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My husband and I have been 24/7 caregivers for my mom for over 6 years now. Until we were able to get her a widows pension throught the VA we got nothing other than living in her home. Yes, the utilites are out of her checking account, but neither of us could work because of this. She only got the amount from the pension because it was deemed $800 for care. So basically that is what we get. We have kept all the maintenance on her home, buy all her groceries, even before we moved in, and kept her vechicles maintained out of our own pocket. A lawyet from Agency on Aging did a quit claim deed because he had put in a lot of money in the home out of our own pocket, I had asked how we would get this back should she need NH care down the road. Being we had been her total care for over 5 years, we were able to do this. Our grandson has been granted a wish this coming January and we are going as our daughter is single. I have already inquired for respite care at a memory care home, and it is $200 a day/overnight. So you do the math, and if you cannot work because of being a caregiver, you might find a balance. I have seen than in home caregivers, (not family) are costing over $10K a month. I assume you are not talking about a minor child and that one has given up employment to be there 24/7. My husband and I have not done anything alone together in over 7 years now. I no longer feel guilty about this house going to be ours. I did for a while, but we have sacrificed a lot to do this. We have no regrets... but we are getting close to burnout. Best to you.
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I agree with being paid bcuz it really does limit your freedom as a married couple. No impulse trips to anywhere cuz you have to plan sitter and if you cant get one you have to stay home. Its the only part that makes you feel like a prisoner no matter how wonderful the person is. Giving up your free life has to b worth something and it will be a lot less than what a NH will charge. But no one answered the question asked: what is a reasonable amount to be paid? Or can food or bills be paid instead of money to lighten the load for the caregiver?
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I think many grow up in a house where parents refused the responsibilities of
parenting. I myself became my mother's care taker around age 7. She had
some sort of early onset dementia and paranoia, was very abusive and combative.
My job was to keep her calmed down, away from neighbors, do the chores for her,
house repairs, keep her entertained and be her emotional dumping ground so my dad
could enjoy his life. I began paying for myself at age 17 and several years before then had to couch surf and work as a domestic for various families when mom became too
violent for me to remain in home.

I'm not alone with this type of tale. These types of parents are also in need of care
when they age. Often they will put the greatest demand upon their adult children.
I helped out in an emergency or two and years later have been wrung out by all the
chaos and demands of one health crisis after the other with my aging narcissistic parent.

While I don't pay myself, I do reimburse myself for out of pocket expenses for travel,etc
that are specifically for his care. And I do put in sometimes weeks at a time with his
care. And sometimes many hours a week with logistics, bills, care coordination, equipment, etc. Sometimes more. Of course, I'm not compensated for this either.
And mounting doctors bills from injury are also on my dime as well as loss of income
from many missed opportunities. Don't even know how you can calculate any of this
it's just lost in the mix.

Folks that think adult children should do in home care for years for free or pay for some or all of parents care when they can afford to pay for it themselves really miss the point. Some folks saddled their children with debt starting out as adults--with PTSD, with learned dysfunction, with zero connections, with terribly out of touch expectations to make everyone happy, with poor health, with spotty education. We've already paid the price several times over by the time we're adult children. By care giving during child hood, by paying for our own care during adult hood to recover from the dysfunction. And then again when our dysfunctional parents need care as they age. We may be willing to provide care, but we need to be careful that we are not left high and dry in the process. For those providing care at home in a number of situations, compensation
from family or estate is a no brainer.

