Hello, my mother suffers from arthritis and had a stroke a year ago and recently been going through some mobility challenges. She was recently hospitalized for a fall as she lost her balance using the commode. She has always been independent and has required little assistance until the past year as her arthritis pain can be debilitating for her especially with changes in weather. She has had a hard time getting up and laying down as well as walking. She uses a walker however since she was hospitalized for several weeks in December without much movement and exercise she has lost alot of her strength and we feel that she is not in a state where she needs to be looked after 24 hrs (fall risk). She currently received rehab 2-3 days a week and us children take turns trying to motivate her to do her exercises. Since we do not live with her and we have jobs (i have to travel for work), we have discussed the possibility of her moving into an assisted living facility or a board and care facility. We are also open to having a full-time caregiver in exchange for rent and would be willing to pay extra if the caregiver is the right fit for my mom who can motivate her to do her exercises and bring some sunshine in her life once again. She just has not been the same since our dad passed away 5 years ago. We feel like a change in scenery from being alone at home to a AL or board and care place might benefit her. We have looked into the cost of private caregiver vs AL and board/care and realize private caregiver is significantly more - that is why we are open to a free board in exchange for care idea. Any feedback or suggestions or lead to a possible caregiving places near Carson or South Bay area of Los Angeles would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

[thinks: oh no not another one...]

Free board is not a salary. The work involved in caring competently for an older person with your mother's needs takes time, training and personal aptitude: it's a full time job. What is your mother's free-renter supposed to live on? Paying "extra" - you're looking for this special person who will rejuvenate your mother, so you're even prepared to throw in a little pocket money. Woo-hoo!

I know you won't have looked at things from this perspective, but your attitude is part of the systemic problem that all countries have with elder care. It's tremendously important work. There is a dearth of people able to do it. Demand is rocketing. But for some reason the normal economics of supply and demand seem to be overlooked: it doesn't cross governments' or your family's collective mind that the services you want *rightly* cost a great deal of money. You think it must possible to do it on the cheap. Not only that, you genuinely think the idea is benevolent.

Would you think of asking a lawyer for advice and hoping that you'd get it if you threw in lunch?

Elder care is a skilled vocation. I'm sorry that you're getting our reaction in the neck (you wait 'til others respond! - they won't be nearly as nice as me) but I think we are all getting a bit sick of people thinking that dedicated caregivers can live on love and free rent. There's maybe one family a week just like yours posting on AgingCare.

Do I gather that your mother is highly resistant to the idea of moving home? Who is in charge of her decisions, she or you children?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Countrymouse

Mav, welcome to the forum. Yes, this is a learning experience for many of us, as we are thrown into a "job" that we have had no training.

You mentioned that your Mom isn't hesitant with the idea of moving to senior living. THAT IS GREAT !! Not only will your Mom have a village to help her out, she will be among people of her own generation. Look at all the new friends she will make :)

As for having someone live in, this tends to be a short term solution as the caregiver will find herself doing the work of 3 full-time shifts, thus will burn out quickly. And you are back to square one.

I would vote for moving Mom since she is agreeable, which tells me your Mom has common sense.

My Dad at one time had around the clock 3 shifts of caregivers which worked out great, but the cost was a huge bite out of Dad's retirement pie. It was costing him $20,000 per month. Yes, per month. Dad found it less costly in comparison to move to senior living where he was paying $5k to $7 per month. He loved the place :)
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Reply to freqflyer

Thank you for the response, and i do not take caregiving for granted at all. These are all new to us and we are learning. My mom has always been independent and we just want someone to be with her for her safety. She is still able to manage day to day but since she is still "rehabbing" we want someone there to assist as we are not able. I want her to move in with me, however, our home is full of stairs and she would be "stuck" in a room and difficult to get her out of the house. Bottom line is i am not discounting the HARD WORK that caregivers provide - i guess i am just in a panic and i probably should slow down and do my homework. I stumbled upon this page in hopes of finding support so i thank you for all your opinion. My mom is not hesitant with the idea of moving out, and she realizes that it might be necessary for her own safety but of course she/we would prefer for her to be at home. Anyway, thanks again.
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Reply to mav0920

