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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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When you go into caregiver mode, being a daughter is secondary. You do things that are above and beyond simply being a child of theirs. So of course you should be paid,, either what you made working or otherwise. Which ever is greater. I've been a private pay caregiver for almost 50 years, and sometimes for nothing, for family and friends. But I know my worth, my value...as such, when I have a client, my charge is $18.00, hour, minimum, $22.00, maximum. I had one client,a regular, wanted me to drive him to Atlanta one Saturday morning, drop him off at friends house, and pick him up Sunday. I was gone from home maybe 30 hours. and this trip costed him dearly. I charged him $45.00 hour, for entire 30 hours, plus a bonus of $1,500.00 upon safe return home. Plus I drove his new Cadillac. When he settled up, he made it an even $3,000. I know my value, and my time is valuable. Charge what you're worth.
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Reply to Jazzy1349
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Absolutely. Your siblings should be grateful to find live in help that actually loves their parents. Services your parents were getting for free are now going to be properly compensated. That's fair.

Please read up on the documentation Medicaid would need to have if your presence in the home is keeping your parents out of a nursing home. If you provide these services for at least two years, and have proper documentation, you may be able to protect the home equity from a Medicaid claim if that is needed in the future. But you need to have everything properly documented.
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Omobowale: My widowed early late mother's monthly income = $1,223. 'Nough said. Period.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Yes, but remember - if Medicaid is ever going to be needed, you will need to make sure that you keep a paper trail of the funds paid, the "wages" should be comparable to what an agency would charge, and you should plan on claiming the income on your taxes. Medicaid does not usually think that a child should get paid to take care of their parents, but if their need requires more than someone who works a normal job, can do - then the reason would be justified. You should also sign a caregiver agreement detailing what services you provide for the wages earned. You would have to 1099 yourself and definitely write a check from your parents to you, and fill in the memo with the hours/days you "worked".
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Isthisrealyreal Feb 23, 2020
You can NOT do this as a 1099. It is illegal, meaning Medicaid will call it a gift and penalty time.

This is W2 work and telling people otherwise puts them and their seniors at risk.

Please research the laws before you tell someone to break them.
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Absolutely YES! Your time does have value, and you should not be losing out financially because you are the only sibling willing to carry the load. They are being selfish and only worried about what they will inherit, which is another point that is showing their selfishness beyond not helping!
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Only1caregiver Feb 24, 2020
Thanks anrean! That is so true! I am so tired of the money hungry siblings that I could puke! I have already been accused of stealing my mother’s money. I can’t wait until they come to visit mom and she doesn’t remember who they are!
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So everyone knows, in the USA domestic help is not considered 1099 help. It violates the law and puts the senior at risk of not getting public assistance IF needed for the time period of the money paid, it will be viewed as a gift.

Tootsieboot, you are right that a 1099 worker needs to pay their own SS/Medicare taxes, but this means that they are now responsible for the entire 15.2%, not just half. They also would need to have workmans compensation insurance in the event that they were injured doing their job. Some private medical insurance policies have disclaimers that they could deny claims for workmen injuries sustained in the commission of their job. Not to mention federal, state and unemployment benefits.

It is a far better idea to use a payroll service that handles everything, then bills the "employer". This puts the labor burden on the "employer" and not the employee/caregiver. Yes, they get a percentage of the payroll, but they are making sure that ALL are protected. Especially vital in situations like this, there are siblings contesting their sisters getting paid, it needs to be handled carefully and legally.

Another thing that I don't see mentioned here is what happens to the caregiver after her charges die? They absolutely need the ability to collect unemployment to sustain their own lives until they can get another job, which is more difficult because they have been out of the ever changing workplace for ?weeks?months?years?

What happens if they are severely injured caregiving? Personal insurance doesn't pay you a portion of your wages while you are recovering from a work injury, however, workmans compensation does and it covers medical expenses 100%, no deductibles or co-pays.

