Follow
Share

I am trying to make more sense of my dad's expenses the past seven months. It seems A LOT of money has been going to in - home companions who stay 2 or 3 hours, and charge at least $100 regardless. I spoke to one of these ladies (who actually has references, and has been reliable - several have not) over the weekend. She says she will stay for "up to 4 hours" at that price, but even if it is only half an hour, it is still $100 - because: a) she has to drive out here, and b) she passes up other work to do so. The reason I'm asking is that dad has been having companions in sometimes twice - or three times! - a week. That alone blows his budget to bits. I've already asked the neighbors if I could pay them, but they're elderly as well ( 60's-70's) and are afraid to be responsible for looking after dad. Senior services is a non-starter also, due to their policies. Any thoughts would be welcome. Everything I try, I run into a wall, it seems!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Erwin, have you tried getting your dad on an advantage waiver program? It is through Medicaid and you have to ask to fill out an application for the advantage waiver program to see if he would qualify for it. I didn't think that my mom would qualify for it but she was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's and she qualified for it. I have her in assisted living but they can set it up to have a personal care aide to come out and the pca would be responsible for helping to cook, and clean while making sure the person is staying safe. They would also be able to set up a respite plan to help pay for someone to come and sit with your dad if you ever need a break. Just a thought.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom is in Florida and I pay her aid $15 an hour she insists she will not do less then four hours a day . But what i have her do is almost everything then .except cleaning . She takes my mom grocery shopping , organizing her meals and her medicine. Knows when docters appointments are and takes her and refills any meds. Since you are paying them give them more control which will make your life so much better . At first it was hard for me I'd call the docter etc etc now it's like I leave it all up to the aid to do it all , why not your paying them ! And believe me when I did that my life got so much better .
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Try the older Boy Scout organization, the Senior Centers, and enjoy excellent workers at reasonable prices.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This was a good discussion until threats of being an illegal hiring were made.
Of course, people should know the employment laws and possible liability issues, but imo not threatened outright.

I have read GardenArtist, Cwillie, Igloo and others whom I consider experts with advice, never making threats.

As a non-expert, I have observed how a community gets by and many hire the same individuals (on a sub-contractor type basis) for housekeeping (via references), handy services, yard maintenance, etc. Some work for $10/ hr., and others name their own price. Once the person is on the premises, others hire them.

My advice is to rename the job title. Hire a reasonable cook and housekeeper for $100 all day, or $60 for 6 hours, staying for that time paid. Why would anyone get paid if they went home?
At least someone will be there...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Tacy, thanks for your input. I'm not sure how this applies to our situation. In any case, you've triggered me to get all the related paperwork up to date and to review it all with my insurance/legal folks again. I have no intention of violating any laws!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Superstring, I would really question that agency. A subcontractor would provide you with an invoice and you would pay them directly not an agency and you would 1099 them. Also, a self employed individual does not have to have a workmans comp policy on themselves because they are self employed and they should be providing you with a copy of their liability policy that they pay for. The "agency" sounds shady because it sounds like they are trying to get around labor laws. There are strict rules on employees vs subconcontrors and what you have described violates the law.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have my caregivers from an agency. I pay the agency. The workers are independent contractors so I don't do any of their "paperwork". I do, however, have workers comp for them as an addition to my homeowners insurance, as the agency doesn't carry this and regular homeowners ins only covers people who work in the home occasionally (not sure what the limits are but I have caregivers full time for my hubby). An agency which has its own employees should have workers comp. Costs vary by area. Previous agency was getting $17/hour up to 24 hours, not sure about minimum. At the time I had 24-hour caregiver which cost me $220/day (but of course you have to let the 24-hour caregiver sleep). I have pretty good deal with current agency where I shell out about $15/hour now but I have 2 twelve hr & one 9 hr shifts a day so I'm getting a good deal. Pricey! But although hubby needs somebody with him at all times (& 2 people in the daytime) due to severe dementia, he is happy & wouldn't survive a minute in a facility, so...I'm in it until the $$ runs out
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My housekeeper (Austin, Texas) charges $100-$120/day and she stays all day, cleans up, cooks and would love to sit and visit periodically. Or maybe a graduate student who is working parttime for $10-$15 / hr. I think it's going through an agency and getting a "title" health-care worker that is an extra $10 per hour. Just ideas...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks all! Some of you seem to be getting better quotes than I am. I will look around some more. This is a very rural area, and not close to town. Roads are - challenging. It isn't that easy getting help out here.

