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My family is trying to decide on fair compensation for my sister who will be caring for my dad. He has early dementia but not a flight risk or harmful to himself yet. She is asking for a "salary" of about 2k/month plus 20hours / week additional help. Does anyone have advice. It is all on her as all the other kids are out of state but this seems really high. Advice anyone?

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In my area the in-home care has 3 hour minimum for about $100 plus mileage. So $33/hr, 20 hrs would be over $600/week or $2400 month just for the 20 hrs. Of course you might find some sweet recently-immigrated lady to come in for far less, but would be more complicated in the long run. Plus at least my own dad really appreciates English speaking caregivers. We do have one who comes in 2x per week at the about $100/rate. If there is ever need for a substitute, i get the brunt of complaints from my dad, he is reluctant to go out with a "stranger" in a strange car. If there is any way possible for the daughter who posted this question, to do a survey of actual rates in her area, that would be a great starting point in determning the value of her services toward her dad. She should not be working for less than the lowest paid area worker with equivalent qualifications.
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2k a month?! That is a bargain! She should receive more than that even considering 20 hours a week of respite care. What is that respite care of 20 hours going to cost? My guess, almost $500 a week. Let's see... Caregiver gets $24.00 an hour, or her agency does, for 20 hours. Sis get $500.00 a week for the other 148 hours? REALLY?

No, not at all reasonable.
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Also need to consider, what about backup care, if she is sick, and vacations, or needing to study for Final Exams?
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$2k per month with only 20 hrs off every 7 days is very cheap wages. Hardly anyone would do the KFC drive thru for that, let alone take care of a vulnerable adult. Even in your own home. 7 days of 24 hrs, and less than one 20 hours off? No way. It would take 3 x 40 hrs for Mon-Fri full time caregivers, and 3 x 16 hrs part time caregivers, to cover all hours. Pretty soon a facility at 10k a mo is cheaper; i know this from my FIL who had Alzheimer's. 2k a month is far too low.
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CarinMiller,
What type of condition is causing your dad's dementia? Has he been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Vascular, Lewy Body? And how long ago did that happen?

While you go through this trial period with sister, is there someone, besides the student sister, who can closely monitor how dad is progressing? I'd be wary of self reporting from dad or the student sister.

Also, how much education, reading, etc. does student sister have about dementia and the condition that is causing it in her dad?
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If your dad moved in with her and that figure represents rent, shared expenses and her time - even with the supplemental caregiver - your father is getting a bargin. However, given the expectations your sister has regarding her goals and activities - I wouldn't worry about it too much - it will never last.
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GardenArtist.. my dad wont feel obligated. He will be upset he needs to pay her as much as she wants but he is very concerned about money with good reason. We are going to try the living situation for a few months at her house. I was just seeing if 2k/month compensation for my sister is in the ball park knowing we will have to hire a caretaker for 20 - 30 hours a week to watch my dad and covering the times she will be at school or library.
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I don't know anything about your father but wonder if he'll feel a sense of obligation from your sister b/c he's paying for her classes. Sometimes people can use financial assistance to create that sense of emotional indebtedness.

I can't reiterate enough though that if she's beginning classes and this next semester will be her first, she really needs to be conservative with her time and commitments until she finds out how much caregiving and study time she really will have.

The balance act that your sister faces will be a challenging one. I can't help envisioning her on a tightwire with a balancing pole - on one side are the nursing school obligations and on the other side are your father's needs and expectations. It really will be that kind of balance act to navigate between the two obligations - and that's not even considering her parental obligations.

I do wish you luck though; you're wise to address these issues now.
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I agree. We need to play this by ear. Dad will basically be paying for her classes but also making it very hard for her to pass them. He also deserves attention. I know she is desperate to make this work so maybe we try it for a few months and reasses. Sounds like everyone here feels 2k is in the ball park for her with 20 to 30 hours of additional help a week from a hired caretaker.
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Speaking to the insurance issue, in Michigan any person providing care for pay or working for pay in someone's house would need to be covered by workers comp if that person were hired directly, by your sister or father.

However, in Michigan that would require a commercial workers' comp policy; it cannot be a rider to a HO policy. It's an employment issue, not a homeowner's issue.

So the issue of rider vs. commercial policy may vary by state. But if you hire a caregiver through an agency, confirm that the agency carries that insurance, which it should by law.