There are so many reasons to do it legally and have the senior use a payroll service that ensures everyone is protected.
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Tootieboot Feb 21, 2020
Thanks for the clarification, maybe I am not telling it right. All I know is a friend of mine stopped working to take care of his mother and he didnt even want to get paid . But because he wasnt paying into taxes for years he lost the credits to be able to draw his own disability ss. When he needed it. All I know its something about the credits you have to earn to receive your own ss when you retire. As far as how you get paid from a parent to take care of your parents I dont know. But going through a payroll company sounds wise.
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Yes, I agree that if the siblings aren't prepared to help then they should stay out of it. It would be different if you were somehow taking advantage of the situation which it sounds like you are not.

Your sibs should just be grateful that your parents have you and shut up.
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Reply to Gershun
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Obviously they feel you are cutting into their inheritance. Do they not realize that if you aren’t paid, someone else will be? If they are so concerned, then they need to step up and participate in the care of their parents.

Good luck to you.
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Reply to BAMinOH
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Isn't it funny how others don't assist in any manner but feel they have the right to an opinion on this topic.  Let your parents pay you and tell everyone who has a problem with it to bug off.
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I agree with you, you need to get paid especially since you have to give up working. Some states allow you to get paid through state funds.
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Reply to Lucidesi2457
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If you cant work another job so you can pay in your ss and taxes yes you should get paid . And I recommend you file a 1099 Other wise it will hurt you when you want to retire and draw your ss. Because you will lose credits . This happened to a friend of mine who took care of his mother.
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gladimhere Feb 16, 2020
1099's do not work for domestic help. They are considered employees of the parents, so taxes, social security, etc are all paid.
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Yes of course you should be paid as much (if not more) than an outside caretaker. Go ahead and get this organized asap, especially if your parents are in agreement.
Good luck!
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Reply to prenaud100
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Check into "A Caregivers Contract ." This also helps out later when Siblings fuss over inheritances. When there are Siblings who are Caregivers and Siblings who are not, inheritances should not be equal, gets into Elder Law stuff beyond me. Good luck!
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Reply to RonHochhauser
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Yes your time and care is much better than a stranger would give. I have been in a similar situation with no pay and strangers were paid. You aren’t being selfish just realistic.
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I feel you frustration...  About 2 years ago my 84 (at the time) year old mother was diagnosed with cancer and we ended up having her move in with us since she lived about 6 hours from us and we wanted to get her to the doctors and watch over her.  There was a spot where the cancer was over her femur and because of that it caused her femur to break.  The doctor suggested she have a rod put in to support her leg so she can walk again...it was a success!!!  When I called my step-brother (we share the same mother) and told him that she was doing really good after her surgery, his reply was "good"  then ask "what is going to happen to all her stuff"  I ask "what stuff", he said "all of her stuff in her house"  I was freaking livid!!!!  I said, is that all you are thinking for?  my god man our mother has cancer and you are looking for a piece of the pie!!!  We had a few choice words and then I hung up the phone and have not talked to him since.  I do have POA over my mother and there is a reason why I do and my step brother does not.  I'm also executer to her will.  Because of all the doctor appointment, radiation treatment and physical therapy, I talk to my mom about my wife taking a leave of absence from work to stay home and take care of her.  She said, that would be great.  I spoke to her estate attorney and she said, lets draw up a caregivers agreement so you don't have any issue with your step-brother.  We have it setup that my wife will be compensated for taking care of her.  We only have that in place just in case.  The attorney said if we did have to hire a outside person it would be about $1,000 dollars a week...my wife does it for nothing.  My step brother has told my mom that we are stealing from her and to watch out or she will have nothing left....WOW, really!!!  I told her if he thinks that I'm stealing from you then why doesn't he come over and take care of you and I will hook him up with your attorney and they can duke it out.  I have not heard anything else from him.  Our attorney said, "you take care of your mother and don't worry about what someone else thinks or says about you"  If he wants to talk about your mother finances, give him my number and I will have a VERY short chat with him.
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CTTN55 Feb 16, 2020
Will your wife's job be waiting for her when she is done caregiving? I hope she's being compensated the $1000/week an outside person would get!
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I chose to retire to take a job in an African country. It was a dream job for me. I was asked by my family to come home because as my father said, they needed me more. It was a JOB. I was paid. But I did give in to family pressure and a sense of duty. I find it interesting...the idea that my parents would pay me. They reduced the number of days the caregiver came from 3 days to once every other week. When I arrived they cancelled her altogether. I took a part time job for both sanity and to make up for my lost income. I actually overheard my mother complain to her sister that I moved in and didn’t even pay rent Or give them money for food...and I was expecting changes to accommodate me! I use my own car for transporting them. I found out that somehow in their mind they didn’t believe I had resigned my position but thought I was asked to leave. (I have NEVER been asked to leave a position in my life! Actually have awards). I was shocked. I guess they couldn’t accept I would do this. But the needs have increased. If I need to quit my part time job, I WILL need compensation. Thank you for this. My parents are under the belief that we should do this at our own expense. But there were 5 (now 4) kids..I’m the only one who was asked to give up my job. I have a sister that helps relieve me on weekends. She is still working. I think my siblings would be supportive... it’s my parents who won’t want to pay! I was questioned about using their card to pay for gas (I am an authorized user). I did the mileage and turns out they OWED ME money based on the IRS mileage rates

