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My mom can afford a companion, one day s week so I can get out to do errands. We will pay $15 an hour for 5 hours. Should I write a check or pay cash? I don't want a contract, or pay taxes and don't care about tax deduction. I just don't want a problem with this if our when mom may need to pay for Medicaid in the future.
Thanks for any info.

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The lady that I hired came from a web site called care They have lots of applicants with all kinds of skills from companion all the way to RN. We just needed a companion. The asking pay on this site is $5 per hour to $50 per hour. It's a registry, not an agency. It's a place where caregivers can post and so can those who need caregivers. I have been very pleased.
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I go with an agency and am able to request the same person every time. I try to go the same day each week so that i Can get her (i am Very happy with her), as i think it is important not to confuse our loved one by bringing in several different care givers. Plus, the One knows where everything is and what Mom likes to eat etc. I hope it stays that way.
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If you don't want any ties, pay cash, if Mom's funds are dwindling down to where it will be CLOSE to needing medicare, even the "last 2 years" of care, pay with a check. You need to show them "where the money went" when the time comes. But this typically is needed when you are paying a full time Caretaker.
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With the agencies in St. Louis, 2/3rds of the agencies I worked for let the client interview 3 girls & picked theirself.
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Also, you can set up interviews for the applicants that you are interested in and get a feel if they would be a good fit. With the agency, you have no choice as to who they send.
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Also, I pay her directly. It's up to her if she files taxes.
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I have a caregiver for Mom. I pay her $10.00 and hour. This lady is NOT a medical professional, but she took care of her Mom with the same issues as my Mother and she is very good with her.
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I hired someone. She starts this week and I liked her a lot. I had an agency and the wench stole my new coat, a lamp out of our living room, some flower bulbs and gawd knows what else that I'll never figure out. Luckily she didn't get my mother's jewelry or mine. She was only there on Saturdays for half days and the agency told me that they background checked everybody. Well nay nay.
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Update: the companion is doing a good job with mom. I pay her via bank transfer as she shows up and memo says companion then date. I Hope this continues to work. So far $15 an hour and one day. We may up it took two days in the future.
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Oh, yes, the first thing I do is tell families to remove all but junk jewelry from the home!
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Get references from the person you hire, ask other agencies if they know the person you're going to hire, go on-line and run a background check...it'll cost you $25 or $40 but well worth it. We've been robbed three times, twice by a worker from a reputable organization who only stole a few hundred dollars from our purses. The third robbery/theft was the worst, thousands and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, my Mom's lifetime collection and what little I had, all gone. Call your local police and check with them too. Don't be fooled by good appearences. All these thefts took place between last Nov thru April. Get a calendar, hang it on the wall and have them record their hours daily. Get a spiral notebook for you and the caregiver to write notes about each day of care. Pay by check then you can run reports against your checking account if you need to later in the future.
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I doubt Medicaid with argue $75 a week if I said, it was personal use ..movie, lunch, goodwill shopping .it is not a huge amount of cash.
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I can guarentee you a Caretaker working 5 hours a week will not take a position that requires 1/2-2/3rds her paycheck for taxes, liability insurance, car insurance, gasoline coverage for transports, expenses out for the client. At a 1/2 shift a week you're not gettting a Career Caretaker, unless they're between families & you should just be lucky to find someone who will treat your Mom like family, has all her ids & definately a background check & 3 references from families she has WORKED for.
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If you're paying someone who is, essentially, an employee of yours, your homeowners insurance will NOT cover them should they get injured on your property. If you're aware of that and don't care? Then, by all means, pay with a check, not cash. If your mom may find herself on Medicaid in the future, spending down her money with proof is the way to go. There is no advantage at all to paying in cash.
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Always get everything in writing---if they don't come with a written contract, then you say that you will hire them on a trial basis ONLY, and will have a written contract for them to SIGN after the trial is over (trial can be a month or whatever you decide).
NEVER have a caregiver whom you do not have their legal name, address, phone, and Drivers License. Photocopy it all, keep it in a file, and do NOT trust that they have their own liability insurance--ask for a copy, call the insurance agents and VERIFY that it is in force (and call again when it is due for renewal!).
I know all about this since I have had to do this with my parents, and a non-agency caregiver (whom they adore).
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#1 Background check, ask if she's aligned with Paraquad or has background checks through any of her former Campanion Care employers. Then go to BeenVerified.org (or .com) Check her out #2 Go with your gut if you don't think you're just being nervous. #3 There's only a few reasons I can think of as to why she raised her rate. One, she thought you meant full time or at least 25-30 hrs a week & now you're talking once a week, the duties are heavier than expected, like you added extensive physical theraphy or housework, or your Mom is incontenant, a biter/aggressive/violent or hyper crytical or gets up all hours of the night. Or she was told she was mobile & lifting will be involved. Or she expected to be paid in cash & now with you insisting on taxing her she feels she needs to make up the difference, or you offering an undependable schedule with dependable 24/7 availability. Employers don't understand, we have to turn down other job offers if there's even a one hour overlap. We have homes & bills & are most often single Mothers responsible for meeting all the expenses without another income coming in the house, as much as we love our work, we have to do what's best for our family.
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Any time you're having second thoughts, trust your intuition. If she's stern with you the tables are already turned in her favor in any negotiations in the future and she could change the rate at any moment to $25 or $30 and remain "stern". She would be your employee and it seems that she was the one in control, not you.
