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How much should I pay a live-in caregiver?

39 answers | Last updated: Oct 25, 2014
Marketta asked...
I am about to advertise for a live-in caregiver for my mother-in-law who has Parkinson's Disease. The caregiver will also be responsible for cleaning house, buying groceries, laundry, etc. Their room and board will be free as well as meals. I have no idea what kind of salary to offer. Can you please help? I need to hire someone ASAP. Thank you.
 

Answers
Caring.com User - Ann Cason
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53% helpful
answered...

Before you know what to salary to pay a live-in caregiver, you need too know what is required.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Is it possible for one person to See also:
How to Pay for In-Home Care

See all 381 questions about Paying for Care
be both caregiver and housekeeper for my loved one? 2. Is my mother able to sleep at night or does she need assistance. If a helper must get up more than once or twice, live-in help may not be the way to proceed. 3. Is my dear mother suffering from dementia? Does she need help walking or managing her medication? 4. If you want the live-in helper to move into your mother's house, how long will it take for her to leave her present home? Where will she go if it does not work out? 1. Is it possible for one person to be both caregiver and housekeeper for my loved one? 2. Is my mother able to sleep at night or does she need assistance. If a helper must get up more than once or twice, live-in help may not be the way to proceed. 3. Is my dear mother suffering from dementia? Does she need help walking or managing her medication? 4. If you want the live-in helper to move into your mother's house, how long will it take for her to leave her present home? Where will she go if it does not work out?
5. If the live-in helper should get sick while she is caring for your mother,who will take her place? 6. How many hours a day will my mother need help? How much time will be spent helping her with personal care? How much time will be spent cooking and serving meals? How much time will be spent shopping and doing laundry? Does your mother need companionship? How much time will the live-in be required to spend with your mother. How much time will she be required to be in the house?
7. Does your parent want help? Will she be hostile? How much time will be required to enter into your mother's world. 8. Also,consider the need for time off. Will she receive two days off per week? Who will replace her when she is off work?

There is great variation around the country in the price of care. But if you can make a decent job for the caregiver, your mother will benefit. If the person works around 8 hours a day and has a day or two off, if she has her own space and is able to rest at night, and go out during the day for exercise, relaxation and shopping, your might be able to find some one for $2000 per month.
If not,you might have to payany where from $250 to $450 a day.
If your mother is easy to get along with and has enough space and flexibility, you may be able to find a graduate student or a person who is trying to change careers, or to do something artistic.Then you could create a team with one person who lives in and fixes breakfast and supper. Another person would be the housekeeper at a set rate per week and another would come for a couple of hours in the late morning to give personal care. This plan will take some coordination, but will also tend to last a long time. Before you place your ad, I would advise a consultation with a geriatric care manager to get an assessment for your mother's needs. The website www.caregmanger.org will tell you if there is one in your area. I hope you will be able to find the person that you need for this important work.

 

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54% helpful
AngilTarachRN answered...

Marketta,

Since you plan on hiring a private caregiver, I highly recommend reading an article I wrote "The importance of criminal background checks on who you hire." http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2009/11/importance-of-criminal-background.html

I own a Visiting Angels agency in Michigan. Before the overtime laws changed we provided live-in care. We found having one person on 4 days and off 3, and another caregiver on for 3 days with 4 off was best for the client, because it prevented burnout of the caregiver. Live-in can be very difficult for the caregiver and if they don't get time off they are less caring, compassionate, and can get much less patient with the client/ your mom.

It's best to do your homework to prevent a nightmare situation.

Although you're in a hurry, please read the article and spend the time and expense of thoroughly checking the background of any applicants you are considering before you put your mom in harms way.

Hope this helps and I wish the best to you and your mom!

Angil Tarach RN, GCM

 

61% helpful
Homewatch Home Care answered...

Hiring care for your parents is often a stressful decision as you typically people want to hire the best possible person and make the best possible decision, but they have limited information. If you utilize a home care agency to hire care for your parents, I can tell you that in Minnesota the typical rate for a live-in caregiver is $275 - $290 per day. Typically two caregivers rotate on a schedule (for example: Caregiver Jane lives-in for three weeks then Caregiver Mary comes for a week, then Caregiver Jane is back for three weeks. Or maybe Jane is there Mon. - Fri. and Mary on the weekends.) If you hire privately, often times you save money, but I must caution you to be aware of some of the unexpected pitfalls of hiring privately. Firstly, taxes must be filed as employer/employee. Secondly, will you carry liability insurance in case the caregiver you hire has an accident or fall in your parent's home? Lawsuits over such situations have destroyed people. Home Care agencies are bonded and insured for such situations. Thirdly, what if the caregiver becomes ill or decides to quit - what is your back up plan for care for your parent? Home Care agencies generally have staff on-call for emergency situations and will have staff to replace an employee that leaves the company. It saves you the time of re-hiring or having to hurry to your parent's home if the caregiver becomes ill. Fourthly, will you run a background check on the person you hire? Home Care agencies are set up to run extensive background checks and employees become responsible to the employer and they are supervised. Therefore, problems such as theft and mistreatment tend to be greatly decreased when care is provided through a home care agency. Also, home care agencies tend to have on-going training for employees. I hope this helps you along your search! I can also tell you that at Homewatch Home Care, www.homewatchmn.com, we pay our caregivers a range of $12-$16/ hour or about $160 - $170 per day for live-in care. We charge our clients $27 per hour or $275 per day for live-in care. The cost of using an agency is hire (because of the agencies overhead costs) but keep in mind the burden that is taken off of your shoulders. Also, caregivers that work for home care agencies receive health benefits, 401K, etc. Happy, screened, and trained caregivers along with your peace of mind can result in better care and a better quality of life for you and your parents.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Caregivers are not maids. They are not second-class citizens. What would you like to be paid for taking care of someone else's loved one? When you are a live -in, most of the time you give up your social life for all intents and purposes. You can't go anywhere. You can't really do any of the things you used to. You should be paid for all of the stuff you give up. Minimum wage is an insult.