thanks everyone
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Reply to Omobowale
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That question depends on the financials of the parent. My mother was poverty stricken so I worked pro bono.
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Omobowale Feb 16, 2020
I am doing the same. The only thing I “get” is room/board and they do pay my gas every other fill. It never crossed my mind to be paid. It’s why I took a part time job since they didn’t seem to need 24-7 care. But I am
shocked and hurt by their attitude toward me. Not sure why I’m shocked. I guess a child always hopes for the best.
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I'm not sure why you want to call it a gift rather than pay for services given caring2, is it so that you don't need to declare it as income?
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I have not read most responses so forgive me if I am repeating what others wrote. I’m in Canada and a career to both parents in their late 80s. In Canada a parent can gift their child any sum of money tax free to that child. I have a number of siblings all of whom either work full time or living out of town or are uninterested. So they rely on me A LOT for meals, house cleaning, appts, keeping meds organized etc. My parents gift me money equal to that of a caregiver. My siblings are aware of this but frankly this is between my parents and I. Siblings who don’t help need to butt out. They have no clue what it all entails!! Thankfully I have a good relationship with my siblings but that is also due to the fact that I set boundaries.
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Frances73 Feb 15, 2020
My siblings have both told me that since I am the main caretaker of our mother that I am entitled to any money she has left when she dies. I am so glad they recognize the time it is taking from my own life.
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You gave up your job to take care of your parents - not everyone can or will do that. There is no reason on this earth, no matter what they say and since they won't help, that you should not get paid what a caretaker would earn. If you keep getting grief, tell them to step up to the plate and you are going back to work. What they are doing is wrong, wrong, wrong. Be strong.
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Yes, you should be paid what a professional caregiver is paid. End of discussion.
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PeakShale Feb 16, 2020
I'm facing varying degrees of this situation but it seems greedy or crass to seek a full caregiver service wage, especially if it must match the biggest fees listed here: https://longtermcare.acl.gov/costs-how-to-pay/costs-of-care.html Even $20/hour seems steep for something many view as a moral obligation; that is until they're personally asked to do it!

It highly depends on whether there's financial hardship to the parents and/or their estate. A moral child should be willing to give discounted help if there is. In primitive or older societies it's assumed that extended family should give free help in old age, and some tribes never had modern paychecks for comparison. Moneycentric attitudes don't blend well with morality.

