After my mothers stroke last year and dealing with her dementia and her now being on hospice, I moved my mother into my home to not only better care for her, but to not pay the high price of the acute care nursing home, which ran 9,600.00 monthly. As we share a joint account, Am I wrong to pay myself a monthly fee for caring for her?

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YES, a family member can become a “Paid Family Caregiver”.  The fact that your Mom has dementia and is on Hospice might complicate matters, but check with Medicaid to see if you can become a "Paid Family Caregiver".

The “Personal Care Agreement” needs to be completed by the person being cared for (or their POA) and the person giving the care.

I have listed several websites about this topic.
---Programs that Pay Children to Care for their Aging Parents:… The article that follows comprehensively explores the many different options and programs that can be used to pay family members as caregivers… Paid Caregiver Program Locato--it provides the reader with a list of programs that are relevant to their family’s situation.
---Your chances of getting paid to be a family caregiver are best if you are caring for a U.S. military veteran or for someone eligible for Medicaid, but other possibilities exist.…All 50 states and the District of Columbia offer self-directed Medicaid services for long-term care…These programs let states grant waivers that allow qualified individuals to manage their own long-term home-care services, as an alternative to the traditional model where services are managed by an agency. In some states, that can include hiring a family member to provide care.

If the person needing assistance is mentally sound and has sufficient financial resources, that person can choose to compensate a family member for the same services a professional home health care worker would provide.
---The person providing care for a loved one may make a significant sacrifice: giving up a job and employment benefits. A formal agreement among family members can provide a way to compensate a person providing care if he or she is no longer able to hold other employment…

One way of protecting the caregiver as well as the person receiving care is by putting the care relationship in writing.
This is a binding agreement, also called a “long-term care personal support services agreement, elder care contract, or family care or caregiver contract”. Most often, it is called a “personal care agreement”. This agreement can offer family caregivers security that they will not suffer undue financial consequences. At the same time, the agreement can also offer your loved one peace of mind that she or he has a caring advocate to manage care needs.

Do you have Financial POA and Medical/Health POA for your Mom? You should if you are the person doing the care.

DO NOT comingle your money and your Mom's money. You can be a owner or signee on your Mom's checking account, but DO NOT put any of YOUR money into your Mom's account. Set up a separate account for each of you. It will be easier to keep track of her money when your Mom has Medicaid.

I hope that these websites are helpful. Have you talked with the Hospice Nurse or Coordinator about you becoming a "Paid Family Caregiver"?

{{{HUGS}}} and Prayers 🙏
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Of course you should be paid, doubly so if have given up employment to be a caregiver. Unfortunately there are many who believe it is somehow abhorrent to accept payment and they aren't all anonymous people on the internet, they can be members of our own families - all the more reason to make sure all your legal ducks are in a row.
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No, you are absolutely not wrong. I have saved all my life so as to be safe and able to take care of myself in elder years. I would so much rather pay the money for my room, my board, my trips to the doctors and my undoubtedly endless annoyance to my daughter living in a tiny house on her property, than to an Assisted Living. In all truth I would go to the ALF because I am a pain in the bottom.
But you are not wrong. You sacrifice a whole lot to do this. If your Mom can afford this you should be paid in my own personal opinion. The questions here is how much does mom have, what can she afford, and what will you charge.
There are things that should be done now to do this RIGHT, however. You are being paid? That is honestly taxable income and should be reported as same. There should be a contract drawn up, and an elder law attorney should help you with it, an agreement that you will get this much for board, this much for food, this much for care, this much for transportations and etc. You keep records on all of this very carefully, records that would hold up in court. Because should Mom outlive her money (sadly many of us do) she will need the help of the state if you are unable to care for her further (often we have 80 year olds taking care of 98 year olds in our country. That would be my daughter and me eventually). You would need to prove your Mom did not "gift" money to you. That means records of her costs, diaries of your care, the WHOLE kit and kaboodle.
I wish you good luck.
OneWhiteFeather is pure of heart, but I would say that it is not for children to care for their parents. It is for parents to take care of children and then children to take care of THEIR children, and down the generations. Just my opinion. Taking care of an elder, a brother, even a child who is grown in your own home is a massive and costly undertaking, as well as life changing.
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Do you live in a State that pays you for caring for your mother?

I never took any money for anyone nor did I collect from the program.

Did she take money from you when you lived under her roof?

I can't believe some of the people in here and there questions???
Some of the answers are mind blowing to me.
I pray for most of yin's!!!! Your day of getting old are creaping up on you.

No matter what the ills, most are genetic! Wear their shoes first!

The one with a huge ❤️
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BarbBrooklyn Aug 2020
How is she supposed to support herself while taking care of her mom?

Shouldn't her mother, an adult with assets and an income (not a child), be afforded the dignity of paying her own way and not becoming a burden to her adult child?

This whole " they took care of you as a child, it's your turn now" analogy is a false one. My parents taught me that they never, ever wanted to be a financial burden to us kids as they aged. We all did without luxuries as children so that our parents could be financially independent in old age.
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No, you are not wrong to get paid for being a caregiver for your mom.

I recommend seeing a certified elder law attorney and having a legal document draw up, hopefully, your mom can understand enough to sign an agreement with you.

You want someone well versed in state and federal law for family caregivers. This will stop any issues with family or authorities and protect you from unforeseen consequences of receiving payment and structure it in a way that creates the smallest tax burden possible for yourself. is the best place to find certified attorneys in your area. Interview as many as you can, I never pay for an initial consultation, I am essentially interviewing an employee and I find that them wanting to be paid is enough for me to know that I don't want them working for me. Write your questions down and get general pricing for all the documents you need, then you will be able to decide if you want to use their services based on cost and their professionalism and how well you can communicate with them, so very important. Best of luck.
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