 

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frena answered...

boy, do i agree with that! agencies are bloodsuckers on caregivers (and on caregiver families) and they really aren't the guarantee you'd like to think. when i worked for so-called respectable agencies, i found they sent basically unfit people to work (over 350lb woman) or drug users (i found a crack pipe once on the floor of the caregiver bedroom). better do the hiring yourself. yes, a bit more trouble but in the end better. make sure they have a fingerprint card, clean driver's license (with insurance) and references local that you actually check up on. and please, families, dont talk about providing room and board as if that were a privilege you were giving. of COURSE you are. you want someone to live there 24 hours a day -- you HAVE to feed and house that person. we caregivers lease our entire life to you while we're working. treat us decently -- or, yes, we will leave. treat us well, pay us decently, we'll help you for years.

 

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AngilTarachRN answered...

The comments about agencies are not truthful of all agencies for sure. Just as in any profession, there are good and bad. There are good private caregivers and bad, good agencies and bad. From a caregivers point of view, agencies are making tons of money, and nothing could be further from the truth. You don't understand the costs associated with providing services and jobs. Here are some of the facts;

AGENCIES.
pay for liability, bonding, and workmens compensation insurance. PRIVATE CAREGIVERS Are not spending any money on insurance to protect clients

AGENCIES Pay Federal, State, Social Security, and Medicare taxes,
Matching all employees SS and Medicare taxes PRIVATE CAREGIVERS. Don't typically pay any taxes and leave clients at a tax liability for not paying the caregivers taxes

AGENCIES Pay the costs to hire, orient and train staff, including continuuing education classes PRIVATE CAREGIVERS Do not pay for education or take any continuing education

AGENCIES Pay for office staff to schedule, answer phones 24 hrs a day. a week, including holidays PRIVATE CAREGIVERS
Do not tend to clients 24 hrs a day 7 days provide supervision, billing, payroll, training, client evaluations.

AGENCIES Pay for education, and continuing education of office staff,
aging and care conferences, training materials and Information concerning aging adults PRIVATE CAREGIVERS Do not spend money to stay up on the latest information regarding aging and the issues facing the elderly, leaving them unable to educate their clients and families

AGENCIES Pay to market and advertise services so the elderly and their families so they are aware there are services to allow them to remain.
PRIVATE CAREGIVERS Provides no education to the elderly regarding hiring in home care and safety In their homes & not just nursing homes

AGENCIES Pay to provide jobs for thousands of caregivers across the nation, which allows us the opportunity to keep our clients serviced when the primary caregiver(s) are sick, want time off, or leave employment.
PRIVATE CAREGIVERS Doesn't provide any employment or replace themselves for their clients.

AGENCIES Pay to comply with State and Federal laws. PRIVATE CAREGIVERS
Pay nothing and do nothing to comply with State or Federal laws regarding taxes, etc

AGENCIES Pay for everything from brochures, to scheduling systems to pens, client folders and educational materials, phones, which all benefit our clients and staff
PRIVATE CAREGIVERS Do not have anything to provide the clients, and if they choose not to answer their phone, or it's shut off, clients have no recourse AGENCIES PAY for lots of miscellaneous expenses such as any gifts, cards, Christmas or other staff parties or recognition.

The costs of providing care is what comes out of the difference of what is left over from what clients pay and the caregivers wages, taxes and insurance. For instance if the agency charges $20/hr and the caregiver gets paid $10/hr there are additional costs for that employee. The agency matches whatever Medicare and Social Security taxes that come out of the caregivers check so they can collect Medicare and Social Security in their retirement years. So now the wages are about $12./hr. Then we pay Workman's Compensation insurance to care for injured employees. The cost varies by state but is a percentage of wages, from 4% to over 10%. So now the wages are more. Then we pay for liability and bonding so our clients are protected from lawsuits by caregivers and are compensated if a caregiver damages anything in the clients home or steals. We pay for everything mentioned above and more from the $10/hr left over after the direct wages are paid.

Now to agencies that don't care and are out to make money. Yes there are some, but there are much more that truly care about the elderly. This is not a a get rich business, and it is a ton of work, and lots of stress to run a successful and caring agency. If most of us didn't truly care about the elderly we would have chosen something we'd make more money at that wasn't a 24/7 operation.

I own an agency and have been caring and advocation for the elderly since I was 17 years old, 34 years ago. I have worked as a nurses aide, mental health worker, and worked hard to become a registered nurse. I have done every single job in my agency, give my clients a lot of services and help I don't charge for, and I continually take continuing education to stay up on the latest medical advances, and issues in aging so I can do the best for our clients, staff, and agency.
We highly value great caregivers and have many who have been with us from 3-8 years because we do treat them very well. I have paid a caregivers electric bill when she was facing a shut off, driven caregivers to work, given gas cards, and employee of the month gifts, we have Christmas parties where every caregiver gets a gift. I have visited homes while caregivers were on duty with cakes, and ice cream sundaes, and help our caregivers be as successful as possible.

Until you understand everything that goes into running a caring and successful agency you shouldn't criticize. When you are willing to work as hard as I have to become a nurse, geriatric care manager, and business owner, who has spent my entire adult life truly caring and advocating for seniors you cannot complain about where you are in life. When care becomes first in your life you won't have anything to complain about because you know the difference you're making in the lives of older adults.

