I am the caregiver for my grandpa who is going to be 80 soon. My boyfriend of 12 years and I moved in to his house about 6 months ago when he was released from a rehabilitation center locally. We are about to have a sit down with him to re-visit the whole agreement between us regarding his care, housing, pay etc. so I was hoping to get some opinions about what would be fair to both me and my grandpa.

Here is some basic info He is almost 80 years old has bad knees, bad balance, uses and 4 wheel walker or a cane and is pretty close to deaf. He is also a severe long time alcoholic - he went into the hospital last July after a fall caused by intoxication - due to the fact he lived alone the hospital wouldn't release him and put him through a med based detox program - he became delirious and was sent to a rehab center after a week at the hospital - he spent 3 weeks at the rehab center and then came home. He refrained from drinking for a little while but he started up again and continues to drink daily.

What I do for him

clean house

grocery shopping

all other shopping

yard maintenance (3 acres)


run errands

take garbage/yard waste to dump

deep cleaning of the house

set up weekly pill box

remind him to take his pills

go to any and all doctors appointments and take notes

go through mail

get newspaper and mail each morning

get dinner together

monitor his alcohol intake(started this 2 weeks ago after hospital visit)

make appointments

bandage skin tear injuries that happen

research items he wants to sell

sell the items for him

wash his hair occasionally

install safety devices (as needed)

provide companionship

special tasks (writing out cards to his friends, printing out photos, etc)

*The part that is a little stressful is if he decides to drink too much I have to pay very close attention to his risk of a fall. This continues after he goes to bed because he gets up several times during the night to use the bathroom. There have been nights that I didn't go to sleep until 3 or 4am because of this.

There may be more but you get the idea.

He provides

a small room downstairs that shares the space with the laundry facilities incl a bathroom *He does not allow us to use the kitchen to make any sort of food - he cooks his in the microwave or I have to go to town and pick up fast food.

Utilities (house is all electric water is from a well)

As it stands I receive $300 a week

I do not get compensated for gas for my vehicle

I pretty much am working from when he wakes up to when he goes to sleep and even longer the nights that he drinks too much. If I do leave to run an errand for myself I am on-call no matter what I am in the process of doing.

He is very difficult to deal with and talks down to me all the time, is down right disrespectful to my boyfriend, and is a very mean person more often than not so it's not just a day in the part being around him - but he is my grandpa and I love him.

What do you think?

Your profile states you are in California which has domestic worker laws which offer more protection than federal laws and a bill of rights. California is a tricky state because their laws are alot more progressive than other states. At that, $300 a week does not even meet federal minimums.

Is he competent? Who would be
After the holidays, contact the state DOL, they can provide you with a factsheet which will tell you minimum wages you should earn as well as any other "benefits".

Is he competent? Who would act as POA if necessary? What are his kids doing to help?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to tacy022

Sound advice given from the posters above.
How is he getting the alcohol? Can you “trick” him and buy the no alcohol beer and pour it for him so he doesn’t realize what he’s drinking? Maybe throw one real beer in there so he doesn’t show symptoms of withdrawal?
If things don’t improve you may have to leave. If he has resources he can pay an agency for his care.
I agree that you by working for him off the books per se are not putting into SS for yourself.
Also your BF lives there too. Does he get paid by grandpa? If not is he living there rent free? If so your BF is actually saving money in this situation so maybe BF can save enough for you two to move out. Is BF helping you to provide GP care or does BF have his own job?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Shane1124

The payment you receive MUST be proper payroll. Meaning, Federal and state tax withholding...and most important SocialSecurity/Medicare withholding for you, It is illegal to not process payment to you thru normal payroll withhholding...but...really important to you because you are going to endanger your own retirement otherwise.

all this must be in writing.

the two women I hired to help me with Mom and Dad were paid $18 per hour. The agency they worked through charged $25 per hour. The agency provided them with worker compensation insurance and health insurance. You should think about your own health insurance. The payroll tax will include your grandpa providing the same...unemployment insurance and compensation insurance incase you are hurt helping him.

in otherwords...your agreement must be properly done and protect you. I strongly suggest your grandpa hire an attorney to do this right. If he refuses to do this, then you need to get out of there. If he will not take the steps to provide basic protection to you then you have a huge red flag and how this is going to go,,,,leave before you are really hurt financially or otherwise.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Katiekate

You need a caregiver agreement, and he needs to stop drinking, But I think you already know this. And why the heck can't you use the kitchen? Home cooked food would be cheaper and better for all of you. Maybe it is time for you to consider moving out. I know you love him, and at least he is paying you something ( many don't get paid at all) but you sound miserable. He would pay a lot more for in home caregivers from an agency or god forbid at a facility. Does he have any children who could help out?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to pamzimmrrt

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