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My low income mom was asked to move in w/a 95 y/o rent free in her home in exchange for cooking, driving to doctor appts, being a companion, etc. She shares utility costs & food costs at a monthly cost to her of about $500-$600 a month. Her social security payment is $1400/month and she still has about $500/mo in other costs (car pmt, insurance) and misc bills. Though she does not pay rent, she is paying more in fiod & utilities sharing a big house than she did when on her own. She is currently waiting for section 8 to come thru.

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please don't take this the wrong way, but who in this 95 year old family asked your mother of 83 to take care of "their" mother? the 95 year old family should have contacted their local agency of aging and set something up thru them, filed for Medicaid, etc. That's a lot to ask of someone 83 to take care of a 95, now if it was their spouse, that would be different. And your mother shouldn't have to pay for anything, since she is caring for the 95. You need to help your mother in this situation before she runs out of her own money, then what happens? what happens if this 95 y/o has to end up in hospital and then NH, where does your mother go? with the "other" family kick her out? lots of things here to investigate.
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re: Getting paid as a caregiver
Originally only 15 states participated. Now 49 states offer at least one of four options. New law went into effect last summer.

The names of these programs vary in each state, making it often difficult to find them. In Montana, it is called "Big Sky Bonanza" in Ohio "PASSPORT" and in Washington "New Freedom Program".... which makes no sense, but that is what they are called.

Qualifications may vary from state to state, as with any program, and many individuals qualify.

You often have to ask for these programs, as they may not be volunteer offered.
I qualified while caring for my parents, yet no one ever told me about it, and I never rec'd any payment because I never knew I was able to.

Really hope this helps, as my intention was to offer options that you may not have been aware of. For no other reason. I didn't want you to go through what I did, and miss available help to assist you.

I don't want to cause any controversy or problems, and perhaps it's best that I remove myself from the conversations.

Thanks for your input.
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re: Free food.
Yes, there are places in every state that provide free food, without having to go through food stamps, etc. Some of these places are St. Mary's Food Bank, Feeding America, Seniors Farmer's Market Nutritional Program, and more.

I was coming from the perspective of a caregiver having to prepare the meals for a loved one. I know budgets can be tight, and every little bit helps.

If you check with your local county, they often have a list of places to obtain food.
No, it is not only canned goods etc. They often provide meat, produce, and more.

Where I live, there is a place to obtain 60 pounds of fresh produce for $10... and all the food is fresh, no income requirements, and this food is salvaged from being tossed away, as it may not meet the perfect shape, size, that supermarkets purchase.

Meals on Wheels is for those that live in their homes alone, and cannot easily cook for themselves. They do rely on donations (usually about $3 per meal), but if a person cannot pay, they may still be able to obtain the food.

Does this information help?
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Garden Artist:
Yes, I wrote a book. No, my intention was not 'hawking' as I thought I would just share what I know. Not so simple to supply specific info, as each state and county varies as to criteria, names and more. Apologize for how it may have come across.
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First of all, I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding regarding the information I shared. I will address each question individually.

Thanks for the info on the Workman's Comp
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I think it would be very helpful if posters would give specifics about so called "free" stuff if they infact know of its existance. As garden and arianne gave specific names of programs a person could look up and possibly benefit from. Just stating there are all kinds of "free" things is very frustrating to people who are already frustrated at finding help. Just MOP
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Arianne, I think the "free food" might have referred to organizations such as Forgotten Harvest, Focus Hope and others. But my understanding was that, like Michigan's Bridge Card for food, they're income qualified.

MOW isn't free here either. The cost is nominal, but it's most definitely not free.

Guess you have to buy her book to know.
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Lassie --
About the "free food." I believe that the meals in question were those provided by the Meals on Wheels program, which varies from state to state. In my state, Florida, it may be free to some recipients, but there is a charge to those who can pay. It provides one meal a day. I've never tried it because the recipient has to guarantee to be home to receive delivery during set hours.
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I'm curious as to what states pay for all this 'caregiving', providing compensation for taking care of the disabled, if not from a licensed agency. I'm curious as to where all this 'free food' comes from - church pantries? A bag potatoes, jar of peanut butter, some canned goods, and a loaf of day old bread are 'free food' - is the 83 year old going to be prepping and cooking? The whole thing just sounds so so wrong, like a disaster waiting to happen, if not now in a couple of years.
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"If your mother is taking care of someone, and that person is disabled, she can receive money compensation for her efforts, if she is that person's caregiver." Camilles.

Edited my last post to add that I too question Camille's statement that the OP's mother can receive caregiver compensation if the person is disabled, unless Camille's referring to some specific disability allotment of which FF and I are unaware.

I think though that people who ask about being paid are inquiring about specific sources, i.e., the names of the programs, whether state specific, etc. I've done a lot of research and found no way I could be paid for caregiving other than by the person for whom I'm caring. Medicaid is not in the picture for us.

If I'm missing something, so are a lot of other posters here.
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Camilles, I am the source for the worker's comp requirement, and I am the one who privately shared it with FF as well as posted about it sometime ago here on the forum.

Frankly, I'm not comfortable providing any further information after reading about your long post in which you mention several times the fact that you've written a book, and, just as frankly, seem to be hawking it even though you don't specifically provide the title or cost.