For all of you who had great parents, that sacrificed for you and let you have a
childhood that led to your successful happy life. I truly understand and applaude
your gratitude. Please be understanding that some of us are acting from duty and
are often still impoverished from the long standing effects of our earlier rounds of care giving during childhood. and early adulthood.
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WWJD
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That is what I been searching for and how I can relate to other people situations.
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Jessy, I remember this question from another thread and you received a lot of input.
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I have taken care of my grandma for 7 years now!!!! Within the last year, I had to quit my job and financially, spiritually, and emotionally go through the ringer caring for her. Now I have a son and obligations, but my grandma and her brother POA don't seem to think I should get paid for taking caring of her. I seriously don't want to ask for money, but how do I provide for my son and take care of grandma!!! They don't care and she has the funds to.
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How old is this "child"? Under 16 child is too young to have full care for their elderly parent. 16 or over, minimum wage unless child has to give some personal care. Personal care. . . as high as you can afford.
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Ronda18, I am not understanding your question. Is this in relation to how much a child(adult) get paid for caring for their parent?
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How many days does Medicare allow patients to be away from Nursing Home at a time?
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To roseinwinter, If you are the youngest and gave up employment while the other 2 siblings live extrvagant lifestyles, perhaps you would think differently, Going on now for 7 years, my husband and I have devoted our entire lives to my mom. It is a 24/7 gig, and my husband is disabled. So I have a lot on my shoulders. We have not had a date night or alone time in over 7 years. We do not sleep in the same bed. I have to stay in the room with my mom because she gets up in the night and has no idea where she is, and heads out the door sometimes. I am sure my siblings think we are living off my mom, quite to the contrary. Even with records and her banking statement all transparent I have been told I live off her.
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I am going through a VERY difficult time with my soon to be 92 mother. I am exhausted. I have a part time caregiver come in 30 hrs a week. Then when I get home from work. Its my 2nd full time job. My eldest brother was her caregiver and passed away 8 months ago. He was not taking care of himself and died at 59. Now I have taken the responsibility with no help from my other brother. I am glad to see I am not alone in this situation. But, my mother has some money. Not a lot.. but she will not pay me a cent. She would rather give it to my unemployed recovering alcoholic brother. What am I missing here? Even when we all lived at home as young adults. My dad died when I was 21 and we all had to pitch in. Being the only girl, my mother's expectations were quite high. I worked 40 hrs a week, went to night school and had to tend to the household chores and grocery shopping. I gave my mother $$ every week. My brothers gave her money when they felt like it. SO now she is living in my living room. She is acting like Driving Miss Daisy... but worse. She thinks she is acting absolutely fine. My support system is my fabulous husband and daughter. But. this is the hardest and saddest time of my life. I love my mother.. but nothing prepares you for this. I still need help. In the process of getting IHSS provider. Thanks for listening.
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What if the adult child taking care of the parent is jobless and homeless caring for a mentally competent parent? The child pays no bills at all but does assist parent with MD appointments, shopping, etc. Wouldn't that be considered working for room and board?
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I applaud Mary 0904 thinking - caregivers are charging the ESTATE, not the parents. Caregivers probably give up jobs, vacations, social life and some is never to be recovered.
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My mom was relatively low maintenance. Buy groceries, cooking, some bill payment, take to Dr appointments, etc. She gave me $700 to cover groceries + gas. She came up with amount - I don't know how, and it really wasn't an issue. All circumstances are different. Her brother, my uncle, is a different matter - I don't think any money in world would be worth it. so stressful to be with him and I don't live with him. I'm dreading the next trip.
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I would first find out what professional caregivers make and go from there. In a world were so many people are hurting financially, these days you just can't afford to not get paid for your work, especially if you happen to be dealing with a very tough situation
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Here are some things to think about if one is trying to decide whether to quit work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose over the years between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes not only loss of salary over those years... it also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance coverage.... loss of money being put into Social Security/Medicare..... loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k).... profit sharing.... workman's comp insurance.... company sponsored life insurance.... vacation pay, sick pay.... tuition assistance, etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]

I recall one co-worker saying to me that my parents cared for me when I was a child.... to which I said, but my parents weren't in their 60's when I was a child. Huge difference energy wise.

My parents were in their 90's and still lived at home which had a lot of stairs. I wasn't hands-on as they didn't need that care at that point in time so I kept my career. But they were fall risks. Anytime I drove my own vehicle for their appointments, they insisted I full up my gas tank to which they paid. And they kept a running tab of anything I needed to get for them where I used my own funds, thus I was reimbursed.

But the stress and sleepless nights took a huge toll on me after 7 years. No amount of money would be worth to be a caregiver, unless that was one's career goal.
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I agree with RF Hendricks. How do you live with yourself charging your parents to take care of them!
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I have had the care of my elderly and dependent parents for years. But it really wasn't my parents that I was charging. I was charging their estate. I have siblings who live near by and my parents' estate is left to us in equal shares.

