My friend is wheelchair bound with one leg. I cook, clean, do laundry every day sometimes twice a day because she wears diapers and she can have accidents at anytime number 1 and 2 on her bedding. I bathe, wash her, put diaper on her and clothing on a daily basis too. I take her to doctor appointments, clean house, dishes, mop and sweep on a daily basis also. I have not gotten or received any money from her or any program since the day I moved in more less the last 4 mths (June 5th) the day I moved in. She gets 1500 from family trust fund and 621 from SSC every month, total of what she gets is a little over 2100. She says she won't pay me cause taking care of her everyday of every month 24/7 is my rent. Half of her rent that I would be paying is 400. I would like and appreciate if you could tell me who and what programs that can help me with my situation that I'm in and what would be my pay or wage for the last 4 months and each month that I should be receiving from her or Programs....
Thank You,

Free rent is not considered payment for care. Rent + salary is, and it depends on where you are as to how much you should receive. See if you can get some guidance from an agency I used when my son cared for his grandma. We paid him room and board for him and his son + $1,8000 a month. They handled the taxes too. He did not have to change diapers or bathe and dress my mom. You are doing more, so your room mate might not be able to pay from her salary. You could also just look up a senior center in your area to guide you to an agency to help you get paid. They usually know about the resources available. Be sure to do it all legally, pay taxes on your income, and all. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to ArtistDaughter

Tawnya, I'm sorry to learn that you've found yourself in this awkward situation.    I assume you didn't discuss payment before you moved in?   That would have been the optimum time to do it, but, this is now, and apparently there's disagreement on the issue of payment.

I have a few questions to put the situation in perspective:

1.   Do YOU want to continue in this relationship (a) if you aren't going to receive any payment and (b) recognize that she likely isn't going to change her position?  And if she declines physically and  in health?   Did you enter this relationship as a lifetime commitment?  

2.   If so, then I think you are going to have to make the accommodations, as she doesn't seem interested.   And her staunch position now could be indicative of future positions if other disagreements arise.   That's something to seriously consider, especially if she deteriorates and needs additional help.

3.    Perhaps the first thing you should do is establish what a comparable position would pay.  Your profile doesn't indicate any area, so we have no idea what going rates are for where you live.    You'll have to do that research yourself.  

So do some research and locate care companies in your area that provide 24/7 care.    And remember that an agency would likely provide 3 different people, each for one shift, as opposed to one live-in person.   The rates would include overhead though, so there won't be a 1:1 comparison basis.

4.    For programs that could help, contact the local city or township, county, or state agencies.  This will require some research, but it's something you'll need to do.  We can't do that for you, especially since we don't know your health, age or financial situation (nor would we want to have all that personal information shared online).   Be sure to consider your own health care, as at some point it may change.

5.   Is this woman a Veteran?  If so, she should get in touch with the VA to find out what she may qualify for, and you also should research the VA's programs to see if you can qualify for assistance as her caregiver.  

6.  Ideally, the relationship and financing should have been addressed before you moved in, and a care contract should have been executed between the two of you.  

7.    Calculating what your compensation should have been for the last 4 months and forward isn't something we should be doing, in part b/c we don't have all the details. 
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to GardenArtist

This sort of living arrangement and caregiving is often seen on forum. Often it leads to someone being both jobless and homeless in the end.
I would move at once and allow your friend to access the system for her care in future. This is neither a caregiver relationship nor a friend relationship, but it will stymie and put a stop to your life ongoing.
Make other arrangements for job and room and move. Do give your friend a time in which to arrange for care, say a month. Let her know that in a month you will be out and on your way, will remain a friend, but not a caregiver or "roommate".
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Reply to AlvaDeer

This is not legal.
You must be compensated for your work. Even if "Free rent" were possible in exchange for the 24/7 care you provide is a gross underpayment. Figure what rent would be for a 1 room (where I live a 1 bedroom apartment, that means you would have your own bathroom and a kitchen is a bit over $1200 a month /more or less depending on where/.) Would you work, doing all that you do for $40.00 a day?
Tell your "friend" that you will be moving out. Give her a date and start looking for an apartment.
the "program" that will help you is YOU.
Chalk up what you have learned in the past 3 or 4 months as valuable and use that to get a job as a caregiver if you want to do that type of work.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Grandma1954