If I'm wrong, I apologize, but your post seemed to me so much like a sales pitch, even absent the specific information.
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Camilies, this information was given to me and to another poster here through our individual homeowner's insurance carriers here in the States.
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frewfflyer.. You may want to check into the workman's comp on the homeowner's policy...
I have never heard of such a thing.
Do you know where you may have obtained this information?
Thanks!
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Glad someone brought up the insurance side of this situation. CurlyHar11, if your Mom is getting paid to do caregiving, the patient would need to have "workman's comp" insurance on their homeowner's policy, which isn't cheap. The reason for this is in case your Mom suffers an injury while working for this person.
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If your mother is taking care of someone, and that person is disabled, she can receive money compensation for her efforts, if she is that person's caregiver. Regarding food, there are many places to obtain FREE food (no income requirements).... available to her. If she IS low income (as you state), there is always food stamps she can apply for, medicaid (will help with her medicine, doctor visits, and labwork and more), and other places to obtain food for free.

Also there are ways your mother can obtain assistance on her utility bills as well.
Hope this helps! Camille
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Ruth raises an important issue on liability insurance for driving someone else. I think there are two options, perhaps more if you ask your mother's insurance agent.

If your mother drives her car for business purposes, which I think it would be considered since she's not a family member and is providing a service as part of a legal arrangement (whether codified or not), she's providing what might be considered a commercial service. Technically, she may have to have a CDL (commercial driver's license) and appropriate level of commercial liability insurance.

If she drives the other person's car, she should be added as a named insured on that person's personal auto policy.

But all in all, I think it's too much for an 83 year old woman, regardless of health, to be responsible for another older woman. If your mother becomes ill, who will take care of her?

If she provides companion and cooking services though, that's a different level of support. But it seems as though the arrangement isn't the best financially for your mom.

As to getting paid, she could (a) get a break on the costs she does pay and let the other woman absorb more, or (b) the woman could pay her directly, documented by a written caregiving contract, but your mother would have to factor it into her tax situation to ensure that she's not becoming liable for taxes she may not realize she owes.

And that's another issue - whether she's going to be an independent contractor or an employee of the other woman.

It does get complicated, doesn't it?
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I tend to agree with sherry here. If your mom is well and there is no physical lifting etc involved and she is a companion more than the traditional caregiver this could work. However she should be able to live there free, no utilities no rent no food. She is no doubt providing a service so the womans kids dont have to or so the woman can age in place, there is great value in that. Whatever arrangement they have should be in writing notorized and witnessed so everyone knows what to expect from the other. Dont let your mom be taken advantage of. And if she is using her car to drive this woman she should check with her car ins agent, she may need extra coverage. As a private caregiver I never use my auto to drive my clients the family has to provide one, my agent told me the libality is to high. If your mom could work a couple of these bugs out it may work for both of them.
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This is a bad deal. I paid mother's caregiver $350 per week and gave her an apartment in the house with all utilities furnished. Her caregiver is only about 45 and took mother to all of her doctor appointments, bathed her and prepared her meals that I had cooked and left in the refrigerator. There was a lot of work to be done. Mother passed away at 104 and only needed a caregiver the last two years of her life.
At 83, depending on your mother's condition, I don't see why this couldn't be a win/win if the 95 y/o would pay all of the utilities and groceries and your mother was just living in the house to make sure that if she needed help someone could call 911. For that kind of situation, she should be paying nothing. It seems some people think that old age is a disease that must be treated by incarceration in a nursing home. There are lots of other options. My uncle 95 years old and his wife live in assisted living and have somebody come in to help out with personal needs. I have a friend (and many other acquaintances) who live in public housing for the elderly. Sounds like that's what your 83 yo mother is looking to get into. This is a very good alternative to having to maintain a private residence or going into assisted living if that level of care is not needed.
I agree that her disappointment should be shared with whoever she made this arrangement with, but I do not agree with the social worker. When you get the government involved, it is always bad. That goes for Medicaid too.
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Nope.
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Being a caregiver includes the risk of the patient's falling, and your 83 year old mother should not take that risk. Now 84, I was a caregiver for my husband when I was 83 and 84. But he was on hospice care, so when he fell I called the paramedics to pick him up, and hospice to decide what to do. I'm glad your mother has applied for Section 8 housing and hope it comes through soon. If she decides to serve as a caregiver temporarily, follow ikor's advice consulting a lawyer.
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I would suggest that she call her local area on aging. The will send a social worker out to help with the options for Medicad for both of them. In my state of PA their are waiver services that will pay for companion care for older individuals. Your mom should have a caregiver agreement prepared by an attorney to establish the terms of her caregiving role legally. She should share her disappointment about expenses with the person who offered this living situation maybe they can pay her. The local area on aging can help her to find a senior apartment and social services.
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No, I doubt your Mom can get any financial assistance being she herself is 83 and is taking care of someone who is 95 years old. But the 95 year old could apply for Medicaid, and if accepted by Medicaid, the program could send an Aide over to give your Mom a break a couple hours per week. The County could send Meals-On-Wheels to give your Mom a break on cooking, and she would qualify for the meals, too.

Or depending on the 95 year old's health issues, he/she could qualify for full-time nursing care at a nursing home under Medicaid. I see your Mom is waiting on Section 8 housing. Could your Mom check and see if there are any senior housing where her rent would be based on her income? Or is that Section 8 in your area?
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She got the bad end of the deal, didn't she? Get her out of there. No 83 year old should have to take care of someone else AND pay half the bills.
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