In the 9 years I've had my agency I know the complainers are not suited to work in my agency. We ONLY look for those with a true passion for helping the elderly. Caregivers who won't bring down our clients by their negativity. That's why we have so many wonderful caregivers that stay with us so long. We work together for a common mission. To keep as many clients as we can as independent as possible in their homes, so they aren't forced into a nursing home.

Think about the days you will be old. Will you want caregivers assisting you with negative and complaining attitudes, or those who truly care about you and want to help you in a kind, respectful and dignified manner. One day it will be you. Provide the care you would want to receive.

 

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Bayequis answered...

Angil, Thanks for setting the record straight on why it is worth paying more to receive quality care. Families certainly receive much better protection and professional oversight with a well run agency.

Ann Cason, Very thoughtful explanation of things Marketta needs to consider in hiring someone. Many individuals with Parkinson's have difficulty sleeping, some are wide-open all night long. That would be an unsuitable situation for a live-in caregiver; it would be a revolving door and open up the potential for neglect or mistreatment.

 

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robertaj answered...

When we needed a caregiver for 90 yr old parents, we went to the Sr. Network Services in our area; I had found a person through Craig's List, but was worried about making sure they had no criminal record or bad history and didn't know how to check for it. Sr. Network Services had people that they had already screened, but said they would screen my individual for me - and helped us work out a contract, etc. The caregiver had been through some hard times and did need a place to live, my father in law loves him and he is there a lot of the time but has freedom to leave and work other jobs as well (we don't need 24 hr attention but want someone on the premises). He asked for $12.50 per hour and we pay that plus $20 toward a phone card every month, mileage, and take out taxes and social security. I got worker's comp on my in-laws' homeowner's policy for not much $. My mother in law is not happy with someone in the house (he is in a large garage conversion area and only comes in to shower and check on dad) but she is getting used to it. It has been two months and things are getting done around the house and yard, dad is going for walks and doing his PT for broken shoulder and it seems to be working out. I used caregivers through an agency for my mom for part-time and they were fabulous people, all of them. I could never afford to hire live-in through an agency, however, so this was the next best thing. hope it helps - check with your local senior services agency for help.

 

78% helpful
Our Family's Care answered...

Providing care for a parent can be tough. I did the live in caregiver with my mom, I was able to be flexible with the work hours. She worked 9:00 - 4:00 (Mon - Fri), once I got home I took care of my mom. The fact that she was a live-in made it financially affordable for my situation. I couldn't afford more than $1,200 per month, so to make it work I provided her with living expenses and transportation. She took care of my mom, cooked 2 meals per day, breakfast and lunch...I prepared dinner, she bathed dressed, exercised her and kept my mom's area of the house clean along with her laundry. She was able to meet me at my mom's physician appointments, so I wouldn't have to come home and pick her up. I didn't give her a car, but she had full use of my second vehicle to use in the city, not to drive out of town. I was able to allow her to take it with her on weekends. We were blessed in our situation. All of this worked because with my mother's medical condition she still had some mobility. This practiced lasted 5 years. During that 5 year period of time, we went from me working from home and hiring someone part-time 3 days a week. My mom dividing her time between 3 of my sisters and me which left me responsible for her care for 3 months a year. The live-in caregiver was the best situation and the last situation we used. She is now in a nursing home because her medical condition changed drastically, but she is happy and she made the decision herself that it was time. Keep your loved one happy and involved in the decision making...

 

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bdwell1904 answered...

I know what you mean about working for agencies who are just out for the money. I have been with some not worried about appropriate care or concern for families or family caregivers. Thats why after 20+ years of seeing the bad side, I decided to start my agency, and base it on what I've learned over the years. I am willing to do what it takes to be one of the good guys. Good luck to the rest of you!

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Hello everyone :) I'm a caregiver with over 10 years of professional experience and about 10 years of personal experience.

I have worked independently and for 4 different caregiver agencies. My experience has been good/bad with the caregiver agencies and good/bad working independently.

Working for an agency has its benefits, like being able to receive unemployment and workers compensation in case of an accident on the job. The last agency I worked for (about 3 years on and off) they paid me $150 a day for a live in position, 5 days a week, with double pay for legal holidays; They made sure I took my meal brakes, personal time breaks, 8 hours of sleep according to the labor laws; They made sure the client provided with a comfortable room, board and decent food for the caregivers; if I got sick they replaced me with another caregiver but not sick pay, no paid vacations time, no health or dental insurance (some agencies have medical/dental insurance with a high co-pay) It was hard to get a permanent case and because of the economy of the country they lower our salary to $140 saying they needed the money to pay taxes... (The longest case I had was 9 months;the client cancel because of financial reasons)They rotated the Caregivers and you have to call them constantly to get you a job! They don't have to many live in positions as they used to. They had some issues of bad communication with the clients; Clients would complain often about a new caregiver showing up every day/week without even being notified...

Independently, I have worked as an independent contractor and I had to pay my own taxes; One of my prior clients was going to help me with paying my taxes (the verbal agreement was I get paid $140 instead of $150 and they will declare as if I was getting paid only $15,000 a year (so I didn't have to pay that much income tax)It never took place and I had to pay all my taxes at the end of the year. It was not the client's fault (she had Alzheimer's) it was the son's secretary who managed her money.

