Are caretakers compensated for caring for elderly parents?


Do they have to live in the home fulltime?

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Bobbie - if your ? is about finding a special source for the government to pay you a living wage to live at grannie house & take care of your grandmother, that is pretty well fantasyland. By & large in the US, family members take care of elders for free and often spend their own funds to keep the elder & themselves at home - even jeopardizing their financial security. There are many many posts on this site asking this very ? and detailed responses of family who current are full time caregivers.

Now there are all sorts of programs that you could look into for your grandmother - just what depends on how your state does funding. Many states are doing PACE which is elder day centers & health care services; other states has IHHS which is a training program for family to do caregiving for the elder in the elders home in which they are paid (usually $ 8 - 10 hr) and for a set # of hours determined by a state done medical evaluation of the elders needs (based on what other have posted on this site, about 10-15 hours a week), whatever the case it will not be a living wage. Your local Area on Aging will have details on all this - this site has a drop down list of AoA by state.

What often is done is the elder - who gets SS and perhaps also a retirement and has savings - does a personal services contract with a family member to pay them for caregiving. The amount is determined by what is paid locally combined with any special training or education of the caregiver - so a daughter that is a masters degree RN could be paid her prior income but a grandchild with no education or skilled health care work history gets paid minimum wage. Personal care contract is often especially good if they need to do a spend-down to qualify for NH Medicaid in the near future. The contract really really needs to be done by an experienced elder law attorney so there is no transfer penalty or gifting issues with their future Medicaid application.

Please re-read Geewiz's post - she has pretty well nailed it on the toll that caregiving can take.
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Bobbie, there are as many arrangements as there are elders receiving care. Family members that visit, those who move in with the elder, those who have the elder move in with them. Some hire outside help and others pay to send the elder to adult care centers during the day. There are part time helpers and live in helpers. Some family members are paid IF the elder has financial resources and other caregivers (most) are not paid. If the senior has financial resources, the situation needs to be assessed with future care possibilities as an important part of the equation. For example, I would be hesitant to have a financial arrangement (contract) to pay a family member for care early on if financial resources weren't sufficient to pay for future expenses. If a caregiver is living in the elder's home, that is likely an important part of the compensation -- room and board so to speak. If your Grandmother is deemed to have a great deal of financial resources, you might still want to read more from these boards about younger people who took on caregiving repsonsibilities. It can sap the life out of you so if you aren't doing it for love, you will likely resent it later on. Not to mention how it will affect your own future. Taking care of someone with dementia is an exhausting and frustrating role, especially as the dementia progresses. You don't say how old your Grandma is but it can be a LONG road. My friend has had her Mom in a memory care center for 7 1/2 years. Can you imagine providing increasing care for your Grandma for that period of time?
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