I have cared for my mother and all her personal needs and finances for 7 years and prior to that cared for my father. I never asked for pay because I was receiving child support but now I am not. I live in her house and provide 24/7 care for her and her pet. I pay her rent, I buy groceries and have helped or paid for repairs to her house.

Her dementia is getting worse and she is taking two meds. Her memory lasts for 10-15 minutes and her confusion is getting worse. I was told at one point by a doctor to put her into a NH as it was too hard to handle alone.

In the past 15 years I have paid in excess of $54,000 in rent to her as has my sister to allow Mom to be able to keep her savings in tact. She would not have been able to keep living here if we had not moved in or she would have spent every cent she had saved.

Knowing that in the future her condition may get to the point of needing to put her in a NH I am wondering why we are continuing to keep increasing her savings when it will have to be spent completely and she will have to apply for Medi-Cal for assistance.

I have been paid nothing for 10 years of giving care. I did it out of love but now I could really use the money to pay my bills and care for my daughter. When I asked Mom if she would be willing to sign a contract she said NO. She has gotten it for free all this time so why would she want to pay now. My siblings both work and receive an income at least one of them would not agree to this either.

My DPOA gives me a lot of room to hire people to help but I do not know that it allows me to give myself a salary for all that I do. I want everything to be legal so the one sibling cannot try to accuse me of anything. I also want to hire my daughter to help me out and run errands for me that I cannot do while watching Mom to lighten my load. She has done it for free but it is not fair to ask her to do these things without compensation, not even gas. Neither sibling is able or willing to help so I need to hire someone, so why not my daughter.

What can I or should I do? Has anyone experienced this? Anyone have legal advice?

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You should not have ever paid rent! As her POA you need to see an elder law attorney that can tell you how to go about a care agreement. You could possibly consult with a geriatric care manager that would assess your moms needs and help develop the contract. You cannot negotiate with yourself.
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Backing Jeanne up, you should get an agreement signed so you and your daughter can be paid. If it were up to Mom, who should get the money, you or the NH? Duh! You!
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Consult an attorney who specializes in Elder Law.

In my opinion the whole idea of going without pay so that your parent can keep her savings intact makes no sense whatsoever. Certainly it would be unethical to try to take advantage of the parent or to hide assets just to make the parent eligible for Medicaid sooner. That is not what I'm suggesting. But if you are doing work that anyone else would have to be paid to do, why shouldn't you be paid? Do you think a live-in caregiver would have paid $54,000 in rent?

Anyway, I'll step off my soapbox and again you suggest a visit to a lawyer to get advice about what you can do about this now.
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