Can I hire my 21 year old daughter to watch my Mom while I run errands or just need to get out of the house for a while?


I have my mother's POA and act as the 24/7 caregiver. I have two siblings who both work jobs and do not help with care except periodically for a few hours on a weekend here or there. I have a 21 year old daughter who is in school and unemployed and who lives in the same house. Can I hire her to watch Mom while I leave the house for a while?

I read another post where a person was told by Social Services that they could not leave their mother with dementia alone or it would be considered "Elder Neglect" and they could go to prison for 7 years! I do NOT want to be prosecuted or spend 7 years in prison, because I had to run to the store or my doctor.

My mother would not do well with an outside person coming into the house and would fight it with all her might, therefore if I could arrange my appointments around my daughter's schedule, then perhaps she could watch Mom and be paid for her time. I just don't know if there are any legalities to me hiring my daughter and I am afraid that one of my sisters will start asking for money to watch Mom on those infrequent weekends I get a few hours to myself. I do not receive ANY money as her caretaker, but I do not feel it is fair to my daughter to require her to give up her life and time without pay.

I need input on this subject, please!

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Raven, et al,

As long as a you can afford to pay your daughter, in your circumstances, it could be very helpful for her, & you! Goodness knows, job markets are really tough--some areas, even worse.
Many families, there's just no money to pay for help.
They get stuck in extended caretaking, often in ways harmful to themselves, because State and other Systems fail to, or can't help under their parameters/rules, or, the caregivers do not know how or where to turn.

As much as we love our elders and family members, each family has to arrange things how it works best for them, while maintaining their own decent health and well-being; sometimes, keeping focus on priorities, can suffer--like, a parent has a first responsibility to maintain their health and ability to function, especially if they have children in the house--immediate family needs, kinda trump elder care, often; sometimes, there's no way to get around that--parent[s] need to protect their kids first, their elder, 2nd.

NOTHING says anyone must allow themselves to be destroyed by caregiving circumstances.
No rule mandates how long one must do it--one does it as long as they are able; it's OK to say "I have to stop now", if that becomes an issue.
There were a couple things posted, that sounded like you are very close to "at your wits ends" in your elder care adventures.
There's NO disgrace in seeking elder respite care, or even admitting her to a facility for extended care--you need to protect your health & your daughter's too. Elder care is very hard stuff!

Have you contacted your nearest Area Agency on Aging, to see what they might be able to offer?

It sounds like your daughter is perhaps, up for the task, at least for a bit.
Please keep good communications going with your daughter though.
Out of duty, she may try to not say anything.
Make sure she understands your abilities & feelings, as you try to understand hers.
The 2 of you can be a unified front, mutually supportive, in your elder's care--not only taking care of your elder, you are taking care of each other--perhaps may need to be that unified front when it comes to other's opinions of your caregiving [other relatives].

Only you can figure your limits--what works best for your family.
Please take care of you, too!
IMHO, your idea to pay your daughter for doing -occasional- elder care, seems good for all involved.

Sometimes [[hah! USUALLY!]] caregivers of all ages need to really 'get it' that our charges can't help behaviors brought on by dementias & other problems--those can hurt worst, when we forget to keep knowledge that they are not themselves, at the front of our awareness.
None can hurt our feelings & shatter our souls, quite so effectively as our loved ones--even worse, loved ones who now have these behaviors!

When feeling emotionally overwhelmed, we need to 'step away'--do something to change the situation--to interrupt the behaviors.
It's OK.
Sometimes it's saying words that cause the elder's mind to slip to a different gear--calling them by a different family name, or suddenly switching topics to the weather, etc. diversion;
sometimes it means putting up signs we see daily in the house, reminding us the elder cannot help their behaviors or reminding us of better thoughts to focus on;
sometimes a quick walk in a garden, a whiff of aromatherapy, some pleasant music, or talking it out here, or with a friend.
Sometimes a drink of water, deep breathing, a good cry, a hug from someone else.
Sometimes, it means calling 911 for help/witnesses.
Sometimes, it's an E.R. trip that will turn into admitting the elder to a facility.

Caregivers need supports, protections & care, too!
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To pay or not to pay that is the question. That is beside the point, the point is can the daughter cope with her grandmother? If she can and is willing and able a couple of hours here and there won't kill her. If you can afford it certainly pay her, it sounds as though she could use the money. She certainly should be reimbursed for the use of her car when she runs errands. There are many other ways she could and should be helping in the household and garden without pay. Don't treat your daughter like bone china, the sooner she learns the responsibilities of adult life the better she will cope later.
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Raven1, you need a break! If your daughter is willing to help and there is money to pay her, and doing so helps all of you then do it. If not your daughter then pay someone else. You need to take care of yourself, too! Stress is harmful in so many ways and if you're not well then it's that much harder to continue providing care for the people you love. Good luck to you!
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Forgive me if I misunderstood you when you said: "Pay her, seriously? She should want to do this out of the goodness of her heart. I helped with my grandparents, when I was a teenager, and I learned compassion, responsibility and a lot more, AND I would have NEVER, thought about getting paid!" That still sounds pretty judgmental to me. Just because something was right for you doesn't mean it's right for everyone. But I hope we can just agree to disagree. :)
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Dear Lost123: I have to write you a special note because your post touched my heart and made me cry. You are so young to do this for your Grandmother! You are a blessing indeed!