Presently, I have been working independently for about 1 1/2 year for a retired doctor who has cancer and goes to a light treatment of chemotherapy every week plus other appointments with the cardiologist, other doctors visitations recommended by his hematology doctor and two units blood transfusions every 3 weeks... His condition was not disclosed to me until 3 months after I have been working there. They were very secretive about it and at the time of the interview they told me, he needed light assistance only with meal preparetion and housekeeping because he was strong and capable to dressed and showered on his own; That is why I went from a $150 to $120 rate. The first day of work I was asked by the doctor to dressed him, undressed him and showered him, plus a 30 minute massage! His daughter used to take him to the doctor's appointments and he was in care of his own medicine and decisions; He had been practicing medicine 6 month before I began working there!

Eventually, they came to me asking me if I could take over the appointments and then explained to me about his cancer...his other daughter said she didn't know this information has not been disclosed to me... In addition, his sister was staying there for a good amount of time(2 months) and she asked me to cook for her, clean her room and do her laundry. They had some much laundry to do, a big house to clean to their request... the job was very heavy and the Doctor would ask me to prepare to many food items for lunch and dinner as if it was a restaurant and asked to be assisted for to many little things he could do it himself since he is very capable. (he moves around very well) He had never had a caregiver before only housekeepers/maids. His sister comes 4 times a year at least, and stays for a month or two and she is a very unhappy person and give the caregivers a very hard time!

I asked for a race two times within the first year (the doctor got upset about this)because of the extra person and the demanding appointments... The daughters helped to make the father understand about this. He is very thrifty to provide food for the caregivers...the weekends caregiver have to bring their own food and he has not consideration for the caregivers long hours of work. I have overcome so much in this job through communication with the daughters. They are the ones who have helped the father to understand better the care giver's job and the need for breaks and personal time.

I now have a better situation because we have a weekend caregiver; the sister was there but she wouldn't help with laundry, dishes or housekeeping; I would come on Monday to wash the dishes from the weekend and clean up all the mess they left around plus a pile of laundry, specially towels they over used on the weekend

I get paid now $135 a day cash. They declare this money in their taxes but no as a salary paid to a caregiver. I have aged 5 years in the last year and half! The doctor is very stubborn, high maintenance,very intelligent but his decision making is not as clear anymore because of his age! The daughters have their own lives and don't want to deal with the decision making and other problems about their dad. He has improved so much in his health since I'm there. I cooked delicious healthy meals, take good care of him and give them good advice about how things could work better for him; I'm very patient, caring with him and highly reliable. I could have a long appointment or two to three a day... and it could be 3pm ,he wouldn't buy lunch for me or him...he wants me to go and prepare lunch at home...which is not a sandwich what he eats..No paid vacation, no benefits, and no double pay on legal holidays. The doctor lives in a very good area here in LA and has a multimillion dollar home.

I had other independent cases; My best job was for a retired Vice President of a Bank of America. He had Alzheimer's. I worked there for 3 years until he passed away. $200 a day plus bonuses. Great family! and he was an adorable men!

Also, I worked for this nice lady in Alhambra (who passed away) as an overnight companion, 15 hours for $150 a day cash, Monday through Friday. I had my own nice room to sleep my eight hours; she was 91 years old and assisted with personal care , some light cooking and housekeeping but mainly companionship. Her day caregiver of 5 year was paid $20 an hour and her weekend caregiver $150 a day cash

I had other Lady who had Alzheimer's, his daughter used to give me a whole week off on Christmas time with pay as well Thanksgiving day and the day after with pay, and if for some reason they went out of town and didn't need me they will pay me anyway! $150 a day but I had to report my taxes. On my opinion, $2,000 a month for an experience caregiver is little; $3,000 a month is a decent pay for someone who has at least 5 years of experience.

Why I'm staying in my present job? because I need the money and I haven't been able to find another good paid job...most live in care giving jobs now in Los Angeles are paying from $90 a day for the inexperienced, $100 with some experience and $110 to $120 with experience... because of the present economy of the country! You could find sometimes better paid jobs through referral agencies but this jobs also go quickly; once in a while you find a good paying job for $150, $200 through craigslist or others websites but again they go quickly.

To the clients and families be up front about the case from the very beginning. Don't hide anything to pay less. Be honest, have integrity and be nice to the caregivers; have a good and clear communication with the caregivers, appreciate them, don't take advantage...we work very hard! As live in caregivers sometimes we make sacrifices and don't even have a life anymore specially when the client is housebound or don't want to get out but just for appointments; The families need not to forget about the client, go and visit them at least once a week,take them out for launch and assist the caregivers if you could. I truly hope this information is helpful to the clients and caregivers. Much love and blessings

 

83% helpful
cindala4 answered...

Great advice in this forum. Much to consider, and remember sit down with the caregiver and openly discuss and negotiate duties, time off and pay. Also for all the families out there a "thank you" goes a long way. Little perks too. For a caregiver same for you too.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I'm a live in caregiver, I started hrly, only coming a few days a wk, then a live in family, my husband n daughter... 4yrs later....since its us 3 we lived rent free of coarse, but was more of companionship, after he got worst, I got a monthly salary $1000 n I did do 24/7.... Up at 3am most days but sometimes I never needed to help him for 10/12 hrs.... It varies.... The family love n trust me....I did everything cuz I loved up... Sadly he is on his death bed right now.... There is classes for private caregivers to take n respite care for when they need a day off free to u

 

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johnnybegoodsomedays answered...

