My SIL with dementia moved in with us, she can’t be left alone. I work from home on the computer and take care of her. She has a retirement income. My husband & his family expect me to take care of her and have never brought up paying me, they assume because I’m home anyway It’s no issue. I feel my time & energy are important too. I bathe, cook, feed, dress laundry, keep her occupied, & run her to appointments, on top of trying to stay remotely employed.

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You are not wrong to expect payment.
They don't discuss it because they hope you will do it all FREE so that there will be something left for them to have when she passes.

I can promise you, they all think that since "you are home all day, you have nothing better to do. It's just a little help here and there. She's not much trouble."
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Reply to XenaJada

IMHO it is not at all wrong. Bring the family together and discuss this. Be certain that you take this as salary, as contracted, as reported to IRS as income and through the SIL assets as expenditure for care. This way should your SIL ever need assistance through medical she will have proof of payment for service, not accused of gifting and denied care programs because of this.
You absolutely should be paid. Everywhere now women are expected to be caregivers of their children, their elders AND do work from home, as well as assuming most household duties. Do not allow this to happen to you.
I hope you are dealing with a good and decent family that recognize all this.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Unless you were part of the original discussion AND YOU AGREED TO THIS ARRANGEMENT AT THE TIME, I’d be concerned at how readily the decision was made without YOUR INPUT.

If YOU consider this arrangement possible (I wouldn’t), tell the decision making “committee” that you’ll attempt to manage for 3 months, at which time you’ll notify them how much PAID help YOU’LL NEED or expect comparable compensation for your own efforts on SIL’s behalf.

Unfortunately I don’t see you coming out of this without hurt feelings/empty pockets/and broken promises. For your sake, I’m hoping I’m totally wrong.
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Reply to AnnReid
XenaJada Sep 25, 2020
Judging by the hundreds of stories we read here at AC, you are spot on with your assessment!
No, definitely NOT wrong. It is WRONG not to be paid for doing the hardest job in the world.

Best wishes to you.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Yes take an income
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Reply to Ginna011

Your husband and his family.

Who else is in "his family"? When are they taking their turn?

What you are doing for your SIL, whom you seem to love very much, which is lovely, is nonetheless WORK.

I wonder if the assumption that this arrangement is just fine stems from a misunderstanding of what constitutes WORK, which has to be PAID FOR. By somebody. In this case, by you. Because every hour you spend lovingly caring for your SIL is an hour you can't spend on your gainful employment.

You are paying for your SIL's care. Time is money.

I wonder if your husband and his family might have their eyes opened by putting in a few shifts themselves.
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Reply to Countrymouse

NO, it is NOT wrong to ask to be paid for taking care of your SIL. Does your SIL live with you or in her own house or apt? Medicaid (in some states) will pay "Family Caregivers", but I am not sure if that applies to Sister-in-Laws.
Who is your SIL's Financial POA and her Medical/Health POA? Many people on this forum have found that it works best if the caregiver is also the POA for Finances--especially if the person lives in the home of the caregiver. That way the caregiver is ensured to be paid. If someone else is the Financial POA, they will often find reason NOT to pay the caregiver (unless a caregiver agreement is in force).

Here are some websites about Family Caregiver or Personal Caregiver. Copy and paste to your web bowser. There are many, many more websites that have examples of caregiver contracts. Each state has different regulations regarding Family Caregivers. It is usually best to have an attorney write the contract to make sure that it is legal and that it meets the tax laws and laws governing the care of the elderly or the disabled.

Hope that this information is helpful.
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Reply to DeeAnna
NeedHelpWithMom Sep 25, 2020
Great posting! Thanks for posting info.
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There is a huge difference between helping out and 24/7.

seems like you got sucked into 24/7.

I personally would start calling everyone them to ask when they are available on x and x day because your planning a vacation. When Or if everyone refuses, I would tell them ok we need to hire someone cost x amount. Plus I would be dumping a lot of her care on husband when he isn’t working.
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Reply to Ohlas1

When we cared for my mil, my bil who is a lawyer, insisted on giving us a monthly check. At the time I thought it felt wrong to be "profiting" off of caring for family, but he insisted it was the right thing to do. I understand now that it was.

Also, people don't understand that "working at home" is working. Maybe things are a bit better now that covid has happened and many folks are working from home but thirty years ago when I freelanced, I would have folks show up to "just say hi" and they would stay two hours. I tried to explain that I was working but they just did not comprehend that the two hours they stole from my day had to be made up before I went to bed that night.

I could not have worked at home and cared for my mil at the same time. You can't accomplish much when there are interruptions every fifteen minutes all day long. You may need to take your remote job to another location and tell them that they will need to hire someone for the hours you are not there plus pay the cost of whatever space you have to rent in order to work.
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Reply to graygrammie


I just read your response about your husband saying that it would humiliate him to ask to be compensated. The fact that he brought up divorce is disturbing. I’m so sorry that was his response.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

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