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Another situation were room and board can work out (if it is arranged carefully) is if the hours involved really are equivalent to the value of the room and board. A college student might work out in this arrangement if the hours can be flexible enough so he or she could continue taking classes. Instead of working flipping burger for enough money to pay for a dorm room and campus food, she would work a certain number of hours in exchange for room and board. But this is a highly specialized situation, and would not be practical except for locations near a campus. Even then it might be better for the student to pay the going rate for rent and the homeowner pay the going rate for caregiving, even if it nets out to be even!
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Add to my list of names that of Jeanne, who offers yet another viewpoint.
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Another important fact as well as those raised by Glad and FF is where will you go is this arrangement doesn't work out?

What guarantee do you have that you'll only be required to work 5 days, and even then, is that a 24/7 duty for 5 days? What would you do if the patient or the patient's family tried to guilt you into working the whole week?

There are some sad and unsettling threads posted by others who've gotten into this kind of situation and been trapped when the family decides to meddle, the patient becomes worse, belligerent, abusive or other disturbing behavior develops. Then these people are stuck in an unsatisfactory arrangement, or told to get out of the house, but are trapped because they have no place else to go.

Think very, very seriously about becoming a live-in caregiver.
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kairau, I don't know whether you are hoping to hire someone, or to be hired yourself. Generally a person who is supporting herself or himself could not work for just rent. How do they pay for their insurance and going to the movies and buy clothing, etc?

This arrangement might work between family members, if the help expected wouldn't interfere with the helper also holding another job. My son lived with us for just room and board, to help with my husband Coy who had dementia. But his help consisted of household maintenance, shoveling and mowing, cleaning the gutters, minor plumbing fixes, etc. If he was home and Coy fell he helped me get him up. But he didn't stay home from work to do this. He had a job where he earned money.

Room and board only is not a very practical option in most situations.
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kairau, unless your are super wealthy and don't need any money to buy things for yourself, then rent free would work. But you also need to live, you need money for health insurance, car insurance, gasoline, personal need products for yourself... and you need to add money into your own Social Security/Medicare funds.

I see from your profile, the client has general age decline. You need to get an employment agreement that states how many hours you work, what are your duties, hourly rate [of which there would be done], number of breaks during the day and for how long.... and are you allowed to use products in the kitchen for your own meal? Use the laundry? Use the client's car if you don't have one? If you get sick, who would cover for you? Can the weekend caregiver fill in?
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How many hours? What are the patient's medical conditions? What are rents in your area? Will you receive any benefits? Will you be an employee or will the patient be paying into your social security and taxing you?

Need more specific information. Personally, without some sort of payment, I would say no it is not enough. There are labor laws in some state regarding this type of work arrangement. Call the labor department in your state. What happens if your patient dies? What happens if the patient or family does not like you? These sorts of arrangements often blow up, often these sorts of positions are arranged by greedy family members trying to preserve the patient's resources so inheritance is not used to pay for much needed care.

If there were someone from an agency that was doing the care the agency would have three person team providing care roughly at a cost of $20,000.00 a month!
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