I do not recommend an agency as I do a thorough interview process with references. I couldnt stand that I give my heart and soul to a job and another human being,growing that attachment and bond. Having to clean fecies or change a defacated bed and knowing that the owner of some agency was getting almost as much as I was making for doing essentially nothing. If youre looking for a more impersonal caregiver thats just there for their shift then go agency but I would advise looking at a bigger picture and realizing that an agency will tell you everything you want to hear to get you to sign that contract.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

I am a new, inexperienced live-in caregiver to a 88 year old very sweet, very patient lady with dementia. Her son hired me off of Craigslist. I had been living in a homeless shelter and wanted a better place to live, and have the ability to have my son's visit me there. They made a nice room for me, with it's own bathroom, which I was thrilled about! They offered cable, internet, etc, which were luxuries I'd done without for several months. They live on a quiet culdesac and the family owns both sides of the road at the end, where they have a farm and an arena for horse shows. I was THRILLED to see all the open area and animals that my 7 & 9 year old son's could enjoy!!! The son has his own area in the back of the house, which is seperated by a sliding glass door. He only comes in to use the bathroom or the kitchen. He DOES cook almost every night, which I was pleased to find out. His mother needs a lot of assistance with mobility, showering, dressing, companionship, etc. I also clean up, do the dishes, and laundry! So the first week I was so happy to retreat to my own room after a long day and have time to myself. However, that didn't last long. The son started complaining that his mother was up all night and keeping him up. He swore that she must have been sneaking in naps during the day, while I cared for her. I assured him that she hadn't. But because I didn't want him to remain angry, I told him I would just sleep on the couch to care for her myself whenever she woke up in the middle of the night. This kept me from being able to lay and snuggle with my sweet son's when they were here, and that really saddened me. So I am now caring for the lady 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am provided room and board, meals, and the ability to have my son's visit me. When I came to meet the son and his sister that lives across the street, they offered me the above and $100 a week. I immediately accepted, telling them that I am not greedy and would love to get out of the shelter. He spoke of his low disability checks and not having a lot of money. ( a few days later he mentioned that he keeps anywhere from 3 - 12 THOUSAND dollars on hand, in case a good bargain comes up, on something he can repair and resell for profit! I have been brought to tears by his harsh words and ways on a few different occasions, even wanting to return to the shelter rather than deal with him and feeling so stuck and stranded. Now, after reading what the average pay is for live-in 24 hour caregivers is, I am a bit angry. I feel taken advantage of. I already love the sweet lady I care for, and my boys love it here. So I would love to remain here. Another issue is that after borrowing the elderly lady's daughters car to take her to my church a few towns away, (which she absolutely LOVED! She use to attend church regularly), he told me that I must take her to HER local church, where she can see familiar faces. That upset me as I thought I was doing him a favor by taking her to A church, period. I would love any feedback or suggestions about what I should do in this situation. Thank you for listening.

 

50% helpful
cmg47 answered...

People DO take advantage of people. That is for sure. I took care of my parents and now i care for my sister. At the time I took care of my mother I held a full time job in addition to organizing a daytime caretaker. There were many sleepless nights.

I worked for an agency before caring for my parents. They were extremely fair however all of us home health aides were underpaid. We did have benefits, ability to pick and choose jobs, and ongoing training.

Now, I feel as if I "work" for my nephew. What was supposed to be an interim remedy has turned into "Claire the Caretaker". He told me at first that in addition to the stipend (rent) I would have her ATM card to use in case bills went higher. Of course the bills went higher! However, when I tried to use the ATM card he noticed the there was "too much action on the ATM". Gas? Groceries? Heat? Electric? Gosh! And when they visit they stay at a local bed and breakfast on their mother's tab.

I sound disgusted, but I am tired. If i had time, I would go to a support group. I am retired, yet would like to get a part time job or do some painting. My sister looks outside the window while we drive - one of our daily forms of entertainment - and tells me I should paint or draw. good. I just look at her and smile and sigh.

 

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mgs/caregiver answered...

Dear Marketta, I would like to start by saying that I echo Ann Carson in that you need to take a hard realistic look at the level of care your mother-in-law needs. Start with all that you and the family are doing for her now and use the following list to help you determine her needs and determine how often she needs help with each. Whether it is sometimes or always. As you may have seen Parkinson's patients needs change daily and over time. I saw this happen with one of my favorite uncles. Here is the list:

Bowel/bladder control Eating Toileting Dressing Bathing Transfering Walking - indoors Walking - outdoors If their are stairs...Go upstairs/downstairs Driving Cooking Housekeeping Yard work Laundry Shopping Using the phone Managing finances (in my experience...someone in the family takes care of this) Taking medications correctly

After you have a realistic idea of her needs, price shop agencies and private caregivers. You may want to consider having two caregivers to prevent caregiver burnout. As I'm sure you're aware, caring for another takes it's toll. You want her to receive good loving care, but even the best of us have our limits and need a break in order to give our best. When you've made your choice especially if you hire a private caregiver, I suggest that you add workers comp to the homeowners policy. Put in place a back up care plan in case the caregiver(s) get sick or injured. Consider providing vacation/sick pay as well as salary increases as your mother-in-law's needs increase. Make a detailed list of caregiver(s) duties. Discuss with caregiver(s) any changes in duties and add them to the detailed list.

Although you can save on care-giving costs by hiring privately, don't expect them to work for minimum wage even as a live-in. We still have bills even as a live-in, whether it's 24/7, 24/4, or 24/3 or a different schedule. As you're deciding what to pay a caregiver think about what the help is worth to you and how much you would want to be paid to do what you want the caregiver to do.

As a family and professional caregiver, I'm currently talking with long term friends about helping their aunt because the family has less time than before to help her even with the smallest of tasks. We are discussing her needs and determining if I will be moving from my town to theirs and at what stage. I know they are asking me because of my history with the family and they know that I cared for both my parents and helped with my grandmother and I currently work with an agency.

