All in the Family: Hiring Relatives to Care for Elderly Parents
Whenever possible, most individuals will care for elderly family members to the best of their ability before considering nursing home or other elderly care services provided by non-family members. However, when a family member or relative makes significant financial sacrifices, such as limiting the amount of time that they work or driving long distances, in order to care for an elderly family member, the question of whether they should be compensated can arise.
A report from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP notes that 43.5 million Americans cared for a friend or relative 50 years of age or older in 2009, according to The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, a survey organized for home-care franchiser Home Instead Senior Care revealed that almost 7 percent of participants received compensation for taking care of a relative.
Relatives caring for elderly parents seems to be a growing trend, especially amid growing reports of nursing home abuse around the country. Some elder law attorneys would advise individuals to make sure that they discuss certain arrangements for elderly care with the whole family. Compensation for elder care can involve complex financial and legal matters, raising questions about an elderly individual’s estate and necessary care.
Whether you and your family decide to pay a family caregiver based on an hourly wage, annual gifts, lump-sum payment, or through a larger inheritance, it may be helpful to address these issues with an attorney as well as with the rest of the family. Doing this can help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible so that the elderly family member is well taken care of.