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My cousin's experience with hiring a private person to care for her half-brother who had had a stroke and wanted to stay in his house was that she (the hired caregiver) was a professional predator. She got him to change his PoA and make her sole beneficiary in his will. The half-brother was divorced and his 4 kids from that marriage got nothing. The sad part was that the half-brother had plenty of funds to go into an extremely nice care facility where many eyes would have kept careful watch over him and met all his medical and social needs. Please read the many posts about elder abuse on this forum. It happens all the time.

There are many things to consider if you hire a private, live-in helper: they live in your mother's house and if things go south you will probably need to evict them if they refuse to leave. Because that's their residence.

They are an employee and you will need to keep careful records and be responsible for employee tax implications and all that entails. You should not pay them in cash. You need to have record of where your mom's money was spent and do everything legally and above board so that if your mother ever needs to apply for Medicaid, there won't be anything for them to question (and they will look back 5 years of financial history from when she applies).

Once your mother needs more than just "basic" help (i.e. medical) you will need a different, more expensive caregiver.

If/when your mother requires care 24/7 the cost will exceed that of AL. And, unless she has a very energetic caregiver, your mom will not have much of a social life. If you go this route be sure to consult with an elder law attorney and have a proper contract created to protect yourselves. But nothing can protect you from the thieves, even if you locked up every single piece of paper or information.

You could consider an in-home service where they are licensed, bonded and insured and do back ground checks. Yes, it will be a higher hourly rate than a private person but you won't have a second job as an employer on top of everything else you need to do.

If you are researching this path because your mother has humble financial means, please consider Medicaid and placement into a reputable care facility. My MIL is on Medicaid in an awesome place. She didn't want to go but we couldn't provide the care she needed ourselves. It took her a while to adjust but now she is more content and social than she's been in a long time. We both win in this scenario. Whatever you decide to do, wishing you success!
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