Compensation for taking care of a parent.

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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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