I pray you find the right fit for your mother-in-law and family.

 

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Acaregiverwhocares answered...

Providing home care is very expensive. Whatever you pay for you receive. If you pay mediocre that's the care your loved ones will receive. A live-in aide should be paid for 24 hours per day for the days Worked. Especially for the job required. Reason being, the agencies will not be charged for neglecting the patient. Whenever, there is an emergency on the weekends you will be forwarded to a machine. Most agencies does in house training, but do they train how to suction a patient, nebulizer treatments and machine operation etc? No they don't. Caregivers who work for agencies are not allowed to administer medications. Prepared caregivers always have a background check on hand to show potential employers. Some agencies are unfair to workers.

 

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my name is royce and we have a caregiving agency, we have been in the business for 9 years now, we are licensed, bonded and insured. rates are really expensive nowadays but we are fairly competetive. our rate is $150/ day for alzheimers and dementia we charge $175-180.

 

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gsfry answered...

If you want to use the best service around, there is a company called Help Find Care that is a matching service for people looking for caregivers and caregivers. They do everything on line, background checks, scheduling, billing, payment, etc. The only thing you have to do is create an account, and either post your job or look for caregivers in your area. It is free to join and I have used it many times, as well as a few of my elderly friends. depending on what you need rates go from $8.50hr to $11/hr. I hope this helps and good luck.

 

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CaringDenise answered...

Hi, No need to leave Caring.com to find out information about paying for home care and finding service providers. Here's a quick link to help with your research: https://www.caring.com/local/in-home-care One excerpt from that page: "At-home care costs range from $10 to $40 per hour, depending on where you live in the U.S. and the training, experience level, and expertise of the specific caregiver who comes to your home. Companion care costs less; personal care assistants generally cost more. Costs for live-in care are $120 to $200 per day, or more, depending on where you live." If you'd like assistance by phone toll-free, please call our Family Advisor line: (866) 824-8174 Thanks for asking!

 

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Had it answered...

Okay, I have a huge problem with people and what they expect. Many private home health aides are in school full time and have extensive training. What bothers me is people complain about backgrounds, yet hire people who are not from here because it's cheaper. What part of home health do you get housekeeper out of? Agency charge a lot and caregivers see very little now days you can do background checks anywhere. I charge depending on how many hours and will not go less than 16.00! The government pays for companions with little medical experience to come to the home for 100 hours per month, at least in California. This would be for low income if you qualify and they pay a whopping 10.00 an hour. You get what you pay for, if you just need someone as a companion or to do minimal care fine 12.-14. Is fair. Communication, assessing and proper documentation is key. it's sad people will pay more for a hand bag than pay someone who knows what they are doing a proper wage. I have found that most people who want care want you to perform several different jobs for the price of one. Absolutely not, I am not a maid, or personal asst., housekeeper. What part of health is in any of that, you are only to tend to the care and hygiene of the client and safety. Very light cooking, and very light cleaning is offered, some other duties are worked out as everyone differs. What would you like to be paid at your job, especially when your skilled, experienced and educated?

 

Angil Tarach-Ritchey answered...

Families, It is extremely important to do your homework as you can gather by previous responses. You have people breaking privacy and discussing all their cases, others talking about scamming taxes by involving a client with Alzheimer's and agencies that aren't much better or much more professional. I have been caring and advocating for seniors since 1977. I am a RN, Geriatric Care Manager, Educator and Consultant. I love my work and empowering seniors and families with knowledge! Be careful where you get your I formation, services and products. Lots of people are jumping on the aging and eldercare wagon thinking they'll get rich, others who are criminals and can't work anywhere else, and the perceived experts who don't know much more than you. As stressful as a time this is for you, do investigate companies and individuals prior to paying them for services. There are great agencies, people and facilities, but there are also VERY bad ones. The time you take to check them out is well worth the effort and could not only save you from incredible amounts of stress but could save you from more serious events. Seek expert information

 

Humble Pack Leader answered...

Hi Marketta, I certainly hope you would consider an Agency for the above mentioned reasons, but thoroughly check them out! Ask for a reference list and contact the BBB also. The benefit to you is tenfold for the extra expense. I, too, own an Agency. My Agency is young and I clearly am not making any money yet. I left gainful employment as a hospice RN to provide care and services and make a difference where I saw it was needed. Our service company attempts to go beyond what is commonly expected while providing additional services that can only come from an agency owned by an experienced and available Registered Nurse. Please know that many of us are in it for the care and advocacy of the senior population, and strive to find and provide the best caregivers possible for the clients and families we serve!! Jamie Ahrlett-Boyd, RN Senior Home Care Services

 

33% helpful
Many years an RN answered...