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I see a lot of suggestions already here, but I wanted to tell you of our situation which is we went through Catholic Charities and they put us in touch with ResCare. The woman who comes is awesome, she is sweet, compassionate, caring, friendly, she does laundry, walks my MIL, exercises with her, etc. Prepares her lunch and she even helped usouot when we left for a long weekend. She has a minimum of 2 hours a day, we pay $20 hr and I don't know what she gets. She lives close by and has been a Godsend for us.
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NSteph..... My suggestion is "word of mouth".... In the past seven years, I have only had 2 aides for my mother, both of whom were recommended to me by asking someone in the "field", (i.e., my mom's nurse, case worker, physical therapist, etc.). As you well know, our parents are wanting to stay at home as they age. Ask around. Perhaps your local Department of Aging has a volunteer companion service. Call and ask. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Good luck!
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NSteph...just from reading what the person told you on the phone and then changing it and being 'stern' on that quote, i myself would not trust this person. If i wasn't taking care of my own mom and lived in your community i would be very happy to help you out. You know, i wonder if you couldn't find someone who has lost a family member, and who took care of that person. Of course, that again would probably be a word of mouth. I just think that if i leave my Mom with someone i don't know, i have to have a HUGE trust in that person, because this is my MOM. (Not to add more pressure to you, but i, like You, am very scared about leaving my Mom, unless i feel very comfortable with that person.) No matter how old my Mom is, she's the only one i have. (-:
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NSteph, I hope you got her ID, and copies of her certifications. Sitters here in western NY get $15/hr. Cook/Housekeeper get $20 and chauffeurs charge $25/hr plus mileage. She probably raised the rate when she saw the scope of the job especially if it included giving meds. Companions are strictly that, they don't do hands on care.
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Hi Everyone
I don't have answers, but am struggling with the same issue. I am needing part time companion care for my mom w/dementia, and am at a loss about what to do. Here's the problem I received a personal referral for a woman who I just interviewed, everything seemed fine w/ the exception of one thing. On the phone she quoted me 15-16.00 an hour; and in person she changed it to 20.00 pr. hour. She was quite stern, not allowing me any room to bargain. Although I asked her to come for 1 afternoon on a trial basis, I am having 2nd thoughts. I don't know if I trust her now. She says she's an independent contractor that pays her own disability taxes, but should I ask for paperwork to verify (if I choose to stay with her)? Also, what about employee tax? My concern is tax liability, and trust.
Any suggestions?
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Dear Cactusflower...i hope there are some vacancy's there (-:
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I guess that I have been lucky, living in this High Desert small town. We rent from the Postmistress, she knows everyone in the area and I trust her judgement. Our first caregiver/companion was here for a year, and since I worked 5 days a week, she was here 5 days a week. Mom paid her out of her Social Security each month. She lived close by. She moved only to find a job that offered health insurance. Our new caregiver/companion also lives nearby but is much older than the first. She is happy with $10 dollars an hour. She talks with Mom, feeds her lunch and dinner on the occasion that I work late. She also plays games with Mom to keep her brain active. I have since cut my work days down to three a week. I would not recommend placing an add in the paper nor online. Look around for a Senior Center or a local church. Someone that is closer to your Elders age. Definitely word of mouth is the best recommendation. I have not considered an agency because for them to drive 45-50 miles one way to get to my house would not make sense to me, and on top of that they have much higher fees. Although before I moved Mom from her house into mine, I did hire an agency to look in on Mom. She fell, but looking back I think it was her first small stroke. The agency was awesome, but pricey. I hope this helps you find someone to help you.
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^ Good for you. That is a great solution.
I pay workers with a check. Just so there is no "Oh, you didn't pay me last week." But, it looks like you have your problem fixed.
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I found a cousin in my family, for $15 an hour. She will start one day a week for 5 hours, just so I can do a few errands. I will just pay her cash...her request.
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Be careful. Go through a company, keep track of what the aide does for your mom and with your mom, but also talk to your mom about how her day with the aide went. My recent experience with a health aide was I found out she was trying to talk dad into paying her more on the side, giving her stuff, etc... I recommend people set up a video cam the same as you would if you had little ones and a nanny in your home.
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I'll never go through an agency again. One of the "caregivers" was crazy and a thief. When I reported her they sent out a string of different "caregivers" until finally one day I had a now show. When I fired them for no-show, they kept my $500 deposit. Better you go through friends, family or perhaps your church. I would rather walk over burning coals and sleep on a bed of nails than to try to depend on this bunch of clowns. My attorney advised me to drop it. My time was worth more than $500 and he did not want to take the case. So much for agencies. I've had many friends who had the same situation.
If I ever hire again, I intend to go through a POE, I use that for my payroll at my company. They will do the background check. I find and screen the caregiver. I trusted the agency which came well recommended by the "Visiting Nurse" service that helped out when Mother came home from the hospital. Shees! I didn't lose my shirt, but I did lose a new coat, a lamp, some flower bulbs and gawd knows what else in a period of a few short weeks.
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Write a check. Some companies charge you more than $15/hour and want a deposit up front and a guarantee of a certain number of hours a week. What I did was go through the local nursing school and see if anyone wanted work as an aide/attendant. The nursing students have already been fingerprinted and they have experience lay people do not. The student nurses we hired have been great. There are also grants out there for people for attendant care. You can work with a social worker to find out more.
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