It also comes down to whether you consider returning the "favor" of your own raising as a reciprocal duty to your parents, or see it as purely something they chose to do (with or without modern birth control). Unhappy kids could claim "I didn't choose to be born" or "you treated me badly so you owe me reparations," but assigning dollars to a degree of abuse is full of potential fraud.
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Medicaid's 'Cash and Counseling' Allows Pay for Family Caregivers
Marlo Sollitto
Mary, a 74-year-old Florida woman, suffered a stroke. She needed help with bathing, dressing, food shopping, meal preparation, laundry and housekeeping. Her state Medicaid plan covered the cost of a home-health care worker to provide those services, but the local agencies were short-staffed and couldn't send helpers on the schedule Mary needed.
So her daughter took time off work to care for Mary. Soon after, Mary and her daughter learned about Cash and Counseling, a non-traditional Medicaid program pioneered by New Jersey, Florida and Arkansas with seed grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration on Aging and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Cash and Counseling participants may use their Medicaid-provided personal assistance budgets to hire their own personal care aides as well as purchase items or services, including home modifications that help them live independently. By redirecting personal assistance funds from agencies to consumers themselves, Cash and Counseling allows people to hire whomever they want to provide their care and decide for themselves if they would rather hire a home health aide to cook for them, or pay a friend or relative to do it. The services paid for by the state are all part of the elder's authorized Medicaid care plan. What's different is that in many cases, family members and friends chosen by the elder are providing those services instead of an agency worker.
Today, the grants are available in 12 more states—Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
According to the Cash and Counseling website, the program was created because, "family caregivers are the backbone of the long-term care system, providing millions of hours of care every year for no compensation and frequently at great cost to their own emotional health. They're burned out and exhausted from juggling work, family responsibilities, and caregiving. In addition, many caregivers have to reduce their work hours or even give up their jobs to take care of their loved ones. By supporting caregivers, we're helping them hang in longer, and, hopefully, relieving some of their stress. Keep in mind, that even with Cash and Counseling support, family caregivers are typically paid lower-than-average wages and, in most cases, are paid for only a small fraction of the hours of service they provide."
To apply for the program, elders apply through Medicaid. They are assessed the same way they would be for traditional agency-provided services. If they choose the Cash and Counseling option, they work with the program's staff to develop an individual budget and care plan.
To learn more about the Cash and Counseling program, visit the website at www.cashandcounseling.org.
Access the Medicaid website at www.cms.hhs.gov/home/medicaid.asp.

The Community for Family Caregivers is an online forum created to Support Caregivers of Elderly and Aging Parents. The material of this web site is provided for informational purposes only. AgingCare.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; or legal, financial or any other professional services advice.
© 2015 AgingCare, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Do you get paid for caring for an elderly Mother, if so how much per hour?
Asked by rosiemcgeesmith  |  Aug 9, 2015 |   +Follow Answers

 Carol Bradley Bursack, 36 hrs ago Over the span of two decades, author, columnist, consultant and speaker Carol Bradley Bursack cared for a neighbor and six elderly family members. Her experiences inspired her to pen, "Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories," a portable support group book for caregivers.
 
Here we get back to the fact that we all have different lives.
People who don't have a spouse who brings in some income are left with finding a way to quit their job and still survive financially or else hire someone else to care for the parent. There should be no guilt in accepting payment for providing care if the family can afford it and it saves the parent from having to hire a stranger.
Likely no payment will compensate for the lost wages in full such as lost Social Security and subsidized payments for group policies as Freqflyer said. But some payment can help make it possible for an adult child to quit a job and help the parent rather than hire other care providers if that’s the preferred choice all around.
However, this should be done with the knowledge of the family and with some legal advice so that if the parents ever need to go on Medicaid there are no questions about the legality of the pay.
Most people would gladly provide the care for free and most do a lot of that, anyway, but if a job is lost the money to live must come from somewhere. Often people will combine families to make it work. Others can do shifts so that no family member must give up his or her job. Some work up a contract with the parent. Others find a way to provide the care and still pay their rent.
Whatever needs to be done is okay as long as it's open and above board.
Take care,
Carol
 


