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My older brother, who lives across the street from my dad, is going to go part time on his current job so he'll have more time to be available for dad's needs (taking him to dr appts, grocery store, out to eat..and to be available in case dad has a problem (he's had a small stroke and had stints put into his heart in the last 4 months).

Dad is willing to pay my brother 250.00/wk to make up for the salary he's giving up. My younger brother and I are fine with this arrangement, since we both live out of state. I just wonder what do to about the fact that my brother is also going to want to charge dad gas for taking him to and from Doctor's visits, grocery store, out to eat, etc, since that's what he's always done. However, Under this new arrangement, I don't think he should, since he'll no longer be paying for gas to go to and from work and he'll probably not be working for dad any more then 5 or so hours a week on most weeks. So I think the 250.00 should include any gas my brother has to use.

With gas being as much as it is, my brother's charging for gas could add quite a lot in a month's time to dad's bills and I can't see my brother keeping accurate records of the amount of driving he does on dad's behalf. I'm POA with dad in charge of finances and I feel I need to be responsible to see to it things are fair for dad and my brother. Do you think I'm being petty worrying about gas?

Also, do you think I should come up with a contract for dad to have my brother sign?

Any other thoughts on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Standing alone...I am trying to work with him, and he and my other brother and I have always been able to work things out between us. In fact, we just had our 1st major disagreement with this new working arrangement. We settled on my brother getting paid his gross (before tax and social security is taken out) salary by dad to compensate him what social security he might be losing and for gas. But then we got into an disagreement because, the way he sees it, since he went to two days rather then 5 and and dad is compensating him for those three days of work, then he can pick up two extra days from his boss and work four days a week, plus get paid by dad for three, esentially getting paid for 7 days a week.

I tried explaining to him that dad is paying for him to be available 5 days a week in case he's needed. That he's not paying him three days of pay for him to turn around and pick two of those days back up. We ended the conversation with me not sure I got him to understand that I'm not recommend that dad to pay him for those three days if he's really only going to take off one day.

Kathy, believe me, we've worked it out where my brother isn't taking a financial hit. He's getting his before tax salary to make up for any loss of SS (he starts drawing himself in two years) and he won't have to pay any taxes on the income (dad's "gifting" him). Dad always pays for his own groceries, and he can use Dad's car as far as the wear and tear goes...he just prefer to use his own. Both cars are SUVs and roomy, but he says his car "fits" them better. Dad also takes him and his wife out for breakfast or lunch nearly every time they go out, three or four times a week. Believe me, my brother's doing just fine.

Assandache - we don't have to worry about a lookback most likely. Dad has enough in savings and a decent enough monthly income, as well as nursing home insurance and good health insurance, that he'll be able to last out his lifetime most likely, as long as he doesn't get it into his head to take a trip around the world or something equally crazy. LOL!

Jinx, I love the idea of my brother taking a caregiver class. Dad doesn't have dementia or Alzheimers (he's pretty sharp most of the time..especially for an 84 yr old) but he's stubborn at time, and set in his ways. A class could teach my brother the importance of patience working with dad. Good idea... I'll check around on the net and see if I can find anything in his area to suggest.
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Seeing Captain's comment, I remembered that he went to a seminar on Alzheimer's that he told us about. Your brother might be willing to do something like that in terms of educating himself for caregiving. I think all of us caregivers struggled with accepting how much dementia changes a person. We kept on trying to reason with them long after they had stopped being able to reason well.
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Dustien to my knowledge with regard to the 5 year look back there is no set amount of money to be gifted.. So $13,000 would be included in medicare look back.. If the money's already been in a trust or transfered without Dad's name on it and it's been over 5 years then you're free and clear...

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong....
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Of course your father should pay for gas, and groceries. Who is paying for inspections,upkeep, and insurance on the car. Think of it this way how much would a bus fare, or taxi fare be for your father to get where he needs to go. Your brother is taking a financial hit. He isn't putting into Social Security that will cost him every month when he starts collecting it. Are you going to make up the difference from your Dad's estate? Your Dad is getting a bargain. Your brother is on 24/7 call. It takes 5 hours just to get through an elderly persons appointment. Your seriously underestimating the time and care your father will need.

Captain i agree men can make wonderful caregivers,
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Everyone else has already voiced my own thoughts on this, so I'll just say that your brother is a gem, and so are you. It's obvious that your dad is in very good hands. This is the way it should be, imo, with families...working together, looking at the care giving and what it entails realistically, and realizing that care givers have to live and make it in the world, too and not begrudging him payment he deserves for the WORK he's going to be doing...how refreshing! Would that more families operated this way. It's not just the elderly parent that needs help, but the care taker, too. Nobody should end up destitute because of the care giving role. You're an awesome sister. Too bad more people on this site don't have siblings with as good head on their shoulders, and good hearts, like you do. *hugs*
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Pstiegman - I think my brother will be a good caregiver for dad now without burning out anytime soon. However, I'm not sure he'll be able to when it get's to the point where he's working as hard as what Blannie is right now. I guess I shouldn't worry about his not having much responsibility now for the money he's going to be making when, as Blannie points out, he'll be working many hours a week in the not too distant future, earning ever penny of that and more as time goes on.

Captain, I understand what you're saying too. I do hope my brother can turn out to be one of those male caregivers you talk about, without the drama too.

Jessie, thanks to my mom and dad's wise investments, and the fact that dad has long term health care, medicare will probably never enter into the picture. If that weren't the case you are right about a contract for medicaid purposes being very important.

As it is I think the giving of the money as a gift to my brother rather then as wages will mean less paperwork. Pretty much any savings (either from my brother not having to pay taxes if it's a gift, or as my father being able to use the money paid as a medical deduction on his taxes if it's paid as caregiver wages) will be about the same, so whichever means the least paperwork is probably best for both of them.