I’m sorry you’ve been used this way. She’s no friend. I hope you’ll move out and move on soon, you deserve better treatment than this
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Reply to Daughterof1930

A true friend wouldn’t do this to you. What she is doing is very illegal. Aside from violating state and federal labor laws, she’s using you as a slave. Alva is right, this type of arrangement usually ends with YOU unemployed and homeless. Legally she’s required to pay you for all hours worked. She has to pay you at least minimum wage even if room & board is part of your compensation.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to worriedinCali
my2cents Sep 30, 2020
I have a feeling this was a two way street - two friends both needing something. Could be that one needed a place to live that didn't cost anything and the other needed in home care. If two people agree to do this, there is absolutely nothing illegal about it. If the one person helping with care has changed her mind about original agreement, move.
See 3 more replies
Ask for a new arrangement if you wish to stay there. If she won’t agree, start looking for a new place to live and a new job.

Give notice when something comes through. You don’t owe her anything. She owes you!

Personally, I would make a clean break with her if you leave because she hasn’t been a good friend or employer to you.

I am not telling you what to do. You have to come to your own conclusions as to what is best for you.

It can’t be easy for you to stick around. She doesn’t realize that if you don’t treat others with respect and appreciation that they will not respect or appreciate her. If she does realize, then she simply doesn’t care.

Wishing you all the best. If you do accept a new ‘live in’ caregiver position make sure that you will also receive a salary.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Sounds like the die has already been cast. Time for you to find another job/living arrangement. I believe giving 2 weeks notice is sufficient.
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Reply to careinhome

Tell her and put in writing. that starting say, 3 days from now, you will need to be compensated at the rate of $xx/ hr, paid weekly, for which you will do the following. If she agrees, have her sign. If she does not, tell her you’re giving 3 days notice. Also notify any family. Then, leave, and call adult protective services on your way out. Be sure to line up temporary housing for yourself.

you can easily get a paid position at a nursing home doing this.
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Reply to LakeErie

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Reply to golden23

Ask her to write you a reference letter. That you are going to get a nursing home aide job for 10.00 an hour and it would help to get her reference. Tell her that when you get the job you will pay her $400 a month for rent. Then she can hire outside help with that money. Get her to start thinking about the cost. Tell her you could work 2 hours a day (20 dollars x 30 days) each month in lew of the “rent”.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Cece55

What did you agree with her before you moved in? There must have been some sort of understanding between the two of you. You call her a friend. You seem to know a lot about her income and you know at least what her rent is. I find it very hard to believe that there was NO discussion whatsoever about how you would be compensated for your work and your time.

If you agreed nothing, she owes you nothing. If you don't like it, leave. If she doesn't want you to leave, she can negotiate.

Even if she is eligible for additional grants or programs, it's your friend who would receive the money to pay for her care, so the only way to arrive at an agreement is through her. Are you still on speaking terms?

What have you been living on since June?
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Reply to Countrymouse

You are a very good friend to do all this without an understanding of financial obligation. Is your friend also paying for your health care, life insurance, and disability insurance. If not, is she truly helping you - other than room and board.

I suggest that you have gotten into an abusive relationship and need to find a way out of it, Please consult women's shelter or counselling center (I assume you're female from your post name). They can help you with finding a job that will pay a living wage and other resources.

When you have plans for your own well-being, then I would make a call to local Adult Protective Services. Your friend will need help - paid help- when you leave this situation. They can help your friend secure the help he/she needs without the financial/emotional abuse you are enduring.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Taarna

If you take $400 and divide it by the number of hours in a month which is 720, you are getting paid .56 cents per hour to be at her beckon call... 
Find another job.

Tell your friend you don't mind helping her, but she is taking advantage of the situation.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Jamesj

At a minimum, she should be paying you minimum wage for your state.
Then she could deduct $400 from that for your rent.
But even THAT arrangement is unfair to you (but not as bad as what you are currently getting).

