separate credit card for groceries etc - he won't eat as much food but he will consume extra hygene products - if he is having the beer too included it but if not then pay that separately - you will have the paper trail if needed

I use 1 card for groceries, another for gas, another for miscellanious items [clothes etc] so I can see where the money is going - this a cheap way to do bookkeeping because the card company does it for you
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to moecam

See an eldercare attorney, you don't want to run afoul of Medicaid. Hopefully your father has some money, assets, savings. You will have to use that for his needs - do NOT use your own savings, you will need every penny of your own for your own future needs!....All those things add up: food, linens, toiletries, bales of Depends, denture cream, OTC medications, any hired help. Contact an eldercare attorney and explain your situation, there is no one answer for everyone.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Lassie

What did your father charge you when he took you to doctor appointments, administered your vitamins, bought your food, put a roof over your head? You need to consult an elder lawyer to determine whether his income can be tapped to cover some expenses, if meeting his needs is a hardship for you. Wow, 93! Lucky you. I so wish my parents had lived that long. My mom lived with us until nearly 90 and we were grateful to "pay it forward" for her. She used her not-so-big income for her toiletries/supplies and foods she liked but we didn't. Any income left over went into a burial trust (her idea), which really helped when the time came.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to FelicityB

I think everyone's situation is different. Depends on any legal agreements and power of attorny etc. Some parents living in the home., others have renovated spaces etc. Of course you want to conserve your parent's money and not take advantage of them- however, when one is doing 24/7 care for a parent who needs non stop care, consider the money you are saving them -In reality compare costs of a home or facility that would be charging probably anywhere between 3 thousand and 12 thousand a month- now, take a lot at these adult children who have sacrificed their careers, their relationships and their time to provide care for an aging parent who does not want to move.. The sitter who comes to provide a few hours to our home charges 20 dollars an hour to take care of mother. At first, we charged nothing for mother to live with us- now, 6 years later, it is costing us. Maybe started as a little food here and there., now it is non stop care, medication oversight, bathing, laundry, meals, shopping, errands, paper work, jumping up in the middle of the night to help in the bathroom etc. etc. Most people here know the drill. I consulted our attorney for the same answers you are looking for. If you really think about it, the caregiver can be the one ending up on the bad end of the stick so to say. Risking health, poverty and all else to ensure the health and safety of an elderly parent. There is nothing wrong with getting paid if they can afford to pay you. Check with lawyer. 
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Anniepeepie

No matter what you charge, you should have a Caregiver/Resident Agreement to cover yourself, should your father need to apply for Medicaid. Usually, where he IS your father - you should only charge for a portion of the utilities and maybe increase in the food bill - but how much can a 93 year old eat. Medicaid usually does not look favorably on family members getting paid to take care of a parent - especially if the fees are excessive. Also . . . any income that you receive for rent and caregiver wages needs to be claimed as income on your personal tax returns.  Lastly, you will want to remember to conserve as much of your father's money as possible in case he should need some funds to get "in the door" of a decent skilled nursing facility - should he need one.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MAldridge

YOU should not be paying for anything.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Llamalover47

I took care of my mom and I learned the hard way. So here is my advice from personal experience. Absolutely consult an elder attorney. You are entitled to receive rent. I will admit it felt awkward at first, but after 3 1/2 years of not getting mom's money for her care out of the POA, it had to be.
It was the POA, that forced my hand to move mom on to Medicaid so I could bring in outside help. It was thru that process that the elder Care attorney Drew up a rental agreement so I could have easier access to mom's money. With that rent I covered all mom's expenses. That was the recommendation of our attorney. That way I didn't have to keep and submit receipts and have the stress if dealing with the POA. By the way the POA was my younger sister :(.
Anyway, I should have done that from the beginning. But you don't know what you don't know, right? Live and learn. Good luck. Your willingness to take on the care is admirable. You will not regret it. I didn't.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to DonnaF

Elder Attorney.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to RayLinStephens

Definitely charge for board. If he can afford it, charge for room, too. These should be at close to the market rate. You may want to charge for caregiving as well.

If these amounts go to you regularly it may appear to Medicaid (or relatives) that Dad is giving you gifts, and that can cause trouble with a Medicaid application and resentment within families. To avoid this, have written agreements in place. An Elder Law attorney can help set things up so they are entirely legal and appropriate in the eyes of Medicaid. Such an attorney can also see that other legal documents (such as power of attorney) are in place.

When our mother lived with my sister, my sister charged her the same amount she had been paying in subsidized housing. Obviously she could afford that -- she'd been paying it for years. Mom was on Medicaid at that point, and my sister also accepted the small amount Medicaid would pay for caregiving. All of this was not adequate compensation for the work involved, but it helped offset some of the costs and it also helped my sister feel that her efforts were being acknowledged and taken seriously.

In my opinion, all elders should be given the dignity of paying their own way to the extent feasible. Absolutely all of them should contribute SOMETHING, even if it doesn't come close to covering their expenses. And Medicaid certainly acknowledges that elders need to pay their own way. You just need to be sure it looks like a payment and not a gift.

Now, at the beginning of this new relationship, would be a good time to consult an attorney specializing in Elder Law. Be sure you have things set up correctly from the start.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to jeannegibbs

Legally charge? Morally charge? OR are you concerned that he may require Medicaid (for indigent folks) and you want to be sure not to interfere with his approval?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to geewiz