Again thanks to all of you for your wise thoughts! I only wish I could be there to help dad. I have infinitely more patience then my brother. That's the only worry I have about him. He tends to try to bully dad into doing what he should rather then patiently work with dad to bring him around to things (behavior modification techniques work well with him). But alas, I'll have to trust my brother and be a patient referee via phone when he and my dad go head to head, which they do from time to time. I do know he has dad's interest at heart though, and dad knows it too.
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Good advice everyone. I think Jinx is right and that I should be grateful my brother is willing to do this. My dear brother is one of those guys who never really aspired to do much more then what he had to do in life to get by but he is a good guy. He makes 11.30/hr before taxes and has no benefits. Fortunately his wife worked for the electric company for over 30 years and her retirement medical covers both of them) so the 250.00/wk will more the cover what he was bringing home those three days he's giving up. He also has no retirement to lose by going part time.

Dad is intending to pay him using his right to gift up to 13,000 per person tax free. That way my brother won't have worry about paying tax, so he's actually making a little more then what he was when working. I guess the best thing for me is to find out from my brother what his gross pay was for those three days he's giving up and that can be his weekly pay. Then work out a weekly gas allowance based on how much, on average, he drives dad per week.

Dad's good for now, but does need driven around since the Dr said he shouldn't drive until he's more recovered from his hospital stays. My brother is a really nice guy, and I know he will do his best for dad. My brother's wife is also not in the best shape either so this will allow my brother more time to help her out too, without the worry of having to go to work hanging over him.

As time goes on, his responsibilities will probably increase, both with dad and with his own wife, so I guess I shouldn't begrudge him any extra money he makes now and should just be glad he's there and willing.

I'm still not sure about if I should do up a contract or not. Things might change in the future but for now, I'm leaning towards not.

Thanks everyone!
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I should have added that you and he can decide what is reasonable based on the amount of driving done for your dad.
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If your brother helping your father is letting him stay at home, instead of assisted living or a nursing home, I would say to give him the things he needs to do it. $250 a week is not much money for someone who is giving up a lot of benefits. If it is anything like me, I don't use a whole lot of gas for services to my mother, so it probably wouldn't be enough to quibble over. Maybe you could allow a certain amount for auto operation and repair, since he will be using the car in the job of taking care of your father. You could write that into the household budget just like the other expenses. It is something all households have to include in their budgets.

I think that writing up a caregiving contract is an excellent idea. If you have legal papers that shows why your dad is paying your brother a thousand a month, it will be easier if your dad should ever need to apply for Medicaid. Your brother will need to file self employment taxes on the money, though. This is good, because it will let him invest some of the money in his own future social security.

I'm glad your brother is able to do this for your father. I hope you'll be able to support him in every way possible as long as it is reasonable. Now if he starts driving all day every day and expecting his dad to buy gas, that is one thing. But a tank of gas every month or two sounds reasonable if he does a good bit for your dad.
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@ pstiegman,
i think your opinion was pretty sexist in nature. men are not only filling the role of primary caregiver nowdays but were developing a reputation for doing it without all the emotional tr-drama.
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Let them work out the arrangements without a contract, because your brother may not be able to keep up the pace of caring for Dad. I'm going to bet he burns out in a month and asks for your help, and in the meantime, look into senior facilities in his area through their county office of the aging.
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I like the idea of a separate gas allowance. Give him a tank or a half tank a week. You are actually so very lucky to have a brother who is willing to do this. That's assuming he is a good guy.

If your father runs out of money in the end, it will mean that less of his money went to medicaid and the nursing home, and more went to your brother, who probably needs it.

I don't think you're being petty. You are looking out for your father. But it might cause unnecessary hard feelings with your brother to make a BIG deal out of it. So be very tactful.
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Is the $250 a week near what your brother was making for half of his job before? Will he be losing benefits by going part-time? What about retirement savings he'll be losing (if any)? It's hard to know whether that amount is anywhere near fair not knowing what he's giving up in exchange. He'll also have a harder time getting back into the job market when your dad no longer needs his help. So he's giving up a LOT to help your dad.

I have a 93 year old mom in independent living. In the overall scheme of things, she's in pretty good shape. I laughed when I read that you think your brother won't be spending any more than 5 hours a week with your dad. You can hope that's the case, but I doubt it. My mom lives 1.5 miles from me and if it's not phone calls to her docs (sometimes five calls to get a prescription refilled or a lab test scheduled), it's picking up meds, fixing her meds, or unexpected things. I had to go over there (Tuesday night) because I couldn't reach her by phone for our usual 6 PM check in. So I went over there and her power was out. I spent about an hour getting info on the outage and getting her set up (it was 95 degrees outside). Then I had to go back over there the next morning to reset her clocks (she can't figure out how) and move the fan I'd set up for her. I empty her garbage, fix her meals (that she heats up), get her groceries, do her laundry, take her to the doctor, do her financial stuff, take out her garbage, handle her recycling, renew her subscriptions, get her books from the library and on and on. Much, much more than 5 hours a week. Sometimes it's five hours in a DAY. I charge all of my gas to my mom and I don't feel bad about it. But I only use a tank of gas about every two weeks. I'm constantly running errands and making quick trips on her behalf. Maybe give your brother an additional gas allowance and if he winds up needing more, he can document why.

I can't answer the contract question. I'll be interested to see what others say about that. I'd trust my brother enough not to need that (if he was the caregiver), but after reading about the families on this site, not all families are alike. Good luck and if your brother is a good guy, just be thankful he's there to help your dad.
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