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I do everything for her ie: cook, clean, bathe her, run errands, take her to the dr.'s appointments, administer her medicines, shop etc. She has dementia, COPD (on Oxygen 24/7) and Macular Degeneration. I have siblings and I cannot talk to them
about anything. I want to be fair. I do not want to overcharge her. H-E-L-P!

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OMG! I can't help but think some of these responses are from non caregiver children. I was a geriatric nurse and know full well what life is like in a nursing home for the elderly. State laws mandate how the day is run, and there is no room for negotiation. All food trays have to be off the floor before any soiled linens can be dealt with, meaning breakfast trays are served at 7 am. sharp and usually removed by 7:30. My 90 yr old mother and 100 yr. old mother in law live with us. I am 62 and my husband is 76. We have been caring for them for the past 20 years in some capacity, but living in our home for 2 years. Let me tell you that their lives are entirely different living here than if they were in a nursing home. They have their own room, with all their sentimental belongings, their own bathroom, and a comfortable double mattress bed (not a single mattress hospital bed). They have a comfy electric recliner and television in their own quarters. We eat as a family and they take as long as they need to eat. I bath them, shampoo and style their hair, do their toe nail, finger nails, laundry, Dr. appts. medication management and manage their finances. We have siblings who are retired as well and find it difficult to call once a month! You can not compare this to having children AT ALL! They make demands like how they want their breakfast served, how warm they want their room (my m-i-l is 100 and keeps her room at 78 degrees). My husband and I never saved enough for 4 people and for us to give them 24/7 care and still cost us money is unjust! Our electric bill, oil bill and grocery bill has tripled. We went away on my birthday for one night and it cost us $480 for a caregiver. I sleep every night with 2 baby monitors on my night stand. We went on a cruise for a week on our anniversary and it cost us $2,500 before we even left the house for elder care. Plus, you must remember these two ladies are not the ladies that raised us. As one becomes older their world becomes very small. I could have a migraine head ache and the first thing out of their mouth is, "But you're still going to give me my shower right?" We obviously love our Moms or we wouldn't be sacrificing our "good years", but for folks to say we owe it them is unfair.
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Lisa, your father was correct. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a child being paid to care for their elderly parent, so lose any guilt you may have.

What I would do is check out what the average hourly wage is for paid caregivers. I know in my area (MN) Visiting Angels run about $25.00 an hour. We had a private paid caregiver a few hours a week for $18.00 an hour. Get this info in writing. Then do the math. Add up what it would cost your mom for 24/7 care for a month. You'll probably be astounded. I know I was. Work back from there to what you feel would be a reasonable amount including providing room and board.

If the siblings squawk and refuse to help out, I'd let them know that I was not working for free just to save them their inheritance. Show them the numbers and that they are actually getting a bargain.

As for tax implications, someone more informed than I am will chime in. And remember, raising a child is NOTHING like caring for an elderly parent who is ill and incapable of caring for themselves. We love our parents but it does not mean sacrificing our future and our finances.
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Absolutely honor your father's instruction and allow your mother to pay her way. The child who does the caregiving should get compensated, and then any funds leftover when both parents are gone can be split evenly. Do NOT sacrifice your own efforts and give up your privacy for the sake of your sibling's inheritance. You owe them nothing.

And keep in mind (as you certainly know from experience) that caring for an elder with dementia is not REMOTELY like raising an infant. That argument is nonsense.

Honor your father's intentions here.

As to what to charge, that is a little harder. You should see an Elder Law attorney to draw up a simple personal care contract to cover this situation. He or she can also advise you on how to deal with the tax implications of this arrangement, and may be able to suggest a range of reasonable rates in your market. Love your mother with all your heart; take care of the business details in a business-like manner.

If your mother could not afford this my attitude would be different. But if your parents put money aside to pay their own way in their old age, give them the dignity of doing that.

