A Guide to Caring for Aging Family Members

Caregiver Contracts


On the AgingCare.com website, saugo5774 asked the following question:

Protect Yourself with a Caregiver Contract

Protect Yourself with a Caregiver Contract

Do I need a caregiver agreement between me and my Mom?
Mom is giving me a check each month to care and support her.

My reply:

Caregivers can be compensated for services by using a Caregiver Contract
or Personal Service Agreement

The contract should address:

1) tasks—personal services, personal health services, driving, household services
2) work schedule and hours
3) wages and how to be paid (rates comparable to those of home-health companies)
4) care receiver Social Security payments and caregiver reporting
5) reimbursement of caregiver expenses and car maintenance.

Another important “contract” is a family agreement, generated from a family meeting. I don’t think this is the type of “agreement” you were referring to in your question, but it is important nonetheless. A productive family meeting (which includes your mother) can build a strong foundation for family caregiving. Do you share common values? Talk about what is most important to all of you—autonomy or safety. Establish common goals. Divide responsibility based on the strengths and abilities you bring to the family. It is important to be specific. Develop a contract that delineates the commitments family members have made, and solidify those commitments with signatures that verify that everyone understands and agrees to the plan. Be sure to date the contract in case changes are needed later on.

Either of these types of agreements are more binding if they are at least notarized, if not drawn up with an attorney. If your objective is to be paid, I would definitely work with an attorney to draw up a Personal Service Agreement.

Barbara Matthews




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