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My 90+ aunt has had self-pay round-the-clock homecare for 10 years. She enjoys music but now always sits with eyes closed, meaning that TV is of no interest to her. Current caregivers have requested internet connectivity in addition to cable TV. As this would be solely for their benefit, not for the patient's, can they be asked to contribute? What about the inevitable "but I don't use the internet" type of complaints? As financial resources are dwindling, suggestions on what is appropriate and how to handle the situation are greatly appreciated.

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as a cargiver of 20+ year my I feel you get what you pay for. also to answer your question if the tables were turned would you want those amenities. treat people how you would like to be treated and you will get your answer
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Internet would be nice, but you certainly have no obligation to provide.

i stayed at my moms to care for dad for extended periods. I either used my phone for Internet or drove to the library to upload work stuff.
Internet is needed for many jobs, but if your job is caregiving it is for entertainment.
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Hmmm, CM, all very good points about ordering items for clients, and YouTube videos to show them,music to play, clips from old favorite movies, to say nothing of valuable lessons that can be learned on AgingCare! Internet has bexome so standard, I cannot imagine being without it.

And related to paying caregiver as private contractor I have been told that this is difficult when it come to application for Medicaid. So, should be a household employee.
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Either way, you still do payroll taxes, withholding etc. Those federal and state forms are a pain in the axx. If they insist they are an independent contractor, the IRS will still want you to report what is paid to them on a 1099 MISC form. So let's say you report $25,000 was paid, on the 1099 form. You give a copy of that to your caregiver, but they don't report the income. Life will get very interesting for all of you and it won't be pretty.
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Pam - I'm curious to know if a caregiver is hired to do a job and salaried rather than paid hourly - what is the difference and how are wages calculated?
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...without feeling it's "OWED" to you. Typo correction.
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Ditto on that. What it is means taking care of your own needs without feeling it's "owned" to you. Caregiving is hard work, but you still have to have some responsibility toward your own upkeep. A Caregiver after all is still a guest in the home he/she works for.
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When I start working for my client, she had the cable TV but not internet access.... so another Caregiver and I are willing to pay for the service (TWC) after 3 months. Well sometimes my client family bring their own computer and they wants access. Lucky us family decided have connect service!! My client loves look all my family and friends pictures, also client family member that they do travailing often to another States and Country, they send me so many pics to my computer so she can enjoyed it! Also good thing to have internet, I play old songs from You Tube!! It is very much money worth it. Give us tools so we could make our client's and our life much easier!!I also use Kindle at bedtime before I go sleep....
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sooz, Employers must pay live-in domestic service workers at least the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, for all hours worked. New federal laws protect live-ins from slave wages. If the meal periods, sleep time, or other periods of free time are interrupted by a call to duty, the interruption must be counted as hours worked AND the employer's failure to keep accurate record of hours worked may result in back wage liability.
So let's say the live-in works from 7 AM to 10PM. You give them a half-hour off for breakfast lunch and dinner and two fifteen minute breaks. You still have to pay for 13 hrs x $7.25= $94.25 per day. One day off a week? Ok you owe them $565.50 per week, MINIMUM. Some states will allow you to deduct room and board, others won't. Check your state labor laws, NEW laws are being enacted to comply with federal wage and hour standards (FLSA)
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Sooz, presumably you'd think the management was a bit on the tight side if they didn't provide their employees with drinking water and the occasional cup of coffee, though, no?

Chiropterist, I'm dredging my memories - colourful memories - of trying to employ a nanny, here: it was a year of unmitigated stress that ended up costing us money after my salary was taken into account. But no matter: here's how it goes. Look at the standard market offering. The caregivers receive their salary, and then as they're living-in they also have a room kitted out for their use during working periods. Myself, I'd be baulking at the cable TV, to be honest; but I suppose we're at the cusp of most ordinary homes having internet connection, just about, aren't we, like most homes have a phone and electricity and a fridge, so it could be regarded as a standard facility that 'most people' would expect to have available.

On the other hand… You can always stand your ground, and maintain that if it isn't part of your aunt's requirements it doesn't get paid for as part of the household outgoings. I think that is also a reasonable viewpoint. Bear in mind that there may be some otherwise good caregivers, though, who might be put off; and also, of course, they could be using the internet to order goods for the client, check medical information, book appointments, even co-ordinate cover with their agency. Unless it's wildly expensive in her neck of the woods I think it might be a false economy not to have it as part of her 'phone package.