You talk about all over the place. Some of you care givers want room and board and lots of money too. Keep in mind that if you are a nursing assistant you have two choices. You can work hourly and be paid according to your experience or you can have free rent; no gas and electric bill; no commute to work which saves a fortune; no cable tv bill; and you need not buy food. You are saving about $500 to $700 for the room for a month if you live in my area and that may or may not include utilities. Sometimes you pay a portion of utilities. There is a washer and dryer for your use so no laundromat to eat up dollar after dollar. And meals for even one person today will cost about $125 to $150 per week or lets say at least $500 to $600 per month. You are saving well over $1000 and maybe as much as $1500. Do you really think you should be paid the same as an employer pays you per hour when you are paying all of your own living and commuting costs? Let's say the employer pays you $13 per hour which is pretty good for a nursing assistant. I'm saying per hour not per visit. That is $104 for 8 hours or per day; $520 per week and about $2200 gross per month. First you'll pay taxes which will be about $700 maybe?? or $650. You have $1500 to $1550 left. It's going to cost you that much to live and more if you have a one bedroom apartment which will run you $800 to $1100 in my area. Ladies, think again about getting free room and board and the same salary that you'd make if you were not a live in. Now $100 per week is a bit low but even at that you will have a whole lot more left than if you were not a live in. First you need to have the number of hours that you work spelled out. And think about it you do not have to work every minute. You bathe your patient; go through your routines but someone who needs a live in also needs a lot of rest which gives you time that can be put to good use taking college courses; improving your mind and body and enjoying yourself ie in the pool if there is one. You may work for two hours one and two off or two on and one off for a total of four during the day; and take turns with family members caring for the patient during the evening and night. You have specified days off and other than tidying the patient's room and doing her laundry and fixing her a light breakfast/lunch, you are not the housekeeper unless you wish to be and are paid for that job as well. You may wish to increase your salary by adding some chores each day but it should extend your day beyond 8 hours or 7.5 or whatever you agree upon. As to money for the live-in caregiver not through an agency who has no living expenses, a fair salary is $5 per hour/$40 for 8 hrs and $200 for the week. That would be about $900 or so in a month which is very fair considering you have no expenses. If you don't like it don't be a live in. You may give up some of your privacy but you are also taking some from the family as well. Like any job there should be raises over time and where there is one employee I don't believe the family is required to provide benefits. However, if they can afford to do so they may offer. If they were loaded mom would be in one of those resorts so it's likely a sacrifice to be paying for a live in. If insurance paid for this as they once did there would be more health care jobs and family members would not be stressed by caring for elderly parents. They are not all cheap; most are stretched to the max so ease up. It's a bad economy. Be glad you have a job and if you don't like it see if you can do better. Those of you who gripe so much, please if I ever post an ad don't answer. Nobody needs some of you caring for their loved ones.

 

75% helpful
dedicatedcaregiverNY answered...

@many years an RN: Why such a resentful attitude toward caregivers? Comparing rental costs in your area is a specious argument; the caregiver is living there because that's where the client is, not because she chose to. $5/hr.? $200/wk? I sincerely hope you wrote this over 10 years ago. The caregiver is not living in the lap of luxury - you want her to live in so that she will be there whenever your loved one needs her. Below minimum wage says more about you (also illegal) that about the caregiver. I would not want to work for you, and not just because of the money. I feel sorry for your loved one.

 

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80% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

@ many years an r.n. i suspect "many years" is neither an r.n. nor has any experience in caregiving. the numbers she uses are ridiculous and irrelevant.the idea that you spend twenty dollars a day on your own groceries shows a total lack of knowledge about budgeting or food costs. plus , you are not getting your own food - you are eating a serving - that you shopped for, cooked , served, and cleaned up after - of what the client needs or wanted. a room in a house is not an apartment. firemen are paid 24 hrs and provided a place to sleep so they can be on hand to respond immediately. live in caregivers provide a similar service.go on craigslist and look at the certifications, background checks , medical tests, etc. that are required and then explain why ,with all this , they should get 5 dollars per hr. the patients in this field are , for the most part , wonderful , grateful people. it is their families that want you to work for nothing and give up your life entirely so they won't have to make any sacrifices that drive you crazy and contribute to the high turnover rate in this field!

 

50% helpful
MARY1111222 answered...

Student nurse here-background checks, current CPR, drug screens, immunization records, school, and work references, plus 5 years Alzheimer's, COPD, Stroke, Parkinson's experience. I charge $15/hr, $150/day live-in. More than fair, considering agencies start at $25/hr or $250/day live-in and they do nothing for your loved one. Peace.

 

stayathomecare answered...

Every state wage and labor law has a rule of what they should be paid! In Michigan it is what ever they agree to and they have to stay 5 consecutive days or more with room and board! So check out your state. It took me a few years to get an honest answer from the state!

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Burn out happens a lot in healthcare, period, whether you are a CNA or RN, etc. The issues with live-in assignments (24 hr. care) is that they tend to be brutal. There is a REASON someone needs 24 hr. care--and it's rarely "companionship"--these tend to be end stage Dementia patients or the severely physically/mentally challenged, very ill people. I honestly don't think unless you have a CNA min. someone should take on those cases. The reason is you really do need to have a certain skill set, experience, and this takes time. Nursing home experience is best but can be a real shocker about reality for patient care and how some families operate. Still, at least you can have a better/"realistic" idea of what you're getting in to. Even all this being said, I'd still never do more than 3 24hr. live-ins in a row, period. I'd also charge a min. of $150 as someone else said. More depending on the situation and if it changes. Some Alzheimer's patients are up ALL NIGHT LONG. In those cases it's better to have 2 caregivers split a shift--for everyone's sanity and patient safety. You cannot care for others if you get sick and burned out yourself.

P.S. New laws will be implemented Jan. 1 2014 for basic rights for home care workers. Check out directcarealliance.org.

 

100% helpful
txluz171 answered...

