I cared for her for 4 yrs. I slept in the same bed with her. Washed, dressed, cooked, cleaned, shopped, doctors app't, helped to use bathroom, companionship 24/7. Only got a few weekends off a year. Brothers say I deserve $0 for her care because I lived and ate for free. Should I get a lawyer, or is it just a waste of time. Thank you for taking the time of giving some advice, I'm grateful.
It is too late for you but I hope this helps other caregivers understand the advice so many of give: If your parent can afford it, he or she should be paying you for your services while you are providing the services.
As for being paid after the fact, it might be too late as there is no documentation such as a employment contract between you and your mother saying how many hours you worked and at what pay per hour :(
I'm sorry for your situation and that your brothers think the last 4 years of your dedication to your mother's needs are worth nothing. All I can say is - this topic, your situation, is adding to my own determination to get a caregiving contract in place between me and my father. Having a place to live is not fair compensation for 24hour caregiving.
If you give brothers a cost analysis of what it would've cost to bring in outside help for mom for all the things that you provided for her, do you think they would be sympathetic? Right now they don't understand how much goes into being a caregiver. Can you help them understand better? Make a list of everything you did, assign a minimal dollar amount to it, give them the list... it can't hurt at this point because you don't have legal recourse.
Wondering "out loud" if this type of situation would ever be considered in a small claims court. You could only get the max of whatever your local court can award (I recall $5k being max in another state), but you can file on your own to get your case heard for little cost. Worst thing that can happen is a judge says you aren't entitled to anything.