I had three roofers refuse to work here before the fourth finally accepted the job. Honestly, I wouldn't have moved here if I knew I'd have dad out here. My brother was given a large amount of money to start his business by the parents, on the condition he looked after my parents in their old age. Of course, as soon as he got the money it was adios! I ended up with dad, and for a while, mom, too.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have an agency provide personal care for my wife for 2 hours on MWF mornings for bathing, dressing and grooming. She unable to move about on her own. I am unable to help her get to the bathroom for bathing due to my physical condition IBM. The agency charges $18.00 per hour for one hour or more with no minimums. The personal care lady helps with laundry and does light housekeeping.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sounds like an OK rate. We are paying $23.00 per hour for basically the same thing. Does he have dementia? One of the earliest issues with my mom's dementia was that she was uncomfortable and highly anxious about being alone. That is common. She is living in the independent living portion of a continuing care facility and we are still paying for a companion because she is unwilling to go to any of the activities and does not want to be alone. She wants someone right there all the time. And, regarding assisted living, the $300 a week that you are paying is way cheaper than assisted living. An apartment in the assisted living portion of the place where my mom is costs over $5000 per month and that still wouldn't include someone sitting with her all day. So, I'd say, don't fret over this cost as it is probably the cheapest solution right now. And as others have said, utilize the full four hours. Go run errands or whatever you need to do while they are there.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

With the flu season coming, make sure any caregivers or companions have had their flu shots, and have been tested for TB. These two items are very important when one is dealing with helpers caring for the elderly.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You can hire much more reasonably--with background checks. Or find a local AGENCY--which usually runs on a per,hour basis for around $20 per hour. You are being ripped off.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi! My mother is unable to walk on her own these days and I pay $20 an hour with a minimum of 4 hours a day to bath her, feed her, help her to the bathroom, wash her clothes, do the dishes and even clean her room. The agency I have does anything I ask of them which is nice. It is costly at $1600 a month when my mom does not even get that through SS but I am able to help pay. Not sure where you live but in Georgia the average is $20 an hour. I also have the same lady every day! It really helps her!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

A "companion" should only be paid $10.00 and at most 15.00 I had CNA's that helped me and they got $15.00 an hour and they were getting paid more than they would have if they had worked in a facility.
You could get volunteers from a Senior organization or your Church and they often do that for free.
There is NO way they should be getting what they have been charging you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you, Pat. This is going to be an issue with him. Dad pays most things by cash. He has trouble dealing with banks and does not trust them. A few months ago one of his banks gave him problems on a withdrawal he had plenty of cash to cover, and he closed the account. His temper is very short lately.

The longer I try to help him, the worse things end up looking...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Have them give you written agreement that they are self-employed and they agree they are responsible for all taxes and issue them a 1099 for what you paid them. Always pay by check, cash can be disputed. Without a written agreement, the can of worms gets bigger.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks all! We had never heard the info about worker's compensation - question, if he does that, does he also have to start keeping tax info, etc for people who bill themselves as "self-employed"?

He's barely paying his bills now, this opens a whole new can of worms.

I appreciate the info, though. Better to know than not know.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am getting off super cheap. I have one woman (79 years old) who comes in for 8 hours a day 4 days a week and another (mid 60's) who comes in one day a week for 8 hours.

I pay them each $10 per hour.

They were told that they were mainly a companion but would be dispensing her pills (already sorted) and making sure she had breakfast and lunch.

