She's retired and doesn't need the money. She wants him to live with her and says how much it would cost if he was in an assisted living facility. He is very healthy and active and needs no assistance with daily activities but has increasing dementia. The siblings are split on whether she should be paid to let Dad live her.

Doesn't you dad deserve the dignity of paying his own way?

At the very least, your sister is giving up her privacy. If your dad can no longer live alone, he needs some level of supervision, housekeeping and board. Utilities will increase and your sister will be faced with living with someone who wants the house kept warmer than she likes.

Dad's care needs will increase.

Set up a caregiving contract with a lawyer, have taxes taken out and make this all legal so that Medicaid, if needed, doesn't see it as gifting.

This should be an agreement between dad and your sister. Not sure why the other siblings think they should have anything to say about it.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Here is my take. She does NOT need the money but she is taking on a monumental task taking care of an old parent. I can assure you if he has dementia, it will soon be hell having him around and tending to him. She has no idea what she is in for. Her life will be hell with that situation. Perhaps she does not realize this. Given that she is willing (for now) to do this, then she should be paid OUT OF HIS FUNDS ONLY. No other siblings should pay her - he should provide the funds for taking care of him with dementia. She will earn it, I guarantee you.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Riley2166

And please make sure that several werks of "respite" where another family member takes dad or where dad goes to a care home for a week or 10 days is built into the plan.

Just to note, no deal saying "you'll get your inheritance when dad dies or dad will leave you the house. Unless the family has generational wealth, there will be nothing left after elder is in a facility at the end, paid for my Medicaid.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

My FIL is also physically healthy apart from the dementia. But I agree with the others, she should be paid. One idea is to work with her to come up with a sliding scale - start with one amount and increase as his care warrants becomes more time consuming.

When my FIL’s dementia was mild to moderate, it still required cooking, cleaning, handling his bills, doctor appointments, medication, and constant supervision. Now that it’s severe it is a lot more work, supervision, and stress.

If you have never gone through it, you may not realize how much it takes. Read through this board a bit and what people are dealing with, not only physically but emotionally.

Do any of the other siblings want to take care of him without compensation? Have they stepped up?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Lilfarmer67
Allwalls Mar 21, 2021
I actually just lived with him for three months since we didn't want to bring him home in the winter and it never crossed my mind to ask him to pay me to do that. It was exhausting! I just hope she has some clue what she's getting into!
I agree she should be paid. Whether retired or not. Whether he is still capable or not. Dealing with someone with dementia is stressful and the work load is doubled. Who is doing the extra cooking, cleaning, etc. Just worrying about the other person in your home is stressful. Taking on a parent is not a light decision to make, because it is not an easy task. Really consider what you are doing. If the siblings are split on the decision, and do not want to pay, then maybe one of them should take him in for free.
Actually all the siblings should be grateful to her for wanting to do this.

As Geatton says in her reply:
non-professional, inexperienced caregivers never understand the full scope (and impact) of what they are signing up for (see topic: Burnout on this forum). It often takes a huge toll on them emotionally, mentally, financially and socially (and unfortunately familialy).
I made the decision to take on both my parents, and what Geatton has said is exactly what I am experiencing now.

I wish I had known about his forum before agreeing to take in my parents.
I love them dearly, but OMG.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to shuffle

Allwalls - please, please, your sister doesn't know what she is getting herself into. Please implore her to come to this forum and look around. She will find countless posts from people who terribly REGRET ever taking in a parent to take care of. Her life will become hell.

If you have any love for her, please send her to this forum. It might save her from losing the life as she knows it.

NO amount of compensation will be enough.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to polarbear

I am a firm believer in people paying their way in life.

Dad should be paying room and board. There should be a rental or care giver contract drawn up and your sister should have POA over health and finances if he lives with her.

Increasing dementia means at some point sooner thna later Dad will take over your sister's life. She will not be able to leave him alone.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Tothill

It depends on what you mean by "paid to let Dad live with her."

Bringing an adult into your household inevitably increases costs: food, obviously, but also utilities, wear and tear, toiletries and laundry; as well as fringe extras such as different t.v. channels - they may look like negligible amounts individually but when you add them up...

Bringing an elder who is developing dementia into your household will also add significant new costs - triple that laundry bill, for a start, then factor in continence care, equipment and adaptations, caregiving and domestic services; and in a state with cold winters and hot summers, you're also going to spend a heck of a lot more on heating and air conditioning.

The difference between your sister's baseline budget and what the household budget will become when your father is part of the household should certainly be borne by your father. That's what it costs to keep him.

Then there is the matter of what her personal commitment to this project is worth, and that's where it gets tricky. Okay, she's retired, so she's not directly losing income from employment; but those are years of her life she will be giving up to his care. How do you recognise their value? Of *course* money doesn't cover it - "a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing" - but it's a start. I think the siblings will find that it pays to be generous.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Countrymouse
shuffle Mar 26, 2021
wow Countrymouse you have stated everything, everything, I am facing now with having taken in both my parents. You are correct in everything you have said in your post, it is spot on.
See 1 more reply
She should be paid. Dad's needs will increase. Does the doc say dad needs care? Look around at memory care, find one and have his level of care assessed. Whether she needs the money or not does not factor into the decision. What about room and board?

There must be a care agreement in place. An elder law attorney can prepare it. Dad would become an employer, all taxes and other withholding is out of her payment and dad pays his portion.

Inheritance lost to cost of care is often the reason that sibs do not agree with paying for care to a sibling. This happened in my case which ended up in court, costing more in attorneys and inheritance. I won, and was paid for two years of care and going forward. Dad's assets are for his care and does not become inheritance until after dad passes.

Do it legally, if you do not, any payment to sis is considered gifting and would impact dad's eligibility for Medicaid should be ever need it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to gladimhere

If she is really stupid enough to try to take care of someone 24/7 she should most certainly be paid.

I give her 6 months before she's ready to put him in a home where he belongs.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to ZippyZee
disgustedtoo Mar 29, 2021
Being generous are we?
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter