Your frail mother is still loved, but she is 92 years old and in need of home care. Taking care of her is a labor of love, but a difficult job; even when she smiles. In addition to the tedious and relentless requirements involved, the “work” of caring for her can be a severe financial burden on the child. Studies have shown that a child who works as a primary caregiver can lose 75% of potential earnings during each year that the “job” of caring for their parents continues.
What if there was a creative solution to your elder care dilemma? Caregiver Agreements – Formal contracts under which a relative is hired to care for elderly family members have been around for decades, but with the current economic downturn, an increasing number of families are choosing this option. This is good news, because caregiver agreements carry a number of benefits, notably the fact that the government does not consider that money given to a son or daughter under a caregiver agreement it is “a gift” when an older person is trying to qualify for Medi-Cal, Medicaid, or other public benefits. Another advantage is psychological: For an elderly parent, the idea of being cared for by a trusted relative can be especially significant. Contracted arrangements can also ease tensions and resentment between siblings, if, for example, a child is the one who takes care of most of the care.
The caregiver agreement must be in writing and carefully crafted, preferably by an attorney specializing in elder law. There are also tax consequences. These agreements are legal contracts; You must include details such as the cost of services with each itemized service; and the duties to be performed by the caregiver, detailed in clear language. Authorizations for medical or financial decision making should also be clearly described, especially if medical and physical decision making will be part of care duties, those powers should be set out separately in durable powers of attorney for finances and advance directives healthcare provider for medical services. matters. Perhaps most importantly, the caregiver contract must be executed before the caregiver receives any compensation. If this final stipulation is ignored, an agreement with the caregiver could lead to a crisis rather than a solution.