It’s illegal In this state to offer free room & board in exchange for caregiving. It’s actually modern day slavery if you think about it, even though I know that’s not what your intention is. Anyway legally you have to pay the caregiver a full salary including overtime. California has strict laws that you REALLY need to be familiar with if You want to go the private care route. Good luck!
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Reply to worriedinCali
mav0920 Jan 14, 2020
Thank you so family is super new to caregiving topic, hence why i put topic under "new to caregiving". These are all learning experience for me, my mom, and family. Had no idea that it is illegal to offer free room for caregiving and when i mean a little extra, we are ready to pay a salary for someone who is the right fit. Anyway, i do need to do more homework and speak to professionals. I realize many of you have had many experience with aging/caregiving topics that is why i came to this site for support and recommendations. I can understand now why my post could cause "anger" to some of you and i apologize - not my intention at all. My family and i just want my mother to be in a safe environment. I would move her into my house if it was possible but it is not. Thank again for the feedback - super helpful!
Hi Mav, welcome to the forum AND to caregiving. You are in a great position with your mom where she can voluntarily transition to AL and enjoy all its benefits, especially social. Please understand that when she says she "prefers" to stay in her home, she is meaning at her current abilities, which will start to decline and never improve or even stay the same, so she is not being realistic. Many families and seniors wait way too long for this transition and have exceedingly difficult and stressful times trying to do what's best for their LO only to have them irrationally resist or no longer be mentally able to adjust.

Have your mom "shop" for a place with you and have as much reasonable input as possible. Reasonable means: price, proximity and continuity of care. My mom really wanted this one facility but it was unaffordable. The next place she wanted didn't have care beyond assisted living and didn't accept Medicaid. No way! Help your mom find a just-right place that has an active social calendar and a shuttle that takes them on errands.

I use Visiting Angels for companion care for 2 elderly aunts that live far away from me. We worked to find the right person and she is awesome, but this is not everyone's experience. To get the "best" people you really need to want them for at least 30 hrs per week. But, this is a viable option if you think your mom should stay in her home a little longer until you settle on a nice AL for her. Since she is a known fall risk, she will need an agency caregiver who is qualified for fall-risk customers. This means a higher hourly rate.

From my family's own personal experience I will never recommend live-in or private caregivers for the elderly. It is expensive, complicated and leaves open the possibility of financial fraud, theft and even physical or sexual abuse. Plus, it makes one like an employer (taxes, liability, etc). AL is a win-win and if your mom says she's open to it - act today and don't delay AND consider yourself blessed!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Geaton777

I am very sorry to hear about your mom losing mobility. It is very important that the person you hire has back up, and you of course are involved.
Exercise can be done in bed, and there are basic movements she can do even in bed to keep flexible and move forward. Exercising in bed actually has a massage like effect and is easy to do. There are videos on you tube. Gentle movements
likeTai Chi really do help.
It can be frightening to be in a situation where you are being cared for in your home after years of independence.The chemistry of caregiver and client is very important. If they have something in common to help bond, a therapeutic relationship can develop. But boundaries are important to prevent burnout.
Please make sure you screen carefully with an FBI check, Criminal Background Check, and I recommed Abuse Clearances. Lock up your valuables before beginning this in home care. Unfortunately, you have to be careful about theft.
Hope this helps
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to humes11

People generally get room and board PLUS a salary - and regular days off. There is every possibility that you could find someone to take up your offer if you look hard enough but then the old saying "you get what you pay for" comes into play, anyone willing to accept those terms is either desperate, incredibly naive, or a bit of a flake and not very likely anyone you would want your mother's care and home entrusted to.
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Reply to cwillie

Mav, if your Mom is open to a move to Assisted Living, jump on it. This forum is full of posters trying to find ways to cajole, force, or trick their loved one into AL. I know you may have had a rosey picture of some sweet caregiver living happily with Mom, and taking care of her 24/7, but think logically about it. Most people (even caregivers) already have a home or apartment, may have a family of their own to go home to. So you’d basically be looking for someone who has no house, no apartment and no ties. Even a student has to go to school, so can’t be there 24/7. If none of the kids can be with Mom daily in the short term, perhaps you could hire a temporary solution through an agency for a few hours a day, just to give you a little piece of mind & tide you over, while you visit the local AL facilities.
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Reply to rocketjcat

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