Go here and find your state's minimum wage-

So, let's assume you live in one of the states with the lowest rate ($7.25 per/hr). Let's assume you are waiting on her hand and foot for at least 8 hrs. per day.
$7.25 x 8hr. x 30 days = $1740
subtract $400 rent from that and she owes you $1340 per month.

And even THAT is NOT good because I'm sure you work more than 8 hrs. plus she'd have to pay far more if she was hiring someone to do it. Did you move in because YOU needed a place to stay or did you move in specifically to help her as a friend?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to XenaJada
JoAnn29 Sep 30, 2020
From discussions on this site, you can not deduct rent when its a live in Caregiver. I think they need to get at least minimum wage.
See 1 more reply
I’m facing the same. My own parents. It is so hurtful. I never would have expected my parents to take advantage of me. After a year...I convinced my father to contact an elder care lawyer...and the lawyer was able to explain a caregivers agreement. I’m taking care of 2 elderly parents. Gave up a special (paid) overseas opportunity to come back and help them....with the understanding that they would rather be paying me than a stranger. Nope. They just didn’t want to pay. (apparently, I should be happy with room/board!—Only one bathroom in the house). It was a very unwise decision that I made—to come without anything in writing. The lawyer suggested a “needs assessment” be done and quotes gathered regarding cost of care. Then my salary will be based on that.

I was able to work part-time last year, which helped a bit...but because of C19, I am not working at all.
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Reply to Omobowale
NeedHelpWithMom Sep 30, 2020
Very sad story. Wishing you all the best. You deserve it.
You can search on this forum and find the situation ur in is common.

You should have had an agreement. If you are doing this 24/7 7 days a week you are literally a slave. What you need to do is make a list.

CNA $10 an hour.
Cleaning lady $25 a day.

So just the cleaning lady is $750 a month so there's the rent.

When ur a live in Caregiver your room is part of the agreement. Minimum wage needs to be paid. You work 40 hrs a week with time off. Overtime is extra. Call your Labor Board and find out what her responsibilities and ur rights are for live ins. IMO, this woman needs to be in a NH if she can't afford in home care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29


Review your situation carefully. Clearly you aren’t satisfied with your current situation. Honestly, who would be?

It is obvious to me that this person is neither a friend or a good employer. You aren’t getting a salary so you aren’t having taxes deducted. This is a sticky situation. Plus it isn’t beneficial for you in the long run concerning benefits in the future. What about earnings that count towards your social security?

You have gone above and beyond a good employee and friendship in your relationship with her.

There is friendship. Their is business. These two things are not the same. I might add the same for family. This is why some people don’t relish the thought of mixing friendship/family with business. It’s hit or miss, usually it’s a big miss.

Whether we are friends or family we deserve to be compensated for caregiving. Let me also point out, this also applies if they live in your home!

Speak to your ‘friend’ and I use that term lightly! Have a ‘business’ contract in your hands. Ask her to sign this agreement in which you are paid a salary or tell her to find a new caregiver and friend.

Forget your living arrangements. She isn’t offering her home to you out of the kindness of her heart.

She offered you a room and board because it is convenient for her to have a caregiver at her beckoning call.

Who took care of her before you took this on? Did they have issues as well? Do you see a pattern developing here? Does she take everyone for granted like she is doing with you?

I think I would rather sleep in a homeless shelter than in this woman’s house, even my car or a park bench!

Your self worth has deteriorated because of her influence and behavior.

Your judgment became clouded on this situation and hopefully when you read these posts you will see that she is absolutely being unfair to you.

You deserve better! Transitional times are always difficult. Take the first step. You will get through this. You will look back and see how irrational this situation was.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

You kind of moved in without working out a contract or agreement, so it will be more of an issue to iron it out now. Assuming total rent is 800 and that's how you determined your share of $400, there is also the utilities/misc for the house. Do you have any income of any kind? Do you pay for anything whatsoever while living in her home?

