Care Agreement

How to Prepare an Agreement to Care for a Family Member
Signing or not signing?

The purposes of a written personal care agreement and what it should contain

Some older adults are able to pay their family caregiver from private funds, long-term care insurance benefits, or a state-sponsored assistance program.

If you regularly provide paid care to a family member, such as a parent, it's a good idea to prepare a simple, written agreement setting out the terms of your arrangement.

A simple, written personal care agreement (sometimes called a personal services agreement) can help both you and your family member be clear about what you're supposed to be doing and when.

  • It can also help avoid misunderstandings with other family members about who's providing care and how much money is changing hands. If the agreement doesn't solve a particular disagreement with family members, you may be able to add something to the document, or change its terms, to address the problem.
  • If the person you're caring for is receiving state assistance for in-home care, the agreement can prove to the state exactly where some of the money is going, which the state program might require.
  • If the person ever needs to enter a nursing home and wants Medicaid to pay for it, the agreement can show that these payments to you were legitimate, not just an attempt to "hide" funds in order to qualify for Medicaid's services.

What to include in a personal care agreement

A personal care agreement should include the following basic information:

  • When the care will begin.
  • What tasks you'll perform. Be specific and thorough, but also include the term "or similar tasks to be mutually agreed upon by the parties." This gives you both some flexibility, so that you won't feel like you need to rewrite the agreement every time you change the tasks you perform.
  • How often, and for how many hours, you'll provide this care.
  • How much you'll be paid, and when the payment will be made.
  • How long the agreement will stay in effect. This can be a set time, like six months or a year, after which you can both decide whether you want to make any changes. It may be simpler, though, to make the contract open-ended, described with a phrase such as, "This agreement shall remain in force until terminated in writing by either party." In that case, either of you can end the arrangement at any time simply by writing a signed, dated note saying that the agreement is over, and giving the note to the other person.
  • A statement that the terms of the agreement can be changed only by mutual agreement, in writing, by both parties.

Drawing up a personal care agreement yourself or using a lawyer

You can probably draw up the agreement yourself, without paying for a lawyer. A good model, along with clear, easy-to-follow explanations, is the Elder Care Agreement (Form 85) in the book 101 Law Forms for Personal Use by Ralph Warner and Robin Leonard (Nolo), which is available in both hard copy and electronic versions. Once you have a version of the agreement that both of you are comfortable with, make several copies. You and your family member should both sign and date two copies, each of you keeping one.

If you feel more comfortable having a lawyer draw up the agreement rather than doing it yourself, discuss the terms of the agreement with your family member before seeing the lawyer. That will make the process quicker and therefore less expensive. If you do use a lawyer, it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours of the lawyer's time.

A personal care agreement can change to fit new circumstances

You can change a personal care agreement at any time. To make a change, both of you have to agree. If you both want to make a change, simply write a note explaining the change -- more or less pay, more or fewer hours, different tasks -- with both of you signing and dating the note, and attach it to the original contract. Or if you find that you both want a number of things to be different, you can draw up an entirely new agreement. If you do draft a new contract, include the phrase "This agreement supersedes all previous agreements between the parties having to do with personal care."


3 months ago, said...

My dad has Cancer and I need help


4 months ago, said...

I need to know who I can contact I take care of 96 year old g ma. I need paperwork to apply for assistance and get paid because I lost my job and am her main provider.


5 months ago, said...

I take care of my aunt who needs around the clock care. I just had to quit my job to make sure she receives the proper care. Can I get paid to take care of her and how?


5 months ago, said...

Hello yes my mom is a diabetic and also has a pacemaker and her heart I have to take care of her & also my brother he had a manager operation on his head permanent disability a little slow now he can speak ride bike but he can get really angry and loud!


8 months ago, said...

Do I claim income from funds received from any source to take care of my disabled adult


9 months ago, said...

If I have a job do I need to fill out a Supplementary Employment Request Form?


11 months ago, said...

What if mother in law cannot understand and we have POA


about 1 year ago, said...

How doesa family caregiverpay taxes and pay into social security?


about 1 year ago, said...

My mom have bad bad back pain and she have seizures and I am the one she would won't to take care of her sometimes she can't walk she is 42 yard old. I need help what can I do how can I get payed. Now to help her


about 1 year ago, said...