My siblings love my parents and, of course, have a moral obligation to care for them, too. However, they travel, go to parties, visit their kids, remodel their homes, have friends over. And why not? Their parents are being cared for in a lovely, loving home---the care takers (my husband and I) never leave, are always there for the doctor's visits, and forego entertainment events. Hmmm. That sounds like they owe me a debt, both one of gratitude and one of finance. And that debt, really isn't paid in full by that room and board expenditure (nowhere, not even in the ballpark, near it), but at least it's not a runaway train. I wonder if my siblings even recognize their obligation because I never, ever hear one word of thanks.
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Yeah I agree with you gdaughter...some days I guess I just feel overly obligated or something...caregiving is hard and part of it is that now I 'have' to do it..whereas before it was more that I 'chose' to help them out. But now they are dependent on me. I chose not to have children. So have never had anyone 'depend' on me...this is a new thing for me. But me and my siblings are discussing hiring someone to come in to help out...although my parents won't like that but then I didn't like everything they made me do growing up...:)
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this is part of the huge dilemma I am facing...yes, none of us asked to be born. For some the obligation to look out for a child ends at 18 or 21...and those kids could walk away from their parents and let them fend for themselves when they need help. For others we were raised or have the values of family being valued, and that we are there for each other...but still, lives in this day and age are complex and it is hard to work, even part time, and take on other responsibilities as well...especially as adult children are getting older. EVEN, dare I say, single people, who still get tired and have their own details to tend to. I don't think you can put a price on raising a kid, nor on caregiving. Huge challenges. Sacrifices at times.
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I agree with a lot of what is being said. I am doing a lot of caretaking for my parents. They no longer can drive so now everything must be done for them. I've taken on grocery shopping, dr appts, cleaning and a lot of other chores to help them. I do have 3 other siblings and they also help out some. Although I feel like I do the majority of the work. They are able to still live in their home. The problem will be when one of them passes on and the other won't be able to live alone. I won't have a problem of having my Mom move in with me but Dad would be a different story. My parents did provide housing, food, etc while we were growing up. But my Dad was a difficult person and frankly don't know that I 'owe' him anything. They took care of me for 18 years and that was it. I actually have been helping my parents out for over 20 years with ever increasing work. So not sure you can even compare their caring for us and our caring for them. Anyway, I have taken on most of the caregiving because I'm retired. My husband died last year so I'm pretty free to help them out but not to the point of giving up my life which I haven't done yet.  So far, I've just been reimbursing myself out of their checking account.  I haven't taken any kind of 'payment for my services yet.  But if I start doing more, I will talk to my siblings about it and agree on a payment....
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Tammy, you are thinking of programs for poor people. People with assets have to pay out of their own pocket.
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Aren't there government programs to assist in elderly family care
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Look into government assistance in taking care of elderly family members
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Some of the billions thrown away on foreign aid
would pay for aged care.

my mother always said, You look after your own first"
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In the UK it's around £60 a week. Use a currency converter.

It's obviously far cheaper than professional care.
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The original post was three years ago. There were twenty-four pages of comments three years ago. There have been a few posts in the past two days, and none of them contain a new question.

PLEASE, no one take this as a criticism, but do we really want to start a rehash of something that was thoroughly discussed years ago? Everyone is entitled to add their comments to any post they care to, but wouldn't that energy be more effective replying to a current question than to a very old one, where the original poster is probably not even around to read your new comment?

This is happening a whole lot more recently. I wonder if it has anything to do with changes to the format of the forum?
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You deserve to be paid if the parent can afford it. Don't be afraid to ask them for that pay. They may say no to begin with, but when you lay it out reasonably, explaining why and how costs have gone up greatly because of them...take note of all that everyone in here has said and use it for "Ammo" when talking to your parent. Don't fight, don't raise your voice, explain why...then ask them to think about it, gently letting them know that something is going to have to be done. Then give them time to think about it, and be prepared for some arguing, denial, etc... but give them time.