 



JessieBelle
Give a Hug
29 hrs ago
I think we need to stand on the outside and look at the question of whether a caregiving child should be paid. The thought of caregiving out of love is a nice one and it is a good ideal. But let's take a typical situation. Say, there are three children, one that took care of the parents without pay for 10 years and two that dropped by at Christmas. The will was written leaving equal shares of the estate to the three children. If they had not been helped by the one child, the last two years of their lives would have been spent in a nursing home. They stayed at home with hospice and the caregiving child attending them -- first the father, then the mother. Because of this, there was $250,000 left in their estate. (Remember this is hypothetical.) This money would have been gone and their home would probably have a lien on it if the caregiving child had not been there.
Thinking of this, would it be wrong for the parents to pay the caregiving child? Or is it better to save it to the estate to be shared by all siblings equally?
Emotions and resources really have to be kept separate. When it comes to love, children can never do enough for their parents, and parents can never do enough for their children. It is a two-way thing. The money part should be unemotional. People can have children without having to quit their jobs, because childcare is affordable and schools are free. Adult care is expensive, as well as being more physically difficult. I think it is quite okay to say, "I will quit work to take care of you if you'll pay me ___ to pay my bills each month." Each side loses some, but it would work better than what we often see now. If done correctly, it can be done with mutual love and respect -- both sides doing for each other.
And if someone on the outside doesn't like it, well, they got no dog in the race. And if the siblings resent seeing their inheritance shrink, they can be glad that they were able to work and live normal lives while the caregiving sibling took care of important things.
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PeakShale Feb 16, 2020
"...The money part should be unemotional..."

Yes, but it rarely is. Inheritance fights are common because human nature is selfish to varying degrees.

There's also the factor of having a less than ideal childhood and resentment when a parent needs difficult, often dirty help. Some aren't cut out for it and didn't have their own kids for similar reasons.

It's important to not have any caregiver resenting their situation too much, including sullen, ineffective pros who mainly get into it because they can't do much else. It takes highly empathetic personalities to do the best job.
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You deserve to be paid. Your siblings have not done the hands on work and don’t have a clue as to how hard it is both physically and emotionally.

They would have to pay anyone else for help. You shouldn’t be expected to do a tough job for free. You need a salary to live.

Do they work for free at their jobs? If they object to you being paid then tell them to donate their pay from their job to you. See how they like being in your shoes. Are they volunteering at work? No. Tell them that you are not interested in being a volunteer. Period!
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anonymous951699 Feb 21, 2020
Well put.
Too bad for me the sister who has control over the parents' checkbook can't seem to remember the conversations in which I've calmly clarified those points.
She exhausts me as much as caregiving my dad.
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I agree with the poster who said you should not have to give up your financial security because of greedy siblings, and that it's the parents business and not the siblings. My siblings went into a rage when I quit my job and did 24/7 care giving for my mom, and I'm not even taking a salary. They said I was spending their inheritance. I am planning on hiring a geriatric care manager to deal with them from now on, because I don't need the added stress.
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lovingdaughterz,
Your experience closely mirrors my own.
I agree with the advice you've received about holding a sibling meeting, and addressing the issues at hand with pragmatism and transparency.
It's been my observation that when someone has the courage to simply and forthrightly acknowledge the elephant in the room, it gives others ease and then the ability to allow themselves to think clearly.
It is difficult and you rock.
I wish you well.
R27
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Well, this isn't a parent complaining issue - it's a sibling issue. Siblings may think you don't really need the income because you already did it for a year for free. Did you quit a job to help them or were you unemployed when you started helping? Are you getting free room and board by living w/parents? Are you taking physical care of them 24/7 or just handling errands? Do they require 24/7 caretaking?