My mother owns her own home. Has a disabled son she has left the home to in her will. No one disputes this. My mom was in a nursing home for over 2 years and hated it. I took her out. She lives with my husband and I full time. My daughter comes over 5 hours a day to tend to her grandmothers needs. My mom pays her weekly. She does not want to go into the Nursing home again. Is this legal? If mom had to go back into a nursing home would they try to take the home away from my disabled brother?


over 1 year ago, said...

If the person I'm power of attorney for needs to go to a home will Medicaid take her house it? She has left her home to me and is in need of repairs. she has no savings or anything like it. How will she be able to pay for the nursing home?


almost 2 years ago, said...

you will have to claim this income on your taxes along with figuring social security.


almost 2 years ago, said...

If there were a template to follow for preparing the Service Agreement


almost 2 years ago, said...

Anyone who uses a form-based caregiver agreement should beware that state Medicaid rules vary from state to state as to what they require. For instance, states like North Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana have specific rules in their Medicaid manuals. Failure to incorporate those provisions will invalidate the contract and Medicaid will treat all transfers of assets under the contract as penalty-causing gifts. This could create a significant penalty period for long-term care Medicaid eligibility. We use the TrabaCare service to oversee our contracts for compliance purposes.


over 2 years ago, said...

Hello, To locate a rough draft or personal care agreement forms, a good model, along with clear, easy-to-follow explanations, the article recommends the Elder Care Agreement (Form 85) in the book [101 Law Forms for Personal Use](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1413316344/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&linkCode=as2) by Ralph Warner and Robin Leonard (Nolo), which is available in both hard copy and electronic versions.


over 2 years ago, said...

Where can I find a rough draft of a personal care agreement? I would like to type it myself but an outline would be most helpful.


over 2 years ago, said...

can a poa sigh the personal care agreement ?


almost 3 years ago, said...

I am a very understanding person who cares for my wife, mother, which is in a rehab center and both, I and my wife, which is her mother , daughter, cares about her mother a lot and she thinks she is not getting the right care at the place she is at and we have been in the place always when we go to visit and we saw things which we did not like and they the people do not care when we say something to them at this place and when we try to let her , my wife , brother and other sister know what is going on they do not care, they think that we are wrong to say anything, see myself I have been around this kind of things when my mother was working for the places like this and when my family members was in these places too and I saw what was what and we care about our well being of our family members and I do care about my wife, mothers care daily and I am not going to let people abuse her when I am around and if they do not want to care for her right , so please gave me or us a answer what we can do


about 3 years ago, said...

Is it possible to be paid for the 24-hour care my daughter and I provided my grandmother from October 2009 to July 15, 2010? There had been some discussion among my siblings and I about my daughter and I receiving payment, but not as much as I could receive as a practicing nurse. Additionally, I lost my job in January of 2010 because I couldn't get a family medical leave of absence (FMLA) quickly enough. I had missed work on days when my daughter was concerned she couldn't properly care for Grandma while I was gone. My grandmother has now passed away, and I am being forced to leave her home; but I don't have the money to move and am now separated from my husband.


about 3 years ago, said...

someone providing the truth, giving us the information to benefit my mother, she has ALS and MEDICAID is a big fat mess pile. Thank you, Yvette


over 3 years ago, said...

Hello, For additional information on the Cash and Counseling Program in your local area see: http://www.caring.com/local/area-agency-on-aging . Thanks!


over 3 years ago, said...

the video on a previous page says there should be info on documents are needed to apply for the cash and counseling. I am having problems finding it. please help. I am just not finding all the answers I need to get started on financial help.


over 3 years ago, said...

The link to Ralph Warner's book is now fixed. Thank you for letting us know.


over 3 years ago, said...

Link to book by Ralph Warner gives Page Not Found Error :(


over 3 years ago, said...

I work for kaiser home health and l work for three elderly people threw them. Two of my clients are family members. l been working there for almost 7 years and l still get paid 10 an hour. l wish l can get paid working for myself, be my own boss and get paid more


almost 4 years ago, said...

I moved in to my fathers house a year ago to take care of him. im not getting paid for taking care of him. had part time job but cant keep it because my dad get hurts needs care and no other family members will help. im thinking of drawing up a elder care agreement. I take care 24/7. thank you .