I am a family friend of a woman (85) whose daughter is an alcoholic and not providing care for her. Advice?


I am a family friend of this 85 year old woman whom I adore, but her daughter is an alcoholic. She needs 24/7 care, how can I get paid to do 40 hours a week, and have her other daughter help the rest of the time? I don't trust her daughter who works and then lives there and is drinking, and passing out and cannot hear her mothers calls for help. Connie R.

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Thank you to ALL who responded. WOW lots to consider in this m will pray about it more and read more here on this site. You all Rock tytyty. god bless.ttys :)
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First, you are an outsider looking in. If this 85 yr old woman is telling you this, watch out. Old women lie to manipulate people. My mother lied and still lies about how she is treated by the only person who has taken care of her and cleaned up her numerous financial and personal messes in the last 20 years. My advice to you is if you are close enough to her and her living situation, take an unbiased look around and if her home and her functional needs are met, consider her taken care of. Don't fall victim to a manipulator who is trying to make herself a victim like my mother has done of so many people.
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BTW Connie, this situation is a little dysfunctional, with the alcoholic daughter living there but not providing care. That complicates matters a lot.

But in general, I kind of like the idea of a friend being the caregiver. When my aunt needed 24-hour care, her daughter arranged three shifts a day of local people to come in. This kept Aunt at home until her money ran out and her needs increased. Do you think those 4 or 5 people who did the caregiving in shifts were "strangers"? Not hardly, in a very small town Aunt had lived in 90 years! They were neighbors, daughters of friends, and long-time acquaintances.

I like the idea of friends and family doing paid caregiving. But the situation you describe probably has some obstacles built in. I hope you can overcome them.

But at the very least you can help ensure that your friend is not being neglected or mistreated, by calling the appropriate authorities.
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Connie, if your friend has the income for it, she can hire anyone she wants. As the others have said, it should be a legitimate working arrangement, with a written agreement spelling out what you do and what she pays.

If your friend needs assistance but cannot afford it, her best bet is to contact Social Services in her county. They will probably advice her to apply for Medicaid and help her with that process. They will also know of any other resources in the county.

If she gets on Medicaid they will determine the amount of care she needs. If it is truly 24 hour care that is needed, they may want to see her in a care facility. But let's say that her sober daughter is living in the house and Friend needs daytime care. If Medicaid authorizes, for example, 36 hours of care per week, you could become the person they pay for this. They will take care of payroll taxes, etc.

But, first things first. Can Friend afford to pay you? Can she get on Medicaid? What is their assessment of her needs? At that point you can talk to them about filling the need.

If you think your friend is in immediate danger because of the neglect of the non-sober daughter, then I think you should call Adult Protective Services and they will investigate.

Good luck to the both of you!
Helpful Answer (2)

Connie, another thing, if you should decide to work as a caregiver for your friend, make sure she puts a workman's comp rider on her home insurance, that way if you should injure yourself, you can get some pay while on the mend.
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Call APS. If the lady is not deemed incompetent she can apply for help with your area office on aging,to see if she qualifies for a community care program, otherwise her addt'l help at home will likely have to be private pay either with an agency or a caregiver. If the lady is in danger and the daughter is literally neglecting and mistreating her and there are signs (filth, dirty house, no bathing, weight loss, no food in frigerator, being left alone when she can't ambulate by herself, etc) then APS (adult pro services) should be notified.
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I know your heart's in the right place and that you want to help your friend but offering to be a paid caregiver for her would place you in a very bad position. Is your friend even willing to pay you? If so, you would be turning this friendship into a business arrangement and these things rarely work out and the friendship is usually lost in the process. Throw in an alcoholic daughter and you're going to have a mess on your hands. Then there's the other daughter. How would she feel about her mother paying you to be her caregiver?

There's no job security in being a caregiver to a friend. If this lady takes one fall or becomes ill and needs to be hospitalized you're out of a job.

But let's say the lady did hire you as her caregiver. You've signed all the contracts, gone over all the stipulations and agreed upon the hours and the wages. What happens to the adult daughter with a drinking problem? Where does she go while you're caring for her mom? She lives there too.

Someone who needs 24/7 care needs to be in a facility. Why insert yourself into this dysfunction? There are 2 daughters and you, the friend, and you're the only one who's going to be paid? I don't think that will go over very well.

I know your heart's in the right place and you want to help your friend but there are other ways to help without trashing your own life and financial situation in the process. You can talk to the other daughter, let her know that her sister is drinking and unable to assist the mother. Let this daughter handle the situation.

Or you can call Adult Protective Services. They'll come in and do an assessment and make recommendations. If the caregiving daughter is drunk all the time and the mother, your friend, needs around-the-clock care it might be time for the family to consider a nursing home.
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Connie, if you want to get paid for being a caregiver for your friend you would need to prepare an employment contract.... see sample https://www.agingcare.com/documents/personal_care_agreement_AgingCare.pdf

And decide how much your friend is going to pay you, and who will be paying the various payroll taxes from the pay check. There are check paying companies that she could hire and they do the payroll deductions.

My concern would be if the other daughter [I assume there are two daughters] sees that you are getting paid by her mother, she might want the same for herself. The the other daughter who drinks might want to be paid, too.

It might be time to see if your family friend could qualify for Medicaid, then maybe she could go into a continuing care facility to have 24 hour care.
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First, never, never put your real name and phone number on a website. Go to this site and ask the Admins to remove your personal contact information. It just isn't safe to be so candid with your personal information.


Second, just my opinion, but I don't think that anticipating the alcoholic daughter will "help the rest of the time" if she's not already providing care for her mother. In fact, on what basis would you expect that she's going to start doing something she hasn't been doing?

And how is an alcoholic suddenly going to detox and become sober enough to provide care when she according to you can't be trusted? Are you arranging for her to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, or a detox facility?

Third, I think calling Adult Protective Service is a better option.

Fourth, if your friend needs 24/7 care, there is no way that you can provide that alone, or even if the daughter did help. Someone who needs that consistent round the clock care needs the advantage of care provided in a place where there is round the clock staffing.

Fifth, even if you did attempt this, you would have to have a contract with your friend to pay you. Does she have the funds to do so?

Frankly, I don't think this proposed plan is in the best interests of your friend.
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