How much should I pay a live-in caregiver?

49 answers | Last updated: Jul 07, 2016
A fellow caregiver 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.

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

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 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 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.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

Community Answers

Angiltarachrn answered...


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."

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

A fellow 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.

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;

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.

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.

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.

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...

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!

A fellow 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

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.

A fellow 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

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.

A fellow 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.

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.

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.

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.

Caringdenise answered...

Hi, can help you find out information about paying for home care and finding service providers. Here's a quick link to help with your research: 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!

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

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.

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.

A fellow 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!

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!

A fellow 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

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.

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 badly am i being taken advantage of?

A fellow 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/ 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.

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.

A fellow 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.

A fellow 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?

A fellow caregiver answered...

I'm a live-in caregiver, with 8years experience. i work 7days a week. I'm paid $195 mon-fri, and $250 on the weekends (sat and sun). But i pretty much do everything, shower, housekeeping, exercise, errands(bank & etc.), groom, lunch with him until he calls it a day. I get vacation pay and sick leave.

Spouse99 answered...

I find these comments useful. Thank-you. I am a live in care giver. I provide most of the care for my 55 year old wife with severe MS; I am 61. (I took an early retirement 7 years ago to care for her.) Now she is incontinent, and can not transfer. Last May my wife broke 3 ribs trying to transfer to the toilet from her power chair. I needed to find someone quickly in order to continue teaching one day a week. I tried all the home health care agencies in my small city, but none would even consider us, as we live 20 miles from downtown. Through word of mouth we found someone to help us. We feel so v lucky to have her. Sue asked for $15 an hour, which we agreed to without question. We started with 10 hours a week, 6 on the day i teach, and 2 hours 2 nites a week to put her to bed. But Sue is rarely here in the evenings more the 45 min but i am so thankful for the relief. Sue sometimes stays all day - noon to 9pm for $150. It seems fair, as my wife wakes up about noon, takes a nap from 2-4, and goes to bed at 9pm. Sue provides this much needed relief for me so i can away an overnight a couple overnights a year. Sue is now working about 20 hrs a week. She and my wife have become great friends in the year siting side by side and play computer games. Sue does all the tasks i would do if i was here. I ask her to make and share the meal for us on the days i work and she does light housekeeping. We are now selling our "dream" home to move to somewhere where care is more accessible, and am thinking that live-in is probably the most affordable option. i don't want to be driving to a nursing home every day just to kiss my wife.

Now some random thoughts about long term care in the US. I read on Sunday that the median nursing home care is about 92k a year. Who can afford that? My wife is 55. If she lives another 32 years, nursing home costs will over 3 million. Most people will need to spend down all their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid for nursing home care. I read that fewer insurance companies are offered long term care insurance as costs spiral. Many of us will turn to home health care aides as a lower cost option, but most of us can't afford that either until we spend down to medicaid eligibility. With the average 401k at retirement being less than 100k, it will only earn $400 a month (assuming 5% interest). Add that to the average social security payment of $532 per month (Feb 2015 Statistics) most of us will need Medicaid to afford a full time home care aide. Unfortunately, Medicaid will not pay a spouse for providing care to their spouse (but will pay a child), nor are we allowed any tax deduction for all the hours of care we provide. Further, most of us have no training to be caregivers (but i have been looking into a class at the community college). We spouses also face the burn out all caregivers face, plus the emotional burden of watching a loved one fade away.

Honorata answered...

Caregivers should be paid at least $20-$25 X12 hr for this hard,24hr care,where you give up your own life and expose your own health (heavy lifting,contact with body fluids)and dealing with a lot of stress..Offering $ 10 per hour is humiliating.

Miss marples answered...

