How much is a fair rate for a companion?

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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!

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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.
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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 .
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Try the older Boy Scout organization, the Senior Centers, and enjoy excellent workers at reasonable prices.
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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...
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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!
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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.
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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
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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...
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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.
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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.
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