My dad, when confronted by myself on my brother and sis in law's sake, armed with some great advice from those in here, and even a letter written by an angel in here (Forever In Your Debt MaggieMarshall) that I ended up using and IT WORKED! Dad first started by agreeing to pay his portion of the utilities and food, then a couple weeks later started talking about paying my sister in law (who was doing the bulk of the caregiving) and then a week later about paying my brother... By the end of three weeks after receiving the letter, he was paying his portion of the bills, my sister in law 1000.00/mo and my brother 500.00/mo.

It made all the difference in the world...they loved dad and would have continued doing it for free, but the stress would have been much higher as they struggled with finances and emotions. They felt a great weight lifted off their shoulders, and not only did they, but dad did also. He felt less a burden and more a participator in their family life from then on.... It was a blessing to them all for the final three years he lived with them. Eventually he had to move to assisted living due to medical problems, and died shortly thereafter, and he has been genuinally missed. He was surrounded by love...and what better then this at the end of life...

Here's the letter written by MaggieMarshall. Perhaps it will help someone else convince their loved one they need to pay their share and for their care by their loved ones.


You say this: "The last thing we want him to do is resent my brother and sil because he's having to "pay" them to take care of him, care which he, of course, doesn't think he needs...he says they go overboard when they don't need to."

Well, that's not QUITE the last thing you'd want. The LAST thing you'd want is for your brother and sil to think they're being taken advantage of by someone who doesn't appreciate what they're doing for him.

IMO, if you list a whole bunch of things they do for him, you've given him arguing points that he can refute. "They cook for you" becomes his focus...."They hardly EVER cook for me! I cook for myself." In one way or another, you make his argument for him. Point after point, you've given him things he can refute taking his focus off "the big picture". So, I'd suggest something like this:

The reason you should be paying your way, dad, is because everyone pays their way. In an assisted living facility, you might be paying $1500 a month or more--if you even QUALIFY for assisted living. If you need full-blown nursing home care, that figure could be $5,000 or much more.

If you live anywhere other than with _____ and _____, your needs will be secondary to the expediency of staff. Nowhere on EARTH would you get the loving attention that you get here with ______.

_____ and _____ have given up their privacy and peaceful life to give you the greatest gift of all. A circle of love that cares for you and keeps you safe. You're so loved here.

What were you doing at their age, Dad? Were you caring for an elderly parent, helping them keep their independence? Were you sleeping with one ear open so you could hear their footfalls in the middle of the night and get up to make sure they were safe? Were you helping someone to the bathroom five times a day? Fixing their medicines? Taking them to the doctor? [List a bunch of stuff here.]

We both know you weren't. _____ and _____ are giving you a precious gift. Honestly? Money can't even buy that gift. But giving them $1,500 a month [or whatever] shows them that you value everything they're doing for you. It pays them back in a small way for the sacrifices they're making every single day to care for you. It's the very least you can do.

You [and mom] saved all of your lives for a rainy day. It's pouring outside now, dad. Time to help the very people who are holding your umbrella.

It is my sincere wish that you agree to help out _____ and _____ by paying $1,500 a month toward your care. It's the right thing to do. [If you pay his bills for him, continue with this....] Starting August 1st, with your permission, I'm going to start showing them how much we appreciate all they do for you.

I love you dad. We ALL love you. I'm so happy for you that _____ is in your life at this time. You raised a wonderful son. And daughter, of course. ;)

Love,

Your Name...
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I came to a compromise with my brother who cares for my parents full time and lives with them. They have aides come in every morning for 4 hours and my brother comes and goes as he pleases. He has use of my parent's car, does not pay any rent, nor for his cell phone or any other expenses. He gets a small amount each month, which isn't enough for all he does but it is something. He has full access to the bank account and uses the debit card for purchases. I am fully aware that not all the purchases are for the household but say little because of all he does do. I only step in and say something when it gets out of hand. I have no intention of a 50/50 split on the house or the contents, he will get more than what I do because he has BEEN THERE while I am out of state. I work the finances, bills etc. but that is nothing compared to the emotional roller coaster and daily tasks he does without much complaint. What is fair is in the eye of the beholder and there is no right answer.
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