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$20 /hr and her dinner was paid for by my Mom. What do you think?

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yes she is on the clock
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Of course you pay her.

She may be enjoying her time out..but she is still on duty and must be ever alert to help instantly. That doesn't sound like a fun time with friends. Of course you pay her.
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Just because the patient goes to dinner doesn't mean the employee needs to eat. the caregiver should bring meals and either eat before or after or if they want to eat at the restaurant they should ask for a separate bill. This should be policy.
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lori, sadly, some paid caregivers are like this.... but don't give up hope, there are many great and loyal paid caregivers out there..... hope you find a good one and it restores your faith in paid caregivers.....
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The PT appt wasn't 15 minutes away from the house. We live in a small town so there really isn't a traffic problem here. No lunches. Her financial problems became my financial problems. Several months ago, when I thought Mom was on her way to recover, I tried cutting her hours...her response was to not show up at all. She's is supposed to be a caregiver not an emotional and financial roller-coaster.
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Lori, Jess mentioned the circumstance. While 4 hours sounds excessive for a PT appointment then the time to transport, eat lunch return home, you are probably in the three hour range already. Then .5 hours just getting in and out of the house sounds likely. How far was PT from home? Did they have to wait for the appointment when they arrived? That can add a significant amount of time. I had my Mom in PT, it was always nearly a three hour endeavor.

I hope you have not lost a caregiver that is good with your Mom because of this, as they are difficult to find.
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Well, I ended up letting her go. She chose the work the hours that she wanted to work and then expected me to pay her. One hour PT appointments turned into 4 hrs a day charged. 5 PT appointments turned into $410. At least I won't have to worry about it again, as she will not be working at our house again.
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While it might seem to be "pay and pay and pay", you're also establishing good will with your caregiver. If she had a choice between continuing with you and another client, the lunches and kind treatment would be something she surely would remember.

Besides, it's nice for employer and employee to just spend some relaxing time chilling out, getting to know each other, and building the foundation for a better working relationship.
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Pay for the time and the meal; on the clock or not if you are the employer.
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Oh, and a side note... if I were ever taken out to eat, I would not pick the most expensive thing on the menu....
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I so appreciate all the posters attitudes... as a paid caregiver.... I would be told I was not 'needed' during that time..... lunch and pay..... wow, I would begin to think I was appreciated..... thanks to all of you who treat your caregiver right... hugs to all of you..
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Picking up the tab for lunch when an employee is on the clock is the right thing to do. Asking her to pay for her meal would be tacky.
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It always amazes me when employers consider it a "treat" to take an employee to lunch. Give me a gift certificate to eat with a friend ... that is a treat.

I am very glad you decided to pay for her time as well as her lunch.

I understand how distressing it can be to pay and pay and pay. Having a loved one with a chronic illness is very expensive, there is no getting around that! I feel for ya. But it is not the caregiver's fault and she deserves her pay.
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Lori, just remember, during working hours, she should be paid. Until she times out. If you decide to eat out at a restaurant, while your mom is still with you, and it's still within her work hours (example 830am-300pm) then she's still 'working.' I'd also pay for her meal. With this in mind, I would have chosen an 'economical' restaurant to eat rather than an expensive one. No, I'm not talking about MacD. =)
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Thank you everyone. Yes, she was assisting Mom after her PT appt. I'm just tired of paying, paying, paying. I'm a sole caregiver. Thanks again, she will be paid for it.
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It depends on the circumstance. If you agreed to meet her and have a girls' night out (bad idea), no, you shouldn't pay. If she was going to help with your mother or because it was during her normal hours, yes, you should pay.
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Yep. If I take an employee out, while she is on the clock, she gets paid.
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Sounds fine to me. Are you begrudging her meal or the pay?
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If she was with you then she could not be taking care of someone else. If it was during her regular hours, yes she should be paid. We have a caregiver come in every Saturday, part of her job is to drive them out for a very nice lunch. And yes she is bought lunch.
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