What is a proper amount to pay a private care giver for a Christmas/holiday bonus? - AgingCare.com

What is a proper amount to pay a private care giver for a Christmas/holiday bonus?

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I know this is a different type question, and a little early, but I am very new to this and only recently started having in caregivers for my Mother. The one has been coming since the beginning of September for 2 hours at lunch and gets $18/hr. She has the harder time of getting Mother out of bed and dressed and she does some house work. The other only started this month, November, and comes for 2 hours in the evening for dinner and bed. She gets $15/hr.

I know it would be more if they had worked the whole year, but I have absolutely no idea what might be a proper amount for a bonus since neither has been with us for long. Can someone with experience give me some insight? Thank you

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Been with my lady for two years. I work 24/7 as an individual service provider with days off every two weeks or sometimes none at all when there are no available relievers. Family told me if I want to take a break, I should be the one to find someone to fill in for me. I also gave up my social life and even to the point of risking my health as I developed vertigo because of lady's sleep problem. My rights to eight hours of sleep (five of which should be uninterrupted) and one hour of uninterrupted meal times three meals a day were not even met.

Lady was a great challenge: dementia, sleepless, sarcastic, stubborn. Family knows and appreciates the sacrifice I did for my lady: housekeeping, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, dressing and feeding lady, taking her to the doctor, running her house, and even fixing the desktop computer or the router's configuration, installing new house phones, etc.

For my first Christmas, I was only given a bottle of wine (I don't even drink!). No monetary gift. For the second Christmas, a pair of knitted gloves (which are useless in freezing winters). Still no monetary gift. I worked on two Thanksgiving Day. No double pay. Sad. No paid annual three-day leave as mandated by the federal law. Sadder. No bonus. Saddest.
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I remember back when my Dad's professional caregivers from an Agency had started in November. I gave the two regular scheduled caregivers $100 Target gift card each, and the others who were not regulars but came enough that I knew them by name for the evening shift I gave them $25 to $50 Target gift cards.

What I thought was interesting, it was the male caregiver who hand wrote a nice thank you note, the others didn't.

Then when Dad moved to senior living and brought along his two regular caregivers [one for weekdays, one for weekend] who worked mornings and gave Dad his breakfast and lunch, plus keep him company. Dad had passed away just prior to the next Christmas. Since Dad had the funds, I gave them $300 check and $500 check for Christmas since they both had been with him for over a year, and the women were outstanding. It had given Dad a routine to wake up and see their smiling faces daily.  They really deserved so much more !!
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About having to work through the holidays, there are many people who do this. I am a nurse, working the holidays is normal for us. My son is a phone man and he works most holidays. Another friend works for a cable company, when people's tv's go out on a holiday they want it fixed pronto so there are many many people who do work on a holiday. We get time and a half for Christmas Day. We are penalized by pay reduction if we call in or out whichever way you call it on either the day before or the day after a holiday so instead of time and a half for Christmas Day we just get regular time.
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I would think one week’s salary would be an appropriate “bonus” for a caregiver that has been working for you over 1 year.
In the case of the “newbies” the OP is asking about that just began in November, I would give them $50. That way they may feel like as an employer you will be willing in the future to provide a nice “bonus” to them if they continue providing good care & will be enough in their thinking that the employer is not a cheapskate. $20 sounds a bit low to me.
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I must say that as a caregiver I am surprised with the small amounts of money stated here as well as the monies which I have received as a Holiday bonus. I am an excellent caregiver and always being told so by families of the people whom I care for. I have only had one family pay me a weeks salary, which I was very grateful for. Others have paid me 25.00-200.00 and I have worked as a live in and hourly but literally work like a slave on most of my jobs, not only caring for my patients but doing all housework, cooking for patients and family members, and doing errands. I think that unless someone is simply a companion caregivers, those who work with dementia, physically impaired, bedridden should receive their weeks salary as a token of appreciation, as we often take better care of your family members than we care for ourselves, because we are exhausted when we get a day or two off a week. Working with the groups listed above is physically and emotionally challenging and we also take lots of abuse from many of our patients, although many cannot help it depending on their illness. Please when you are trying to decide a caregivers bonus, stop and think of all of the things which we do that makes your life so much easier.
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Wow, I was wondering if $1,000 was appropriate for a Christmas/Yearly bonus. I give my housekeeper a $100, but the caregivers are 24/4 she only works 5 hours a week for me. I don't want to waste my Mom's money, especially because each contribution to the bonus fund is kept confidential, am I totally out of line?
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there4u

If you get a nice gift, do you still charge them time and a half if you work on Christmas?
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I am a private caregiver and have been doing this for the past 10 years. I do everything for the woman I provide care for, from bathing, cleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grocery shopping, ordering her meds and dispensing them as well. I do it all and her children are always telling me how much they appreciate me and I know that they really do. I am also paid very well, as their mother can be a real challenge, temperament wise. The main point here is to point out that this kind of job can be more difficult than many may not realize. Especially, if the person you're caring for is incontinent, has dementia or Alzheimer's, mobility issues or a very negative personality! And it's not a job where you can call off either. That family is counting on you showing up everyday so forget about taking a mental health day off. And when it comes to a Xmas gift... you need to make it really count because the amount given sends a direct message to your caregiver about just how much you value the care she provides your love one. If the people (her children) who employ me gave me a Xmas gift of an hour or two of pay, I would I be insulted to say the least. Fortunately, her children are aware of the daily challenges caring for their mother and treat me with kindness, respect and compensate me financially very well. I have been with them for the last 3 years and have no plans of leaving!
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Amend that to read .. "Even if you have lots of cash ... "
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[egads .. I really gotta learn to read the WHOLE post (including the title) ... I missed the word 'bonus' .. *blushes*]

*chuckles* I'd be overjoyed with a new car.

But, seriously .. respect. How often do you thank them and recognize them for their efforts and contributions? Unless you happen to have lots of cash to distribute, recognition and verbal gratitude are seriously underrated (btw .. this is too often true in ANY field or toward most employees). If the caregivers are good at what they do, I hope you'll embrace them as part of the team of people keeping your loved one safe and healthy. Otherwise ..

A gift card .. if you happen to know their favorite place to shop, then get it there, otherwise a universal gift card (like a visa gift card) is nicely generous.
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