How to get paid caring for an elderly Mother?


If so how much per hour?

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Here we get back to the fact that we all have different lives.

People who don't have a spouse who brings in some income are left with finding a way to quit their job and still survive financially or else hire someone else to care for the parent. There should be no guilt in accepting payment for providing care if the family can afford it and it saves the parent from having to hire a stranger.

Likely no payment will compensate for the lost wages in full such as lost Social Security and subsidized payments for group policies as Freqflyer said. But some payment can help make it possible for an adult child to quit a job and help the parent rather than hire other care providers if that’s the preferred choice all around.

However, this should be done with the knowledge of the family and with some legal advice so that if the parents ever need to go on Medicaid there are no questions about the legality of the pay.

Most people would gladly provide the care for free and most do a lot of that, anyway, but if a job is lost the money to live must come from somewhere. Often people will combine families to make it work. Others can do shifts so that no family member must give up his or her job. Some work up a contract with the parent. Others find a way to provide the care and still pay their rent.

Whatever needs to be done is okay as long as it's open and above board.
Take care,
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I think we need to stand on the outside and look at the question of whether a caregiving child should be paid. The thought of caregiving out of love is a nice one and it is a good ideal. But let's take a typical situation. Say, there are three children, one that took care of the parents without pay for 10 years and two that dropped by at Christmas. The will was written leaving equal shares of the estate to the three children. If they had not been helped by the one child, the last two years of their lives would have been spent in a nursing home. They stayed at home with hospice and the caregiving child attending them -- first the father, then the mother. Because of this, there was $250,000 left in their estate. (Remember this is hypothetical.) This money would have been gone and their home would probably have a lien on it if the caregiving child had not been there.

Thinking of this, would it be wrong for the parents to pay the caregiving child? Or is it better to save it to the estate to be shared by all siblings equally?

Emotions and resources really have to be kept separate. When it comes to love, children can never do enough for their parents, and parents can never do enough for their children. It is a two-way thing. The money part should be unemotional. People can have children without having to quit their jobs, because childcare is affordable and schools are free. Adult care is expensive, as well as being more physically difficult. I think it is quite okay to say, "I will quit work to take care of you if you'll pay me ___ to pay my bills each month." Each side loses some, but it would work better than what we often see now. If done correctly, it can be done with mutual love and respect -- both sides doing for each other.

And if someone on the outside doesn't like it, well, they got no dog in the race. And if the siblings resent seeing their inheritance shrink, they can be glad that they were able to work and live normal lives while the caregiving sibling took care of important things.
Helpful Answer (10)

If my mother wasn't paying me I would have no other option but to place her in a nursing home, she needs 24/7 care. I based my 'caregiving fee' on the amount she would have been spending on a nursing home rather than trying to figure out how many hours I spend on her care...after all I am with her even if I am not actively providing care. For us this makes economic sense as the two of us are able to live for less than she would have paid others for her care.
Helpful Answer (9)

Caring for an adorable child that is growing and maturing does not compare to lifting, bathing and wiping a 200 pound hateful person. You couldn't pay me enough, frankly. My sister died suddenly caring for Mother. Now, Mother is 96 and healthy in the NH. She has a complete staff looking after her and she is safe.

Home health care professionals here charge $35.00 an hour. If they are independent, you might get someone for $25.00 an hour. My acquaintance who has a full staff in her home, pays $11,000 per month.

So, don't short yourself on the pay. No one else is going to help you.
Helpful Answer (8)

Here are some things to think about if one is trying to decide whether to quit work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose, over the years, between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes not only loss of salary, it also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance; loss of money being put into social security/Medicare; loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k); profit sharing; etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]

Thus, if a grown child needs money for their own retirement, and an aging parents offers a salary, I see nothing wrong with accepting it. Otherwise, the grown child will see their own retirement funds disappear quickly when they themselves get older. Then that grown child will be depending on their own children, if any, to help them get through their aging years.
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Alas, I feel a lot of us are going to heaven a lot faster because of the stress of caregiving and worry about our shrinking wallets. :P
Helpful Answer (6)

Jazzyfox, it sounds like you and your parents have it worked out. I think that caring is a two-way (or multi-way) street in a family. Really we would expect a loving family to get together and work things out so that everyone is having needs met as well as they can be. Instead of that, sometimes we read catty remarks about a sibling enjoying free rent as a caregiver, never considering that they themselves wouldn't work for free rent alone. This is especially true if that place is only a room in an old house. A Utopian family would get together and ask what each could do, what each could contribute. Most families are far from that ideal, however.

A caregiving child may want to help the parent out of love, but the child still has to eat and pay bills for the remainder of their life. To ask someone to neglect their own needs is telling them to deny themselves of their own life and comfort. Loving parents wouldn't do this. Loving siblings wouldn't do this. I wouldn't expect it of anyone. If someone is financially comfortable, it would be fine to work full-time for free. If they aren't, then they can't afford to, nor should they be expected to. Love has to go both ways for it to work right.
Helpful Answer (6)

Hi Rosiemc, I did get paid a little for caring for my mother. The way it worked for me was that first I became Mom's legal guardian (granted this status by a court). I kept track of my mileage and hours in a log book (one that I could show the IRS and the court). I had to get written agreement from my other family members to pay myself out of Mom's bank accounts. We worked out a "family rate" of $10 per hour and I did not charge for about 1/3 of the time, for example when I was preparing meals I would be fixing anyway for my family's dinner, or running errands I would have done anyway. I had to get court approval for the payments; their main concern was that I not deplete Mom's finances in a way that meant she could not afford assisted living or a nursing home if she needed it and also that did not deprive the other beneficiaries in her will of the bulk of her estate. I accounted for my expenses with receipts, and of course the payments count as income on your taxes. The downside of getting paid was it made me completely responsible for Mom and I had to deal with Medicare, Social Security, doctors and medications management, and things like brushing her dentures, clipping her nails, changing her Depends, etc. It was stressful and taxing and I was very, very happy the day we moved Mom to a full-time Dementia care place and extremely relieved we had conserved the funds to do so. So, pay yourself but keep in mind you may need money to get full-time professional care for her at some point.
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Susan, I'm no expert but I wonder about the advice from your estate lawyer. Part of the reason people recommend caregiving contracts is to avoid complications should your mother need to apply for medicaid in the future. From what I have read those 'gifts' would be viewed as an attempt to hide assets and delay or complicate the process. Sometimes bookkeeping involves a little creative juggling in order to find the best solution for all concerned, maybe paying tax is the lesser of two evils.
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JessieBelle Give a Hug has given the most logical reply yet as they were able to remove emotion.
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