My 92 yo mother has been resisting our pleas, advice, and coaxing about it being time when she could no longer live alone. One of my sisters (Pam) recently retired and invited Mom to live with her and her husband. Nope. Mom does not need any help and she can take care of herself, thank you. (She has mild dementia and she cannot take care of herself.) Finally another sister took Mom aside and said, "Now that Pam is retired they are having a hard time making their mortage payment. Do you think you could possibly rent a room from them? It would help them out." (A total fabrication, by the way.) Mom signed the papers giving notice on her apartment then and there, and moved into her new rented rooms the next weekend! I think it is insulting to assume our parents want/expect/need a free ride, unless they truly cannot pay anything.

(Infants, of course, cannot pay anything. Most elders are not in that position, and can pay something even if it is not full market rate.)
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I've been thinking about this some more, and I've been trying to figure out why calling it "rent" is a bad thing? Of course, call it whatever makes it comfortable for all parties, but rent seems pretty straightforward and reasonable to me. My mother has paid rent all her adult life. First nearly a decade as a single women, then a half a century with my father, and then more than a decade as a widow. (Some of this mortgage, some rent, but the concept is the same.) Even with dementia she understands the concept of paying her own way, and "rent" or "room and board" are terms we've all heard all our lives. In her case she would be offended if asked to pay for her "care" because she does not recognize that she needs care. So as I say, use whatever terms are comfortable, especially when talking to someone with dementia. I just don't see that the term "pay rent" should automatically be ruled out.
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Leisa1, of course it isn't fair. And you should not accept it. Your mother has dementia, and it is not surprising that she is not logical or reasonable. But you need to be both, and make arrangements that are fair. You need to prepare for your own retirement and you cannot afford to sacrifice for the sake of giving money to your siblings.

Who has POA? Is she still managing her own finances?

I think that it would be a good idea to consult an elder law attorney who can spell out your mother's options. One of your options, of course, is to insist on being paid or to ask Mother to leave. Obviously you don't want to do that, but perhaps seeing what it would cost to live in a care center would open her eyes. Or perhaps not (she does have dementia after all). But it is your house, your rules, and your need some professional support. See a lawyer.
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I respect your answer but my parents and I discussed this topic before my father died and HE said I should charge (whoever was still alive) rent. My mother does not expect a free ride but given her dementia, this is not a subject we can talk about. My mother was not a "mommy-mom" to her children in fact she was an only child and quite frankly was spoiled growing up and those characteristics were passed on to her 4 children. We have a major dysfunctional family and I do not know where to turn.
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My mom has dementia and wouldnt even consider paying. She is very obsessed with her money, and she is saving it for siblings who won't even lift a finger to help. I am really stressed because it is hard to work and take care of her. It really isn't fair to my husband and I as far as our retirement.
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I really do not want to sound harsh, however think back when you were young. How much did your mom charge you for rent. I love my mom dearly and Im sure you do to. This is life and this is the way things go. They take care of us for the first part of our life then it is our turn to take care of them.
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Dear Daughtermomof2,
Wow - I can relate. My sister told my mom not to count on her for any help at all - and she has been correct. I thought my life was tough, but you have me beat. My dad is 96 and has dementia. Mom is 87 and is going fast. Had to put him in a nursing home - after they lost their home and I had to spend all of my 401K. THEN, the govt decided to help. Now Dad is receiving funds from the VA for Aid and Attendance and I was to use them to help cover some of my costs for my mom. I've just had two hip replacements, work full time and I'm suffering from fibro. I realize I should see a lawyer about this, but can't even get off work to do this stuff... I never realized I wouldn't have empty nest syndrome - I traded my youngest daughter for my parents! Our generation just wasn't prepared for this. I asked my dad a few years ago why they didn't try to save more money - he said he never dreamed he would live this long. It's so sad though - Mom worked so hard all of those years and the bank/nursing home took it all. Breaks my heart...
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Micky, fight fire with fire. Calculate the amount of rent she should have paid while she was getting back on her feet; include any costs of child care by you. Then present her with a bill, advising that she can either pay you back in cash or deduct your rent from the outstanding bills of her unpaid, free ride.

And estimate the value of your cleaning and meal services and charge her for that.

You made a mistake in giving her a free ride; she's taking advantage of you now.
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