I do all of those things you are all complaining about for free. I take care of my Mom who now needs 24/7 care. I am trying to hire someone because as we know elderly do better in their own environment and my Mom has always dreaded the thought of going in assisted living and or a nursing home. I live in a different state from my Mom and don't have any siblings to help out. I have two businesses and my husband has one. My Mom's money is limited. So I will put in a few thousand a month to help her. When you talk about clients who pay poorly sometimes it is because their money is not as much as needed for the care they would like to have for a dearly loved parent. Also remember the pay you caregivers are getting is usually private pay as Medicare and Medicaid will not help with any funds for my Mom. So just like with the license I hold in the medical field in my state for my profession, insurance does not pay. Do not knock us who do all that you complain about for free and have given up their lives. I would love to get $150 every day that I am at my Mom's home doing laundry, cleaning, going to her Dr. appts, cooking, grocery shopping, helping her with bathing, dressing, the toilet and any other demand she would like me to do. And she is demanding at times. I do her finances. You name it. I get no money and I miss out on a lot of money when I can't do my job with my clients while taking care of her and not even living in my own home in a different state. I stay with her in her home in a different state. $150 a day is $1050 a week. When an elderly person has $2300 a month total it is very hard to pay for care for an extended amount of time. Out of the $2300 is also $1400 a month in bills which includes what Mom pays to have a medicare supplement and the deduction for part B. She has water, elect, the Bay alert, a land line for the bay alert, she needs food, she pays for medications that medicare does not pay for and the list goes on and on from taxes and homeowners insurance etc. I can see that for anyone working 24/7 there is a great need for a 3 on 4 day off schedule. For mental and physical health. Unfortunately in my state $450 a week is an above average pay for a middle class person. Where my Mom lives is very impoverished and a town of about 500. Most of us grown children are not trying to pawn off our parent to you or be ungrateful. There are a lot of people who are ungrateful and pawning off their parent. Not all of us.
We are trying to be fair. We are trying to do the best for our parent. We are trying to make the monies last so our parent can stay in their home and not some facility. I was able to job coach some handicapped clients in a nursing home years ago. I saw elderly people in wheelchairs facing white painted walls all day. They had been put out in the hallway for hour after hour so their rooms could be cleaned etc. They weren't even facing each other. I thought, "they are just waiting to die". They are in a permanent time out. I never ever want that for anyone. These elderly people would sit in filth for hours. Inexcusable. The system has got to change so better care can be provided. The burden of costs is too much for most families long term. At the $240 a day rate, it is $1400 a month cheaper to put an elderly person in a nursing home where my Mom lives. Who benefits from that? The caretakers at the nursing home (not the RN's) but below RN seem to still be making $10 an hour. Taxes are taken out but there are benefits. I don't know what the answer is and there may not be a perfect answer.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I am a live-in caregiver. I work for an agency to provide me and the client protection (to ensure I get paid and to ensure them that I am bonded, screened, that we have a nurse check up on them, and several people to report/check up on Client instead of just one person). I am contractually unable to recommend my agency as I work for another agency which prohibits me from referrals to other agencies. However, I can tell you that agencies provide the most safety and are cheaper than Assisted Living or Nursing Homes. I have worked in an Assisted Living Home and Community life is a VERY DIFFICULT transition for many elderly, and the Homes are almost always understaffed so they will take anybody who clears a background check. I do not recommend it at all if it can be avoided. Live-in to hourly Caregivers are the best option if you can get experienced Caregivers (some of the younger girls in highschool or just out of highschool can be a little lax). I work for a cheaper agency because it does not have a medical license (meaning basically that I can set Client's pills out or hand them to, but cannot administer) but I can do everything else-including housekeeping, bathing, peri-care, pet care, driving, groceries, laundry, companionship, meal preparation, etc. I am paid 140 dollars a day for a 24 hour day and am given 8 hours uninterrupted sleep, with three hour breaks during the day (Caregivers almost never get these but usually we don't report it because the work is fairly easy with an agreeable client). It would be more money if we reported we didn't get these per day, but it really depends on how intensive the work is (I count companionship as part of my breaks because usually we're just watching the Client's shows together and discussing during commercial breaks). I assume the agency will take a cut which will bump the total up to maybe $200 a day? Now you also have to figure in that your loved one, if alone, may not have been bathing, using appliances, etc and so their bills will go up with someone in the house using these things and encouraging Client to use them as well. One man I looked after hadn't used his kitchen electricity and it blew up while I was there and the electrician pulled out a huge fire hazard that the family hadn't been aware of because the power had almost never been used in that part of the house and so no one knew how bad melted/corroded his wiring was. Also the grocery bill will go up because the Caregiver will be making meals for themselves and the Client and so the Client's grocery bill will probably go from almost nothing to $200 every 3-4 weeks (Some clients literally have been living on Cereal and milk until we get there). Also, the Client will pay for gas if Caregiver has to use their own car once living there, so figure in grocery shopping once a week and possible trips to doctor or dentist per year/month. If you go with a non-medical licensed agency it will be significantly less than a medical licensed agency. The company I can't refer you to is non-medical and able to work around the over-time laws so they can keep caregivers working for 5 days at a time which means less stress in switching out caregivers every few days. This is HUGE to Clients because different girls coming in and out is very stressful especially in memory-problem Clients. Some families are able to have non-medical licensed agencies if they set up about 2-3 months of pill boxes themselves if they can't be around often, that way all the caregiver has to do is hand the pills to the Client and not set them up (which requires a medical licensed agency, which is $$). I'd say shop around agencies, pick one that works best with your loved one's insurance and needs, and visit yourself to see different caregivers in 8-10hour shifts before settling on a live-in caregiver that seems the best fit for you and your family. Some agencies really do go out of their way to pair up good caregivers with ideal clients, some just try to get a new client and so give them whatever caregiver is available next up on their list. Find an agency that puts your family's and Client's best interests at heart. I'd recommend agencies that are privately owned and put a real emphasis on quality care and relationships with your family and the Client and are competitive with the other agencies in your area.