Assuming she pays for any/all expenses and you have no income - Add up all of the bills that she pays for this household for things that you benefit from as well: food, tv, internet, phone(s), use of car/gas, etc. Let's say those things cost another $700 per month out of her pocket. Now you are getting $400 in rent + $350 in other benefit by living with her, total of $750 per month in benefit by living there. Divide that number by 4.33 (number of weeks in a month) to get your hourly wage or worth. $750/4.33=173.21 per week. If she considers you on call for 24 hours a day, then you work 168 hours per week. So you make $1.03 an hour.

Pretty sure if there had been any programs available to her, she would have already been on them getting her care. Thus the need for her to need your help. (And sounds to me like you needed her offer of housing/bills paid or you would not have moved in without a rent agreement) You cannot apply for a programs to pay for her care. She has to do that. I've never heard of any programs that would pay for 24/7 care for her. When you need that much care, you find someone to help you out (such as your arrangement), you are wealthy enough to pay for in home care, or you end up in a nursing home type facility.

In home care is very expensive and doubt you'll find anyone person to do it, More than likely would be 3 shifts per day and definitely not less than 10 per hour. That's $250 per 24 hr period. A monthly rate of over $7 grand a month (and my estimate is probably waaaay too low in most areas). Even if she deducted what she gives you (rent/etc) she clearly doesn't have that kind of money to pay you for an hourly wage.

If you are no longer able or have the desire to honor your original agreement with her, then give her a 30 day notice that you will be leaving and find your own place to live. If you needed a place to go and she needed help, maybe it sounded like a good deal for both of you initially. Time to move on. Tell her you need to find a job to earn money.
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Reply to my2cents

You just decscribed that you are a slave. Without you getting wages and paying taxes, how do you expect to receive social security retirement. Do you have health insurance?
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Reply to MACinCT

Imho, a lot would depend on your agreement with her when you moved in. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47

If your friend died tomorrow where would that leave you?
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Reply to Frances73

Finstead of all, you should have discussed your living arrangements and pay before moving in.

To give you an idea, the least expensive 24 7 Care Live In I could find was $500 a week with one weekend off a month.

So, if you actually get to sleep thru the night and basically only care for her 12 hrs a day then she should be paying you $500 a week with 1 Day a week off, plus your Room and Board (Food).

Of course, she wouldn't be able to pay you that much because she doesn't have the money to do so but she should deffiently pay you
$1,000 a month plus your room and board.

If she doesn't want to pay you that you should just look for a live in job taking care of someone else for more than twice that amount.
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Reply to bevthegreat

Overall, it just isn’t a good idea to work for a friend or family member, especially in a caregiver position. There are always exceptions but as a general rule, problems are prone to arise sooner or later.

Some people will expect too much from the friend or family member and want to take advantage of someone who is vulnerable.

Or the other person assumes a salary will be paid and fails to discuss it. Big mistake! I bet some people do agree on a salary and the other person doesn’t uphold their end of the deal.

Everything needs to be put on the table before accepting a job and agreed upon by both parties. Room and board is not a salary! I feel it absolutely has to be done with a contract. That way grievances can be dealt with in a straightforward way. It’s a mess without clear details.

If the shoe was on the other foot I guarantee that they would not want to work and not get paid a salary.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Actually if you are living under her roof and she is providing you food, use of her water, electricity, in a way she is right--you are working for your room and board. You also never agreed or have any kind of contract to get paid.

Nobody is forcing you to stay there, and remember she can kick you out anytime she feels like it so I would be looking for my own place and get a paying job if I were you
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Reply to cetude

This sounds like it is too much for you to handle. Start looking for a new place to live. Your friend needs more help than either of you realized. Even if she did pay you , it still is too much for one person. It's not fair for either of you.
start looking for a new place to live. It is ok. Just tell her, honestly... It is too much.
Emotionally, physically, mentally, monetarily, it is exhausting. You are just not able to do this anymore. Tell her you are sorry.... You love her, but you are not up for doing this anymore.
Honestly, she may be better in a facility or somewhere, where there are more qualified staff to help her...
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Reply to MAYDAY

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