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My mother’s evening/ weekend caregiver who was virtually homeless is staying with her. She has no license, so no car. She is good to my mom, but does very sneaky things and I now am losing trust. She is pretty much homeless, so she has just continued on staying with mom. I provide all food and that means her dog’s (chihuahua) food, as well as her necessities etc. No food stamps or anything and moms $735 per month does go towards that.


My mom has to have pullups, testing strips, shakes along with much other. I believe that things are going on but I’ve been told that she puts out to people acting like she is hungry etc. My gosh they go through more than my household of 4 and I’m baffled. I paid her more in the beginning and it started because I was to go on a trip with a dying aunt so I paid her out of pocket. That was in April and she is still there. During this time her sister and 2 other little dogs came and wasn’t even asked about that. I know both personally but this is so out of hand. Caught her leaving in the middle of the night for 3 1/2 hours the other night and yet she is good to mom. Pampers her. She is hemiplegic so can’t walk. I’m an only child with no other help except for the state’s caregiver which is awful too. I’m wondering how much today I should be paying given this info. Can anyone help me with this cuz I’m sick of hearing how she says I do nothing for her which is so crazy.

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I don't know how much she should be paid but I would set up a care agreement- in writing. I would also consult an attorney and make sure that by allowing her and her sister to live in your mom's home, you aren't setting her up with rights as a tenant. I know California and New York have some very strong rules protecting people from being evicted.

You could end up being required to house these women for free- even if they stopped taking care of your mom.
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Reply to Marcia7321
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Sorry to disagree here but the "best way" is textbook and does not take into consideration labor laws/payoll deduction laws in the US.

What state are you in? Are you still paying out-of-pocket? What are her responsibilities and how is her hours/pay documented?
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Reply to tacy022
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I think the best way to approach this is first to break down the elements, even if you just guess the figures. At least this is the accountant’s ‘best way’!

What do people pay for shared house lodging around your way (student sites have this information). What is the cost of board and lodging (a guest house estimate might help). What is reasonable for use of your mother’s car (I assume that’s what you mean). What is the cost of boarding a chihuahua – probably halve it or quarter it because a kennel would charge for exercise etc. Multiply those board figures for her, sister and the three little dogs. So that’s one side, showing what this care giver is getting out of it. Then look at the $ value of the care she provides. Ignore sister. Estimate the hours at the local rate of pay for a carer. Add on a bit for ‘on call’. Deduct this second side figure from the first to work out whether she is getting more ‘money’ than she is providing in ‘work’. This is an important first step in working out whether there is any large scale ongoing financial exploitation here.

The next step is to look at the non-cash aspects. She isn’t asking you about fairly major steps that she seems to be taking for granted. (Query: is she OKing it with your mother?) She is disappearing in the middle of the night – Why? Is she on the game, or involved in anything illegal? You now don’t really trust her. But she is good to your mother – you think! However the food bill is excessive and your mother says she is hungry. You aren’t sure if you have any better alternatives for your mother’s care, so is it better to put up with all the bad points?

I think the last element in here is whether she is building up to persuading your mother to make her major gifts or bequests in her will, or provide a POA. This is not at all unknown, and this is a text-book situation for it. There are ways to stop it, by having your mother declared legally incompetent (check first that the will or POA haven’t already been made), or by getting your mother to put all her assets into trust. If this is the important end-game, closing off these possibilities will lead to a collapse in the current position.

You may decide that yes, the caregiver is onto a good thing. But you may also decide that it is worthwhile sucking it up because it makes your mother happy. After all, not everyone thinks that chihuahuas are really rats! If you are sure that the ‘last element’ is not the main game, this is a decision you can make. But it is worthwhile doing the maths on whether this is seriously exploitative or not.

Working through this is a trial, but it may make you feel a lot happier about what is going on. Best wishes.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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