Caringdenise answered...

This has been a great discussion, and I'd like to add some additional insights to consider from's extensive library of expert content. These include:

Callie marie answered...

The anonymous poster working as a live-in caregiver gave good insight into the process. Knowing that agencies with medical licenses charge more money will help me make a decision when finding a care-give. He/She is also right about the transition to assisted living being difficult--I know it was hard on my grandmother. I want to choose the option that will be the best for my family.

A fellow caregiver answered...

well as a caregiver i have gotten the sham,one live in position it was only for room and board and eventually i had to find my own bed and mattress on craigslist because she didnt buy it. In 3 years i never had a day off,but I had been homeless and was afraid so i was taken advantage family took very good care of me as i took care of their grandfather,i was trusted and i took very food care of their father

Caringcarecalif4you answered...

if One Person FULL time 4-5days & nights weekly (Live In Caregiver-"On call" 24/7 per se' & meals, Should PAY HER $750.00 for 5 days. Living In availability on hand reliable per diem (w/5 hrs sleep)..NOW IF SHE HAS Business Tax Certifivate "License" Whomever can "SET" own fees/rates. Now You needing Help without an Tax Busness License, MUST Comply with /wage orders/health regulations, least a few, for those whom visit-enter ,bacteria -"contaminations",,TREAT UR HOME AS A NURSING FACILITY' Mentality.

Caringcarecalif4you answered...

PART-2-addedum; Background checks costly..take CG with you to police dept., let them know of her situtatoin-job-at your HOME-& let them run quick SCAN pending offenses, violations-probations,etc., THATS IT-ALL., If you suspect theft look in her bags while inside your house if have too. or ask to use only clear plastic see-through purse while she stays etc..THAT SHOULD DO IT.

Melly666 answered...

Hi Marketta. Only skimed through some of these answers here. I have been a live in carer for 8 years and hope I can be of some help. Our duties include obviously personal care, housekeeping and cooking. Hoisting if needed but are trained in this and catheter bags etc etc. We do give medication but are only usually allowed if the doctor prescribes them and the pharmacy puts them in a dossett box. Yes you do need to think if your mother needs a lot of night calls as it means the carers will have sleep deprivation. I've had this many times before myself. Care agencies can often charge 1300 pound a week but only give carers a small fraction. This is usually the deal. We get our food paid for and I am presently on 70 pound a day gross with a 2 hour break in the afternoon. This is low pay for this agency but remember we also get holiday pay with this. Carers are a bit hit and miss also...and you must ensure they have a criminal police check. Also to pay their travel expenses to and from home. You need to consider who is going to cover on the carers break and when the carers need time off. Some carers work on a rota basis ie. 3 weeks on and one week off, some have 2 rotating carers. People like myself do about six months continuous then another carer takes over when I am off (but this is agency who are able to provide carers). I would suggest you find 2 rotating carers or have a long term carer and either advertise when she/he is off or have agencies filling in but of course this will cost a lot more. I would suggest you pay the live in carer a going rate of between 85 to100 a day gross, travel expenses to be paid and food allowance if you want somebody who is competent and who speaks English. Good luck with this

Belovedcaregiver answered...

I am caregiver who got hired as a live-in for 5 days a week. I get paid $135/24hr. care through an agency who classified me as an individual contractor. I am taking care of an elderly woman who had a stroke and is totally dependent on me 100%. I give her shower 2 x a week, change her diaper, dress her, prepare and feed her, give her medication via g-tube and give her daily g-tube feeding. For 6mos now I have been promised a raise in pay by the agency. Recently their pay check bounced and I was charge $200+ of overdraft fees. They demand we pick up our checks or be mailed to us. But the problem is that we as caregivers have no time to pick up our checks (live-in) and when we do they normally are not in the office. We get paid every 10th for work we did on the 15th thru 30th and 25th for work we did on 1st to 15th. That's 10 days after all the days we have worked for, yet they won't do a wire, a transfer or direct deposit, only pick up or mail. Then I found out that the agency charge $185/day to the client. Making $50/ day on me doing absolutely nothing....for Me as the worker who does all the work. I want to get out of the agency but I like where I am working now, the family is good to me and they love me and wishes I could be there 7/days a week. They have screened 4 caregivers to find my reliever and in some days I work straight and all holidays (paid time and half by agency). Please give advice what I should do. Thanks

A fellow caregiver answered...