Those might be the things they are thinking about. We don't have details about those things to comment. However, you offered unpaid assistance a year ago, so more info as to what you did then versus what you do now. And what you already get in terms of housing or other benefit should be considered because you do have a choice if you're living w/them: get a job and your own house and hire someone to help them or consider what you are already getting as part of the payment. If you're asking for similar wage as paid caretaker, then you would deduct reasonable rent/utilities/etc from what you would earn. If they don't need 24/7 care, then you should be able to log your tasks and get paid reasonable per hour pay. -- but bottom line is do you get any in-kind income from parents, something else (housing) that could be considered a type of payment.

If parents need 24/7 care:
Since parents have money to pay someone 40 hrs a week - why does it matter who they pay? And I would prefer a sibling was with my parent instead of a stranger. So, I would call a sibling meeting and let them know parents have the money, are willing to pay an outside caretaker, so why not pay you similar pay. If they simply resent paying a family member - then ask them how many weeks at a time they can commit to being a caretaker, offer them a calendar to mark it down, and suggest everyone share the duties. And, tell them you are not agreeable to an hour here and there or a day a week. It needs to be assigned in blocks of a week so that your share of the work only rolls around every 3-4 weeks depending on number of siblings.
If any sib doesn't live close enough to partake in the festivities, they can hire and pay for someone out of their pocket for their assigned week in order to keep mom/dad's money in the bank.
Go ahead and mark your name on a pre-selected week on the calendar before you give it to them so they know you came prepared to get everyone involved. You might see a majority in agreement to pay you to do the job. Even if that happens, you need ask for commitment to fill in so you can have days off. If they are not interested, then inform them someone will be hired for those days. At the end, if you cannot find a resolution with siblings, then hire someone to do the day to day care. Get yourself a job and visit with parents regularly to check on situation...but spend more time as their visitor instead of FT caretaker. -- Go ahead and drain the siblings well. They might come crawling back.

You're luckier than many that have no option for payment. There's not enough income to pay family or outside help and someone ends up doing the job with little to no help from others. Caretaker has no leverage with siblings who claim to be too busy, have to work (some will even find a job in order to be too busy), have children to take care of, a million + one excuses.
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Absolutely yes! If indeed the finances are there as you stated absolutely yes. I’m quite sure if you’re siblings were willing to make that sacrifice, they would expect the going rate. Don’t let them bully you out of what you rightfully deserve. I wish all of you much peace and happiness 😊
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It seems fair that if your parents are able and willing to pay someone, and you are willing to take the job, they might as well pay you. I don't see siblings offering to step up.

Your post sounds like you are managing your father's affairs more than doing hands-on physical care taking, but, still, if you are doing things your father would otherwise have to pay for, you should be paid.
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About 5 years ago my siblings and I decided that our parents needed outside help in managing their affairs. I offered to do this and quit my part time job and have been paid ever since. It started out I would track all my hours and pay myself the going caregiver rate but this became too hard to manage as there are many times I would get phone calls handling decisions for my parents and trying to track all those hours was difficult. I then decided it made more sense to just pay myself a salary and not worry about what hours I was working and that it would work out as some weeks require more hours than others. I have turned down multiple job opportunities so I could keep managing my parents affairs as I see how important this is to have someone doing this. I often times mention to my siblings when I see them that if anyone wants to take over doing this I would be glad to turn the job over to them. No takers yet because they all have good full time jobs which pay a lot more than I am making doing this. I am not resentful of this arrangement as I volunteered to do it and I love my parents dearly and want to make sure they are taken care of in all respects.
if your siblings do not want to have your parents pay for you to care for them then I would walk away and let them figure it out and have them speak directly to your parents to see what they want to do. It is your parents money to spend how they want and if they want you as their caregiver then that is their decision. You should make no less than the going rate of paying an agency caregiver.
i have not used a contract with my parents and I have been upfront with my siblings so they all know the arrangement and are good with it.
Best wishes.
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