I care for my elder mom, how can I get paid?

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One and 1/2 years ago, I was working full-time at a job that paid fairly well for the area where I live. My mother had complications from an operation and I went on FMLA. I was starting to work a few hours here and there, but was not fully back from FMLA when they ended my position. I have been on unemployment since then. I have looked for work, but there is nothing that really fits my new reality. I would have to work from home and greatly reduced hours, which would have to be flexible. In addition, it is becoming increasingly clear that I am needed at home. My mother has problems walking and has fallen several times. She is on oxygen 24/7. Her oxygen level drops into the 80s with just minimal exertion. She needs help with her baths and meal preparation, etc. My father, though not formally diagnosed, seems to have early stage Alzheimer's. In addition, they have frequent doctor visits to which I have to take them. I feel that my parents need me to be home with them at this time. Their care really is a full-time job. Does Social Security not help in these situations. If I could draw now, I would be perfectly willing to accept reduced payments in the future once I am no longer needed to care for my parents. .
My Mom has lived with me for over 2 years now because she shouldn't live by herself. My utility usage has doubled every month and my food bill has jumped. Is there any relief for me? I am also a single Mom of 3 kids. Is there any financial help for me?
Overseas, in some countries, being a caregiver for your elderly or sick parent is highly regarded & respected. They are paid & given health insurance & taken care of. Not in this country. If you are sacrificing your livelyhood & income to do the right thing because for whatever reason, like me, worried about the quality of care in nursing homes, I absolutely think the adult child should be taken care of as well, financially & with health coverage. I'm saving the state thousands of dollars by being the sole caregiver at home and I don't have 2 pennies to rub together or health insurance. I want to lobby in DC to change this. It shouldn't be this way in the richest country in the world. No adult child should fall into poverty for doing the right thing by being a caregiver for their loved ones.
The sheer stress, heartache and physical demands that go into caring for an ailing elderly parent, it is a 24/7 job with little to no rewards other than you are doing the right thing by caring for your parent even when it is incredibly difficult especially if the parent has dementia or needs constant medical assistance. Our government should pay child who are caregivers, to hire aides or nurses can run into huge amounts of money, and when one is alone caring for a parent an aide is not a luxury, but necessity, if only to give the caregiver a break every day for a few hours. And it's not like aides are paid a lot either, it seems the companies they work for take quite a chunk of their pay, that seems very unfair too since the aide is doing all the work, the company merely finds them jobs.
Is your parent able to pay you for your care?
I just want to say that I think it's just a disgrace that this country does not even care enough to provide a little compensation for people that have to give up there jobs, and really any kind of life they even thought about having, to care for their elderly parents. I love my parents dearly and want to take the best care of them I possibly can (after all they did there best with me for 18 yrs.), but I have bills I have to worry about too. I just don't feel like I should burden my parents with my responsibilities.
Have you considered asking her for pay? That is the simplest way.
What can my mother legally pay me and or my adult children for care while zhe is living in my home? She has alzheimers and a degenerafive spinal condition. Zhe requires 23/7 supervision and transpodtation and supervision of all meds. She is in earlystagesofincontinence.
Thanks for the question – it's the most common one we see on AgingCare.com. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Even if you have to quit your job to care for a family member, it is extremely difficult to be handed a check for being a family caregiver – even though you deserve it – it’s a full-time job! The government needs to step up and provide desperately-needed assistance for caregivers, but right now, the opportunities for getting paid are few and far between. PirateGal is correct: there are SOME States that offer SOME assistance.

That doesn't mean that you are 100% ruled out for assistance. There are programs such as Cash and Counseling that provide some pay for family caregivers - but the program is only available in 18 states (Here's an article on it: https://www.agingcare.com/133268) Medicare will pay for some costs of nursing home care, Medicaid has minimal assistance available for very low-income elders, and veterans are eligible for some financial relief.

There may be some money out there, but you will have to do some research, based on your individual situation and the state in which you live. Two great places to start your search is your local Area Agency on Aging (find them in your phone book) and benefitscheckup.org, which asks you some questions, and based on your responses, determines if there is aid for you or your senior.

We have some articles here on AgingCare that might help you as well:

Getting paid for caregiving
https://www.agingcare.com/135476

10 Government programs that caregivers can access
https://www.agingcare.com/120513

Medicaid's Cash and Counseling financial assistance for caregivers
https://www.agingcare.com/133268

Good luck in your research - and remember you are not alone in this frustrating battle.
I agree with you Overwroughtone. I got paid nothing when mom lived with me..the SEVERAL times I took her out of the NH for neglect. I did however have her SS check since I am also her representative payee and take care of her financial obligations. When she is at the NH, they take all but 60 dollars of her SS check for her co-pay AFTER medicaid pays their co-pay and medicare pays their almost 5K. When she lives with me, she and I have her SS check to help makes ends meet. BUT, it's not much and a caregiver MUST have respite. I had that also. Once a week a gal would come in for about 45 min so I could at least go outside and walk my dog. Mom is at the mental stage of a 3 year old. One cannot leave her alone for ONE second. The state paid for the respite but mom was on Hospice then. She got much better living with me than she ever was at the five Nursing homes I've tried...so much better that they took her OFF Hospice and I lost my lady that came once a week for 45 min. Then, I had to pay 9 dollars per hour for anyone to come and give me a break. NOBODY knows what it is like caring for a parent with dementia/Alz UNLESS they have done it themselves. Period.

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