As a live in caregiver, am I being paid enough?

Donnamills47 asked...

Presently I am working as a live-in caregiver for a man who has had parkinsons disease for 28 years. My daily duties start at 6am with breakfast and medications and I finish my daily duties around 6pm and then here for him if he needs any help. I work five or six days a week available 24 hours a day. He pays me $850 a month and tells me that I'm getting a "good deal" because he provides the groceries and room and board. I want to know what the going rate is for an experienced unlicensed live-in caregiver in Sylva North Carolina. Thank you.

Expert Answer

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.

Your pay should be $500 a week. Many people make more than $500. But, $500.00 sounds reasonable if it inclucdes room and board. One way to look at it is this. Find out how much it costs for assisted livng or adult foster care or even nursing home care. Then figure how many hours you work or are available to work. If you work 12 hours a day and are on call the other 12 for 20 days a month.I would figure that at $3880.(I am figuring $12.00 and hour plus $1000 for on call) Then subtract $700 for you room and board.So your salary should be $3100. See how that compares to institutional living for him. You might want a raise to $2000. Then in another year work toward $3000 and so on. When you negotiate be senstive to his illness. Be kind. Be firm and trust that you can care for him.Be sure to dress well,and be meticulous in your care and compassion.In the future when you look for another job, you will be priceless.