Of course, Mom is boring so they have taken up laundry sometimes light housework, toileting, bathing, taking Mom to doctor, grocery shopping and ordering supplied from Amazon - just to have something to do.

The 4 day a week has become family and we take her on our many Disney World vacations. For those, she gets paid $100 per day plus all food, drink and park tickets. She shares a room with Mom and is with her 24/7

I know, I am truly blessed.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Erwin, if your Dad is hiring someone to stay with him during the day, make sure your Dad has added to his homeowner's insurance a "workman's comp" rider just in case someone get hurt while at his house. Regular homeowner insurance won't cover "employees".

I had used an Agency for my Dad and I was charged around $30/hour, but they were making him all his meals, doing light housework, laundry, taking Dad for walks, to doctor appointments, etc. Since they were from a licensed Agency, the Agency was already covering their employees with workman's comp.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If the rate you are paying is the best rate you have found.. sounds like your sort of stuck with it. 3 years ago we were paying 26$ an hour for my dads companion.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi geewiz! Thank you for the response. The companions are only asked to keep him company, and keep him out of trouble when I am not there. There are always snacks and drinks available.

The best rate I've found around here is $100/visit up to 4 hours. We are about 10 miles from town, but half of that is unimproved roads - I moved to the woods before I knew I was going to end up with Dad. He lives in his own building on my property, so usually I can look after him.

The only nearby neighbors are elderly, I've had cheaper offers from people on Craigslist, the grocery store bulletin board, etc. but not much. And these people have no references, so I am afraid to leave dad with them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Erwin, on your original question, what is a fair rate, I'd say it depends upon your \Dad's location. In my area, I was paying $15-20/hour for a companion back in 2011. Make a list of what you expect the companion to actually do. Visit? Take him out for a walk? make a cup of tea? Play cards, etc. Laundry? Assisting with Bathroom visits? If you are truly looking for a simple companion, I can't imagine that someone in their 60-70s couldn't do that! What timesof day is the ocmpanion needed. Think outside the box. A stay at home Mom could visit while the children are in school. (And might be thrilled to earn a few dollars as we go into the holiday season). A friend of mine is a retired nurse. She does strictly companion work for some elders. She loves doing it and the families are thrilled that she would be able to make a good call in an emergency situation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I should make it clear - the companions are not asked to clean, or provide care. They are just there when he cannot be alone, and I or a friend am not able to be there. It's still averaging more than twice a week...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you, Pam. We've talked to dad about assisted living - his doctor pushed it very hard - but dad says he'd rather die than leave home. Since he is pretty much still mentally sharp, I won't force the issue unless I have to. I just can't do it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Well Medicaid won't cover "companions" nor will the VA Aid and Attendance program. He would have a better time at Assisted Living, lots of company and not as much as you are spending now.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi, no, they do not cook, or do any housework. I thought the price was OK, but several friends have suggested that $300 a week for companion visits was excessive spending. Dad's bills with meds, supplements, transportation, restaurant meals, etc. have been over $1000 a week since he got sick, so I am trying to look at everything.

He was turned down for Medicaid earlier this year, but he has spent A LOT of money since then staying afloat. I don't know if he will agree to reapply, he was very upset they did not seem very helpful last time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am going to assume these ladies are called to come over and be with dad.. and I must say 300 a week is alot cheaper than the alternative! I get the 4 hour minimum, so just have them stay the whole 4 hours and you may feel better about it. What do they actually do? Just sit and visit, or some caregiving/housekeeping/cooking? Would they do that while they are there? If I go to work and then get to come home due to low needs, I still get paid a minimum as I had to show up, drive in, etc. They indeed do most likely pass up other work, and they have bills also. I really don't find this unreasonable, just have them stay the entire time. Do you have any contracts? What do they say? Maybe draw one up?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If your Dad doesn't have much money, then the State Medicaid might pay for the cost. My mother is applying for home care via Medicaid.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.