The only really essential thing is to establish what is and is not included in 'room and board' before the person takes the job. No, don't ask people to chip in for extras - it gets too messy and leads to horrible misunderstandings. Professionally-minded people like LadeeM do not seriously expect turtle soup and gold spoons, just a moderate, considerate level of comfort and functionality. They are not robots.
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LadeeM, I'm with you. ;)
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sooz55, another thing to add to my gratitude list.... I don't work for you!
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Our CG is only here about 15 hours a week, but she does watch TV with my parents. And has her own cell phone. She does not use our computer, but her phone can connect to the wireless. If she would' need to look up directions to a Dr or medicine or something I am glad she can. She also brings her Kindle for when everyone is reading. Our first CG (male) was on our computer alot, used to forget to close his FB, was on dating sites for Christians.. LOL And JOB hunting! He didn;t last long... Funny what people forget to close out or clear!
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No favors. The food and shelter are accounted for in the salary paid. Why should anyone have free rent and be able to eat as much as they want without cost? For sitting and watching TV a majority of the time, plus having no living expense? Do they shower and use hot water? Do they do their laundry? Do they eat cooked food? Use the toilet? All of these are not free and it needs to be included in the salary offered. It's a high stress job that should be compensated and that compensation needs to include room and board. I wouldn't think the office where the person does word-processing would agree to pay for the person's food or allow them to do their laundry or take care of their personal hygiene simply because they do word-processing.
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We had very good success using Roku for TV for my mthr. It runs off internet, not cable. She had no idea how to use it, but the rest of us enjoyed watching the programs on demand. You can subscribe to the ball game channels, but we simply added BYU tv for sports she could watch (added benefit of the Christmas choir programs she loved). She did not care which teams, so this worked for her. We did not subscribe to Netflix for her, but for outside caregivers, that would be a great idea and all together, Internet + Roku (or other internet tv box) one time purchase + Netflix is cheaper than internet + cable by far.
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I'm very surprised at the attitude that one is doing the caregiver a favor giving them food and shelter. That's like a boss at a company thinking they're doing you a favor by giving you a roof over your head to do your word processing.
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It would be to both of your advantage if the caregiver had their own cell phone. That would simplify any confusion as to who pays for what. Your Aunt's phone should be used just for her. If you start giving in to their first requests for say, Internet connection, what would stop them from wanting a computer or their own phone number?
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It would be very gracious of you to pay for this but I don't believe this was a part of your original agreement with them. If it wasn't there when they started, they should pay for it if they want it. If your Aunt has cable TV, there may be a wireless service that the caregivers could access simply with a code at no extra charge. They should pay for their own their own personal, long-distance calls just as they should pay for any special foods or delicacies they may want. Remember, you are paying for their electricity, gas, shelter (heat/air conditioning), food, toiletries, laundry - all of that and that is quite a lot. I've had a number of caregivers and many of them believe they are doing YOU a favor simply by being there - they have no appreciation of what it means to have a roof over their head and food to eat. Don't you forget about all that you ARE doing for them either.
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I don't know. Half the caregivers I have for mom don't even know how to use the cable remote. (I have them 5-6 hours at a time, though; not round the clock.) One lady watched the same channel all evening long because the last time she was over, she pressed the wrong button and had no TV at all. (I sympathize. Really I do.)

Phone? Of course. A decent TV? Of course. Cable? Probably unless one is in a major city and has a high-quality antenna on the roof. Internet? Meh. How many of their elderly clients have internet? Very few, I'd reckon.

I'm gathering you have cable, though. So internet is an add-on...probably, at the most, $40/month. In the scheme of 24/7 caregiving, $40 is a teeny-tiny itsy-bitsy drop in the bucket. I suspect it's more principle with you than the cost.

Me? If the person was a good caregiver, I'd pop for $40/month in a heartbeat. But I don't think it's a necessity.
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I would provide cable, internet, and phone free of any charge to the caregiver. Caregiving can have long stretches of time that need to be occupied, so having cable and internet would help accomplish that. The utilities can be bundled, so having all three doesn't cost so much. I would look around for some promotional prices on packages and take advantage of a good one that includes all three services. My only concern would be that they become so interested in the TV or internet that they neglect their caregiving tasks.
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