I am a (private) certified caregiver, As a caregiver you must have a compassion,extremely patient, dedicated and above all you enjoy and Love what you are doing. I've been a caregiver since 2002, hiring a caregiver has disadvantaged and advantaged, You are dealing with a lot of issues, but if you found a caregiver has a quality and knows what she/He is doing, and trustworthy , hard working, honest, care about the job etc.,you are lucky, actually its vice versa a good employer and good caregiver is a jackpot, Hiring a private caregiver, is a big factor for the elderly who needs the care, simple, They are already confused and sick, They don't like to see different faces everyday, The got afraid and disoriented, They feel that there privacy is been embedded by a stranger, it well took them a while to trust and accept you in there house, but when the bond is build, it well be an easy ride. I took care with Alzheimer, COPD, Parkinson, Paralyzed, bed ridden patient, etc, They always leave me with something to think about, They are all special, I also encountered ungrateful family member, and grateful too. I took care of a prominent Doctor in my area, and this was the worst job I had, I was a live-in 6 days and I have to bring my own food, everything, I even walked in thin glass when I want to boiled water for my cocoa, as much as I want to tell, I have to limit it, in short, It was a miserable and unforgettable job, When her daughter comes, she always bring a fried chicken, and they eat in front of me never invite me, even just diplomacy, and when the Doctor find out everything, He was so embarrassed and upset, but he cannot do anything, ohhh boy onetime I brought from home some okra stew and I intentionally did not give her any, and She was upset and told her daughter, I was laughing and laughing,,, I said to myself I just give you your own medicine, I know it was not nice, but it was a wake up call hehhehe It was overwhelming, anyhow,, caregivers and employer should have a good communication and work together for the sake of the patient. , anyhow GOOD Luck to everyone,, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL AND GOD BLESS US ALL!!!

 

GabbyLeeDee answered...

As a Live-in Caregiver to an 85 year old man, I am paid $100 a WEEK, but my 11 year old son is allowed to stay in the home as well. Months have gone by without me having more than a 5 hour stretch of time away from the home. I am NEVER offered respite care, even when the 85 year old's son visits from out of state, I am expected to wash towels and do dishes for them both. I feel that I am sorely taken advantage of. In the 2 years I have been here, I have taken 2 vacations. One lasting 3 days and one lasting 5. I am able to sneak off a couple times a week for a couple hours to do something I enjoy like kayaking or bike riding. But other than that, I am at his beck and call...for $100 a WEEK. seriously.

 

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GabbyLeeDee answered...

And i'd like to add that i do all the laundry, medications, deal with feces soiled clothes and linens (since he refuses to wear a diaper), housework such as scrubbing floors, dusting, vacuuming, do all the shopping, cooking, dishes, manage all his appointments and drive him when he will allow me to ( he insists on driving with 20/50 vision and his family will not give me the right to tell him no). He will not shower except about once or twice a month. and he touches all the food with his soiled hands and neglects to put food away properly. My son stays approximately 2 nights a week with us in the home...how badly am i being taken advantage of?

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

You can go to a local college and find qualified CNAs/LPNs/Nursing students that will do live-ins from $125-175/day or $12-18/hr. Your best bet. Quality care for 50% of the cost. These students have criminal/drug screens, references, and are unlikely needed to be "bonded" (a padding charge for agencies). You can still pay their wage taxes and it is STILL cheaper than an agency. Trust me, been there, done that. Stay away from Sr. Helper's...had a druggie convicted felon with my Mom...so much for fee per background check, laughable.

FYI:

From USA TODAY...

WASHINGTON – A new report lists home health care as one of the top five most profitable franchises in the U.S., even as the industry fights new Department of Labor rules calling for mandatory overtime and minimum wage requirements for home health employees.

See article below.

Sincerely, HHA, CNA and Nursing Student. This is ridiculous. And pure greed. Period.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/story/2012-05-03/home-health-care-a-profitable-franchise/54813562/1

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Dear Gabby Lee,

You are being taken advantaged of to the MAX. By your posts, please realize that an agency would charge this client min. live-in rate based on his needs about $225/day. Times 7 for the week. That's $6,300/month. The reason the family doesn't go for an agency or nursing home is purely to save costs--and boy are you doing that. Food and shelter are/should be a given with live-in care. Why else would agencies mandate the employer supply a room, plus 3 meals daily, in addition to a wage? For private duty, you should command at least $400/week...so your son stays 2 days/month? Is he charging up a $200 electric/water/food bill? Of course, this is always why you need to be up-front with the employer: they can take advantage of you and vice-versa. But seriously, your "wages" are sad and the time off is concerning. Nobody can work that many consecutive hours and not get burned out. And before the agencies chime in...I've worked for many and many,many days, weeks, I was working over-time with clients for ZERO additional pay because the agency could NOT find a fill-in/relief care-giver, though that seems to be their big selling point, LOL.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

As a caregiver for 5 years, I believe we should get paid more the what our agencies pay us, we are under paid.. I am looking to get paid cash and save the client money, and yes you can do your own back round check. I am in BROOKFIELD IL EMAIL:

 

two4tahoe answered...

I am a caregiver, I have done private care and worked for different services. I can tell you that the caregivers working for the services are not happy caregivers! They get about 10.00 an hour for all of their hard work. Being a caregiver can be a very draining job mentally and emotionally. We grow to care for our patients like family. Private care is the way to go. You can save money while paying the caregiver what she deserves. You can always keep an agency for emegency fill ins if your private caregiver falls ill. Choose your caregiver wisely. Hope this helps.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Mom had a stroke 3 years ago, and at first needed 24 hour care. We found a private caregiver for $200/day, but the day and night was divided between her and her sister in law caregiver. When Mom only needed day time help, the cost was reduced to $150/day for 9:30-6:30 shift. Mom recovered so well that she only needed a driver for shopping, doctors, etc., and they became companions. A CPA worked out the withholding on this expense.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

most respectable independent caregivers, do pay for private malpractice insurances to protect them and their clients. If you do the appropriate research and check up on references, you should end up with a great caregiver for much cheaper than an agency would charge you. Agencies at the end of the day are a business and operate for profit. Wonder where the profit comes from?

 

 
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