On the issue of subbing, I temped during some periods of going to night school, but it wasn't as secure a financial arrangement as working full time. And temping, or subbing, can be emotionally unsettling b/c of uncertainty of getting work, of the different situations, etc.

Three classes a week is close to a full time curriculum. Add in the 4 children and caring for your father and your sister will have a full load, one which could easily escalate with caregiving stress. I actually wonder if she'll have the adequate time to study - nursing is a very, very demanding curriculum.

I think you're right that her need for money is affecting her judgment.

Is she just starting nursing school? If so, I would strongly, as in VERY strongly suggest that she needs one semester for a "shakedown cruise" to see how much time she will really have, how best to manage it, and what changes she needs to make going forward.

Parachutists need lots of practice before they're ready to jump; caregiving, going to school and raising 4 kids is similar - lots of experimentation could be needed before finding a desirable mix of all the elements.

There's also the various grants; perhaps she might want to consider those. Assuming she graduates and passes her state nursing exams, she could pay back the funds easily as nurses are in high demand and make really good money.
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Tracy, i am 99% sure she wont sub.. she is desperate to pay for nursing - so far 3 classes a week (she also has 4 kids!). My fear is that her need of money is clouding her judgment on the stress and time it will take to care for my dad. But i hate the thought of putting him in a home..Thanks everyone, this is helping me see all sides!!
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08/27/16....CarinMiller, if it is your sister's own house and she is caregiving, she doesn't need to add a rider. But if she or your Dad hires someone from the outside who is independent and not from an Agency, then a "workman's comp" rider would be needed. It would be best for your sister to check on that with her insurance carrier.
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Carin, sorry - FWIW stands for "For what it's worth." Just another Internet abbreviation.
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When I substitute taught in college, it was a flat rate of $120 per day and it was on call. You are limited then to night classes for nursing school. My son is in college now and most of his medical classes are 4 days a week during the day. This is completely not feasible to substitute teaching.

It may sound like I am a little harsh but will she be doing appointments, medications,etc, etc. It is alot of responsibility and people who have never done it do not understand it completely.
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FreqFlyer, he moved in with her so what happens then?
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I have no idea what FWIW means but thanks for the response and I agree on her overload of responsibilities. She wants my dad to stay with her so she can pay for school.
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08/27/16.... CarinMiller, please note that if you hire a caregiver, be it a relative or an independent caregiver [not from an Agency] your Dad would need to add a "workman's comp" rider to his homeowner's insurance, the reason for that is if a caregiver gets hurt on the job.... not uncommon to get back injuries lifting someone.
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Carin, there is no realistic way anyone can go to nursing school, teach on a substitute basis, and care for a parent with dementia, albeit early stage dementia. It's just not feasible.

Even with 20 hours of supplemental care per week, that leaves your sister with the majority of responsibility, and the majority of fatigue.

How old are your sister and your father?

Nursing school is very, very demanding, and even though it will to a certain extent dovetail with her caregiving, it's going to require a lot of studying which could be compromised by her caregiving responsibilities.

If her substitute teaching job provides health care insurance, that would address that issue. Otherwise, she's foregoing the benefits of that as well as other insurance. That's not realistic for someone tackling what the family is considering.

And FWIW, I don't think $2K monthly is high at all - that's only $24K annually, and probably w/o the benefits she'd get otherwise.

2:53 p.m. EST, 27 Aug.
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Tracy we would pay an additional caretaker to cover about 20 hours a week. But is it customary to pay a sibling hourly or calculate a sum to cover expenses, rent and food and a bit more for the life change. I want to be fair. She will be going to nursing school and substitute teaching as well.
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Are you talking about 24 hour, live in care? If so, that is $3.38 per hour and I feel completely taking advantage of someone. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. You really need to consult someone on the legalities.
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I don't know what is reasonable in your area, I bet others do though and you'll get lots of responses.

IMO, that is a very reasonable amount, if he can afford it. There are other things to be considered though, such as getting an attorney to prepare a written contract that covers all legal issues as well as covering insurance, taxes, etc. That is very important. Hopefully, you'll get detailed advice about that. It's smart to plan ahead.

I'd keep in mind that caring for a person with dementia around the clock, 24/7 in the home can be very stressful and exhausting. Symptoms vary, but often the person can be up all night and need supervision all night. So the caregiver gets little sleep. They can't work all night and all day. The person with dementia may also incessantly repeat things. So, I can see how an in-home caregiver night need time during the week to run errands, relax and get out and recharge their batteries, etc.
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