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Because our friendship developed over many years and was based on participating in the same religion, we are very much on the same page as regards to honesty and care. I don't want one cent of their money. That is not why I am doing this. I am also the executor of their estate and try to be as frugal as I can with their expenses beyond the care they are now receiving. They still own their condo and I hope to be able to rent it out for additional income to help with their expenses. I have helped with their taxes the past two years and am very familiar with their finances. There are no safeguards in place to protect them from predators other than me. I kind of wish there were. I wish there was a good handbook to guide me. I wouldn't mind being accountable to a court if it weren't too onerous, just to prove I am doing things carefully and with great respect. But we didn't want to go through the expense of attorney fees and court dates to establish a guardianship. The husband thought he was still sharp and capable, but his short term memory is terrible. He is still intelligent, but not being able to retain facts to make good decisions makes him vulnerable. The wife has frontal temporal dementia and its getting pretty advanced now.
I guess what I am doing must be rare, based on the comments above. I am submitting this to let people know it is possible to be successful having a friend do this work. I was given this opportunity to serve in an intelligent and caring way. It's been stressful, as I have my own life to live, too. I consider it an "assignment" from God, and I want to get an "A".
My husband who is diabetic2, and has a hard time getting around without a walker, and then still hard, He needs showers.
I have copd, several auto-immune diseases, bad rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, neuropathies, and on and on.
We have a licensed aide that comes to our home once a week or more. She does not work through a agency. She does the wash, cleans, gives showers, shops, and sees to miscellaneous items. She has nothing to do with our money in anyway. She puts in about 4-5 hours each time she comes. We pay her $120.00 each time. We need help with paying her.
If you are considering a friend to help care for you remember they have their own life. Don't come to depend on them. Have a back up.
Finally, I must mention that before starting to take care of someone else, a wise thing to do would be to make sure that there are others besides your self who can also pick up the slack. If picking up all of the slack is required of one person who has no one else helping them, there will most likely be things that just don't get done, and somethings may not get done right or in a timely manner. Additionally, the caregiver will definitely go through burn out, because the candle is burning at both ends. What you want to do is find out if a potential caregiver even has the time to take out of their own life to even take care of you, because my experience it may not even be convenient for them. Another thing to beware of is if caregiving takes up all of that person's time to the point that they have no time for themselves or their own needs. This happened to me when I was sitting with my elderly friend more and more and more to the point where I couldn't even do laundry without him call on the squad every time I didn't show up because I was taking care of my own needs. It got to the point where I had to sit with him more than just at night, but also pretty much all day. I eventually found myself sitting with him from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I was finally able to go home very late into the night after he finally fell asleep. There were also a bunch of other things going on which are mentioned and some of my other post from my own experience.
* Before having someone take care of you, see how well you treat each other when in close quarters for sometimes days on end, and I'll explain why:
Sometimes when were just visiting someone and things are going well, nothing out of the ordinary seems to happen. Sometimes the real truth comes out in someone's behavior only after you've been with them for prolonged periods of time. You may have the best intentions for whoever you're taking care of, but that person may end up mistreating you in some way or another. In my case, I can't be where it's too hot, and I've even told my elderly friend that I cannot come into his apartment to sit with him if it's too hot. What he would do is convince me to come over to sit with him, and wait for me to come in and stay a while before suddenly cranking the heat without warning and causing me to have to suddenly get up and leave to avoid a heat stroke. He was actually setting me to start unnecessarily using the squad like he did, but I didn't want no part of that. Squads are really for people who actually need them, not for people to use them as a taxi service. This is what my elderly friend was doing when he called the squad and went unnecessarily to the ER every day and sometimes twice a day or night. This is what he was trying to set me up to do when he was cranking the heat and trying to cause me a heat stroke, he did this on purpose and it was well known what he was doing to others as well as himself.
You want to find out everything you can about where a person's limits are before hiring them to take care of you. That's because if they have some reason why they can't do something such as being in a place that's too hot or too cold, you don't want to force them into those situations or you'll be the cause of something happening to them (if it does). You also want to find out if I can do any heavy lifting or if they have any limits as to how long they can sit or stand because many people who can't stand long have some kind of physical limits somewhere. You want to find out if they have any mental health issues and what they are because you don't want them to suddenly snap while taking care of you.
* Another thing which is very vital is to find out if they have a criminal history. If they do, they find out all about it and make your own decisions from there. If it was a very serious offense, I would advise not hiring them because you don't want something happening to you if there's a dark secret in their background. Remember, you are the potential employer and you should take the same precautions that any other hiring employer would take because in this case your health and even your very life is on the line. Anytime you have someone taking care of you, you are very open very vulnerable, so be very careful!
I think the most important thing is to retain the services of an accounting firm to audit your checkbook and savings, etc. You may ask your friend to pay your bills but the transactions MUST be audited frequently.
Also, what arrangements will be made to compensate the friend for this service? Will the friend expect to be compensated weekly with a paycheck, with board, in your will? All of this needs to be carefully spelled out in a signed contract. See a lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In addition, what are your medical conditions and do they require skilled nursing? How long would you anticipate the care to be ...hourly, weekly, monthly or permanent?
All these factors can affect and guide answers to your question.
And I'm assuming in addition that this friend is willing to care for you.