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Mom and Dad prefer that I remain their caretaker as opposed to hiring staff from the senior community home. They need about 40 hours a week and I am happy to do so but cannot work an outside job as well. There are funds to pay for this help and Mom and Dad agree I should be paid whatever the facility would charge. I've agreed to less pay and more help. Siblings are very upset at this arrangement although I've done it for free for a year and a half and lost substantial income during this time and have held out that my time has value and I'm doing it alone and deserve to be paid. This doesn't mean I don't love them and wouldn't do whatever is necessary but I'm beginning to feel resentful to others who could help but choose not to.

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"They need about 40 hours a week and I am happy to do so but cannot work an outside job as well. There are funds to pay for this help and Mom and Dad agree I should be paid whatever the facility would charge. I've agreed to less pay and more help."

So how many hours will you be caregiving? Will the pay be sufficient for you? What about benefits? You would get benefits at an outside job. Will your parents take out taxes for you, or will it all be under the table?

Your siblings are selfish. They don't want you cutting into their inheritance, right? Would they care if your parents hire outside caretakers?

If you have lost substantial income during the past year and a half, I'd say your parents owe you from that time. The upset siblings -- are any of them willing to pitch in? Why are they so upset that you are getting paid instead of an outsider?

Where are you in the sibling hierarchy? Are you the oldest? Who has their POA? HCPOA? Who is their executor (estate) or successor trustee (trust)?
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Reply to CTTN55
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Are you sure you can do this? By that, I mean can you afford to be out of the work force for years? If your parents are in their 70s, they could live another 20 years. Do you have a spouse that brings in full time income? What do you plan to do after your parents pass away or need placement? When your parents pass away, will the siblings do all they can to limit any inheritance?

There's many, many stories here about people taking care of their parents and then having nothing left by the time the parent dies or has to be placed. They're drained physically, emotionally and financially. And these are from people who gladly took on full time caregiving!

If you wind up caregiving for 10 years, you will be 10 years behind your peers when you go back into the work force, and 10 years older. You may very well need to start over, career-wise. Can you feasibly do that? Even if you get a basic job that pays the bills, what about your own old age and retirement?

It also sounds like the sibling issues are already a problem. Your getting paid by the folks can make this much, much worse.
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lovingdaughterz Feb 13, 2020
Parents are in very bad shape and I don't expect Dad to live another year. Once Mom is alone she will go to another placement and my help with end. I don't expect this to be more than another year.
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I ended up in court with greedy siblings that were concerned about their inheritance. The court ordered I be paid a minimal amount.

This is none of sibs business. Get this negotiated for the same amount an outside caregiver would be paid, and don't forget to get overtime rate in there. Get the contract in place working with an elder law attorney to make sure everything is legal. Folks are competent I assume. If not a geriatric care manager or the Area Agency on Aging can help with an assessment of their needs and what is common for payment.
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Ronnie2 23 hours ago
Court awards are minuscule to actual wage loses.....so one has to be able to go to trial.
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Your selfish siblings are worried about their inheritance, in fact it's so obvious you should call them out on their selfish, do nothing, greedy behavior. Remind them that you did a year and a half for free.

Greed like this makes my blood boil. It's your parent's money and they want to pay YOU. End of story right there. But the truth is you will be doing WORK, lots of it, and you deserve to be paid!

Good luck, and let us know what your siblings say when you call them out on their greed and lack of involvement.
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robinr Feb 14, 2020
Ask that elder law attorney I suggested about keeping a log of all you do...
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I wasn't paid as much as outside caregivers would have been but the arrangement worked well for both my mother and I, as long as you and your parents are satisfied I can't see how your siblings have any say in it at all.
Don't forget to have a plan for respite breaks and vacation time, it may be worthwhile to have an outsider come in once a week so that everyone is familiar with each other when you need time off.
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Lovingdaughterz, there's a good primer about whether and how to be paid as a family caregiver at
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-to-get-paid-for-being-a-caregiver-135476.htm which also has a link to a template for a caregiving contract (which I haven't actually used, but it looks like it covers what's necessary).

     The answer to your question of whether the rate for family-pay should be the same as for stranger-pay is that generally family-pay should, at most, not exceed the rate for stranger-pay (and certainly not if there's any chance of needing Medicaid assistance in the future). Whether the rate for family-pay should be less than for stranger-pay I think depends on the many family issues that others have already mentioned, including fairness to your own short and long-term well-being. That said, I know firsthand that being fair to yourself and your spouse when caring for a parent is easier said than done, but, as the old saying goes, "Do as I say, not as I do."