I think one thing that really hit home with me was when you said you were working outside doing the gardening and yet grandma wanted you to do the laundry for your uncle and you replied that you were busy with another chore, so grandma flips out and says a lot of nasty things to you and told you that she doesn't know why you even bother to come over. You mentioned how that broke your heart and I could feel it!!!!

My Mom says and does the same exact things to me. I have basically given up my life just as you have to care for them and yet you are abused for what you do. I can feel myself want to cry and the sick feeling you get in your stomach when that happens.

It is VERY hard to be the only person around to do this job...paid or not. It is hard as an adult and even more difficult as a young person. I know you love your Nan and I know how hard it is to do a job that no one thanks you for or tells you how much you are appreciated or loved.

I want to thank you for what you do for Nan, I know it is not like hearing it from Nan but I want you to know you are a wonderful, brave young woman and I pray that God Blesses you greatly!
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Thank you all for taking time to answer my question. My daughter is a senior in college who is struggling at this time as she has run out of financial aid and she has not graduated. She has never asked me for a dime to care for my mother, however I am very stressed and I honestly need a break.

I would love to take a class, even a cooking class, just anything to get out of the house for a while during the week. The only time I leave the house now are for doctor appointments, which are rare. I ask her to go buy groceries, pick up Mom's RX's, just anything that I cannot get out of the house to do and she does it without complaining and she uses her gas and car. She has not been able to find a job and honestly at times I am glad because I need the help, but I know it is only a matter of time and she will be working.

If I want to get out of the house and do not have the option of my daughter then I would have to pay someone to stay with her, this is why I asked the question...If I have to pay a stranger, then why am I not paying her and giving her a little spending money? I did not have a good reason not to.

My Mom has her moments of being verbal and angry. The other grandchildren will not even come to the house any longer as they do not want to be around it. My daughter however, has no such escape. I have not even mentioned this to her and she may not want to have anything to do with it when I do, I just needed someone to bounce this thought off of. I think my Mom would do much better if the person staying with her was someone she knows as her memory only lasts about 15 minutes.

I decided to take on the care of my mother because she cared for me when I was ill. I have also care for her sister, my father and brother in law and now Mom and I did it out of love, but it has turned into obligation that has gone on for over 10 years and I am worn out. Something has got to change, I am mentally and emotionally depleted.
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If your daughter is willing and interested in looking after her grandmother for pay, I say go for it! You get a break, your daughter and mother get time together, and your daughter makes a bit of money. Win win!
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@didnotsignupfor, You said to me:
" You don't know. The point is everyone's situation is different and you should not judge, especially given so few facts." I don't recall judging. Ravin made it clear, that ALL she was asking, was that she needed her daughter to watch the grandmother, when "she left the house for AWHILE." There is a difference.
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I think it depends a lot on the family situation. A loving adult child with "enough money" "should" caregive mostly for free. A grandchild "should" help out from time to time out of the goodness of his heart. To expect a grandchild to be there reliably at a certain time, more than once a month, is giving the grandchild a "job," and jobs are paid.

If there is plenty of money in the family, it may be logical to expect a kid whose college tuition is being paid for, to do his "duty" for free. If there is no money, maybe the kid should do it for free out of duty. There is probably no alternative! If there is money available, and if the kid might otherwise get paid work, it doesn't seem fair to order him to take on this hard job with no incentive.
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Short answer:
You -can- have a responsible adult--relative or stranger-- to elder-sit while you need to do errands
---As long as they have some familiarity with what needs done while you're out,
and, like BB-sitting kids, emergency numbers to call.

Is your daughter getting a free ride living under your roof?
That's OK, if that is the arrangement you are all comfortable with.
I hope your daughter behaves as an adult household member.

Adult = age 21, unless there are handicaps.
An adult child may have responsibility of her classes to accomplish.
She may even have a job to help pay her way.
==She -also- has duty to help keep whatever household she lives in, operating smoothly--rent, utilities, housework, takes out garbage, etc. normal household duties ALL members need to participate in, if they are able
[i.e., your elder cannot].

Even adults and teens who may have their own homes, depending on circumstances, may be expected to come help relieve the main caregiver--paid or not. Love, feel sense of duty, whatever.

Sometimes, young adults have a hard time developing a sense of responsibility, and it shows if they balk at -reasonable- requests or otherwise act immature.
If a person fails to develop a sense of duty / responsibility by the time they're in their 20's, they need some Tough Love--some Reality Checks, to get them back on track--otherwise, they'll keep blowing off responsibilities the rest of their lives--that's all kinds of trouble for them & others.

IMHO, it's fair to have your daughter elder-sit to allow you to run need to get out sometimes, too!
It's like you're asking her to do it daily, or even regularly, nor for days at a time.
That might be different.
IF you lack income to afford to pay her, she should not expect pay--she is not only a family member, but part of your household.

Young people can do a good or poor job of it, whether paid or free.
So can a stranger brought in to elder-sit.
Communication and expectations need to be clear.

Sometimes, parents fail to be clear about expectations with kids who stay living under their roofs.
Sometimes it's OK.
But mostly, communication needs to be very clear, that a kid staying under the parent's roof, must behave as an adult, & participate in the upkeep/maintenance & family activities under that roof.

It's different for each family...I hope things go well for you!
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