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My wife asked me this question in the event my 93 year old mom with dementia comes to live with us.

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To Feckleface1 - Your parents paid the bills when you were a child because parents are supposed to take care of their children. We do not owe anything because are parents took care of us. I take care of my mom because she is an excellent mother and I love her. She does contribute to the household because the bills are more since she moved in. I have children of my own and right now they are the ones I need to financially support
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Yes, it is certainly allowable. It is also OK to charge rent, and/or to be compensated for caregiving. It is a good idea to have a formal personal care agreement or other document drawn up spelling out what you are providing and what Mom is paying. This is especially important if Mom has other relatives, or if she may need Medicaid down the road.

It is good to be thinking ahead about the possibility of having Mom live with you. Be sure to plan for some respite. You will need some time away from her. How will that be handled? If you will need to pay for respite care, arrange for that to come out of Mom's income or assets. No one can do 24/7/365 care and retain their sanity. Respite is often overlooked until the need arises. Plan ahead!
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My dad gives us a check. He brought it up and set the amount. I think it makes him feel good to contribute. We're certainly grateful.
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From the post, it's not clear to me if "burritokid" is a caregiver to a parent. If not, I wonder how they can criticize bethie541 or anyone who is. My folk's raised me to believe that "Parents are legally & morally responsible for their children. Being a "good, loving, wonderful" parent is their job AND moral responsibility, NOT an "obligation or favor" to be repaid. Also, that children do not "owe" their parents anything, other then love & respect". Both my WONDERFUL parents have lived w/me for past 8yrs & have always helped pay for expenses. If I could, I would do it for free, but I can't. I chose to give up a well paid job to care for them, so I need them to help with expenses. It is not "cold", it is "REALITY!!!! Life costs money & most of us have to pay our own way, including our dear parents. I am very grateful to my parents for the way they raised me, with lots of discipline, morality and most of all, LOVE!! I WANT to return that to them. Maybe "burritokid" can afford to, but unfortunetly, I can not afford to have them live w/me without their financial help.
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I see no reason why they should not be asked to pay a portion of the household grocery bill, water and light. FIL eats more than me and hubs combined and pays only 25% of the bill. I am retired and on a fixed income as well, why should I have to pay his food bill. He pays no rent at all, nor does he pay for constant attention, laundry , cable and driving around all expenses.
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Wow, some of the responses here boiled my blood. I've given up my social life and a bunch of my sanity while caring for my mom, not to mention intangible losses related to my professional career. Oh yes, there have also been significant tangible costs aside from food, housing, etc. For example, because I am caring for my mom, I am working less hours and therefore less is going into my own retirement account and less is being matched by my employer, potentially putting my own old age at risk. Thank goodness mom wants to contribute to the household; we'd need to have a serious cost if she didn't.

PS: Family caregivers really need to look at their own future and contributions to social security and the like and make sure that they are not putting themselves in future jeopardy.
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Charles1921, that's fine. I assume you could afford it. Don't judge the people who have given up jobs to care for their parents, because if the parent doesn't contribute, they may all end up on the street.

You deserve credit for your attitude. So do the caregivers who let their parents pay them for care. every situation is different.
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MLH1967: I think you are absolutely right in asking for help with utilities and I see nothing wrong with that at all. We got a bit screwed up here in that we moved into Mom's house to care for her. I am her unpaid caregiver 24/7 but I am expected to PAY HER $300 a month towards utilities and I also pay for groceries. What this does in preserve HER WEALTH while I am on disability and we are living on $1300 a month (really $1000). She would have never been able to keep this house and live on her own without us, but she wants to keep her savings and CD's in tact and she needs our money and my sisters $300 to pay the bills.

8 years ago I did not mind because I had child support as well, but that is no longer the case. Both of my sisters work, however I am left at home as the unpaid caregiver. I no longer feel that this is fair or equitable. They are making incomes while I do all the work AND YET I AM EXPECTED TO PAY. When my mother dies and her money has been left in tact both sisters expect that it be split equally between us. None of that money would be there for any of us, if they had to hire a caregiver to care for Mom, but in their eyes it is okay for me to provide the care for free and save the money for them.

What if my mother becomes so ill she has to go into a nursing home? All that money will have to be spent and then she will need to go on Medicaid. I feel that this is VERY unfair. I would never be able to get Mom to agree to sign a care giver agreement and with her dementia I do not know that she could even be asked to sign one. I am also the POA but that does not mean I HAVE TO BE THE CAREGIVER.

I hate to even think about it as it makes me mad.
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Would you have charged "rent" to an adult child who lived home? Of course, you would -- or should have. The same goes for a parent who lives with you. They eat the food, help run up the electric bill, so it's only logical that they should pay something toward it. Sit down with them and decide together how much they should pay.
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My mom rotated among four of her five children for six years. None of us asked for assistance when she stayed as a long-term guest, but she always wanted to contribute and wrote small checks sporadically. She is now a permanent resident in my home. I didn't ask for any assistance for the first six months of this year, but when my sisters came for a brief visit (and saw how much energy it takes to care for an Alzheimer's patient), they made the decision that a certain amount should come from Mom's checking account monthly and also said I should swipe mom's credit card for groceries and her toiletries monthly as well. One of my sisters handles Mom's finances, so I scan the checkbook monthly and email it to her; the credit card bill goes to my sister as well. I just handle her care. We all agree this is the best situation.
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