     Kudos to you for providing care for your parents and kudos to your parents for recognizing they should pay you. Sounds like they are good parents who raised you well -- but I'm left wondering how your siblings got messed up.
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robinr Feb 14, 2020
My father god bless him, of the greatest generation, is a generous soul, and has helped me and my absent sibling...but he is also of the mentality that family does for family, and that keeping house and all that goes with it, the "women's work", is taken for granted. I have come close to telling him his issues and needs are wearing me down...but I don't want to hurt him. The first attorney we saw was dreadful and did not adequately lay things out and explain them. But she claimed the issue of a caregiving agreement was brought up and he didn't want to do that.
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Beginning to be resentful? After a year and a half? If you gave up a job that paid better than this, you may be out on a limb to justify more than the commercial going rate for this carer work. But it doesn’t seem that this is an issue for you. You have to accept that your siblings are not going to be persuaded to accept the right thing, just because it is the right thing. You have to make the running. That will mean changing your approach, and it may mean a lot of aggro. Make sure that your parents are on board with what you suggest, take it to an attorney to get it drafted so that it is legally enforceable, and just present it to the siblings as a done deed on legal advice. If you want to be extra nice, tell the sibling in advance and ask them if they have any better ideas. Make sure that they have no leg to stand on in saying eventually that it is supposed to come off your share of the inheritance, whatever it may be. Personally, you should also go for a lump sum back pay for what you have already done. Be brave!
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robinr Feb 14, 2020
Yes, lump sum because of lost income...
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If you are to do this and get paid, and you should, here are a few ideas for you.
1). Draw up a Caregiver Contract.
2). Appropriate pay AND make it legal take out taxes. (if this is for their care there is a good possibility that this can be deducted on their taxes as a medical expense so check with the person that does your/their taxes)
3). Spell out EXACTLY what you will do for them.
4). Set a reasonable "reevaluation" schedule. You do not want to have the same contract with the same pay and hours if they have a major medical change. 6 months might be good. At the end of each 6 months you can sign a new contract with any changes in hours, pay OR you can elect to discontinue as their caregiver and someone else would have to take over, either a sibling or an agency or appropriate placement .
5). Make sure that they, your parents, have appropriate insurance so if you become injured the insurance will cover.
6). Keep accurate time that you actually spend doing their care. I think you will find that you spend more than 40 hours a week doing what you do for them.

You can figure out how much you should be paid if you call around to several agencies and ask what they charge for a caregiver. Not one that is certified as a CNA.
Also if your parents take any medication a caregiver from an agency is not allowed to administer medication. They can hand it to the person in a cup but they can not physically help them take it, nor can they crush it into a food. You would have to pay for a nurse to so that. So if you administer medication increase what you are getting paid to compensate for what an agency would charge for a nurse. If you do any hands on of changing briefs, pull ups or other things a CNA would do increase what you are charging to what the agency would charge for a CNA. Ask when you call around for prices what a Caregiver does and what they get paid. what a CNA does and what they get paid and what a Nurse does and what they get paid.
I think you and your siblings would be surprised at the costs involved.
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Dollie1974 Feb 15, 2020
Hello,

This is a wonderful response, thank you so much for being very informative, this helps others too😊

Bless you!
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I suppose that it works well for some people. I'd make sure to consult with an attorney about a written contract. There are legal reasons for this and also an accountant about tax issues. Do you have health insurance for yourself, liability insurance, in case one of them is injured. There's just a lot to consider. If the siblings are upset, why. Do they think one of them would like to do it? I could foresee that if you get paid, the siblings may never want to help, because, they aren't getting paid. Families get into a lot of squabbles over money issues. They may feel you are getting their inheritance. Maybe, they haven't considered that it's better going to you than a stranger.

I hope you'll get some answers from someone who has actually done this.
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lovingdaughterz Feb 13, 2020
Thank you so much for your reply. I asked numerous times for help and it never came. They didn't want to help and said if money is going to be paid they'd rather pay someone else. My parents said they didn't want someone else and I should be paid the same as a stranger. I didn't understand their negative attitude toward paying since I've done it for free for over a year and began telling them months ago that it has become a full time job and I will need to be compensated because I can't accept outside jobs anymore. They all agree someone has to be paid and we have a very nice routine in place that Mom and Dad are comfortable with. They asked them without me there and again they said they wanted me so they reluctantly agreed but definitely not happily.
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Of course you should be fully paid - caregiver contract is wise.  Sounds like the sibs are looking at inheritance, but they have no right to dump on one sib and expect free care.
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Ronnie2 23 hours ago
Family Caregivers are not protected without legal contracts.
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