This is to answer the owner of the agency who listed the benefits and the difference of an agency vs. private hire. Using an agency is fine if the client has money and they are willing to pay for an agency taking care of hiring and replacements. But remember that the agency will continually bill you month after month even for services that they no longer provide because the caregiver they send you is great, responsible ans dependable. Remember, for what they charge you, they are taking it from the caregiver who you should be compensating for all their hard work and dedication. Instead, they are being paid $10 an hour. I work for an agency that charged a client $239 for 10 hours of daily rate. They pay their caregivers $10 dollars an hour. It's totally unethical and immoral for them to pocket $139 daily, while caregivers who do all the labor is paid $100 for the daily shift. It's even a crime when they charge an elderly that much money for 10 hours when the elderly need 24/7 care and because the frail elderlies can't afford to pay more, they settle for several hours and are on their own at night when they are fall risks. My agency in Arizona even shorts my pay when I'm suppose to get time and a half if I work more than 40 hours a week according to Arizona law.

An agency is a racket. An agency's service should be used temporarily until the family can find an hire someone else. It cost $39 to check someone's criminal background online. Or if you want fingerprinting for the caregiver, you send them to Mailboxes etc and for free, they will fingerprint and the caregiver can send the fingerprint to a law enforcement office. It cost $70 dollars.

Agencies will defend themselves saying they have liability insurance and workers comp for their employees. You can buy liability insurance and for $250 a year, you can get a million dollars claim benefits to protect the elderly assets. Workers Comp insurance can be added to your home insurance. When you have all these in place, the long term insurance that the elderly may have will accept long term care claim. I have worked in many agencies in California and Arizona, their claim that they train caregivers are bogus. Orientation in the office is 1 hour. After that, you'll never hear from them again while the caregiver labors and dedicates himself/herself to the client .... but everyday, they take half or more from the rate you pay them daily. That comes to thousands of dollars a month and the poor caregiver gets 10 dollars an hour. You can train the caregiver such as handwashing, proper food preparation, etc... all those information resources from the internet, you can print out and give to the caregiver.

The least that these agency can do is pay caregivers 15 dollars an hour and pocket less. I understand that as a business, you need to make a profit, but not at the expense of the elderly and abusing caregivers. These agencies are very profitable that's why they are proliferating. It's a scam on the elderly and abuse of workers.

Belovedcaregiver answered...

I totally concur with careforelderly2, these agencies don't give a hoot to their clients or their caregivers. All they about is getting more clients and more money. My agency offers lower fee to clients and promises the same thing that the other agency promises that charges more. They will use the same platform and charges less. How they do it? simple...they will give all the responsibilities to their caregivers Pay them less and get away with it! Why? Because they can.

Sam44 answered...

I have meet a good friend of mind on line. and I been talking with here for few days and found that she is working 24 hrs for 6 days a week with no vacation pay for $1,800.00 a month taking care of 6 orderly people with different desabilites for 6 long years. I found this is very explosive for the employee . Can someone tell me what are the rights for my friend as an employee that's being abuse.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Live-in care giving is not just a job, it's a complete life altering adjustment. It takes a different type of person to be a care giver, so be sure your interview is in depth. As for the comment on background checks, yes, of course that's important; but remember, many people have pasts that may be riddled with poor choices, but are all around great people. Most people change, haven't you? I am a felon, as a matter of fact I was also an addict for nearly 2 decades. After I got clean I went to college, earned an AS degree and a BS in psychology; I'm also in graduate school to become a licensed professional counselor. My point, a criminal history doesn't necessarily tell you about a person's personality traits, abilities to care for your mother-in-law, or inability to be the exact person you're searching for. Yes, do a criminal history check, but also look at the person's recent history; their education, work history, and even professional relationships and social media accounts. I care for my mom who has ovarian cancer that has matastisized to her brain. She also has dementia. I've had to take over everything. All her bills, all her medical needs, the house, helping her bathe, making sure her nutritional habits coincide with her health concerns, exercising, social activities, and emotional support. I'm beyond tired, worn out, and even overwhelmed. I'm in grad school, I'm married, and caring for two households is often difficult. Hire multiple caregivers!