What are Caregiving Contracts?

“Caregiving Contracts” are legal documents between your aging parent and a family member that spells out in very specific details the kinds of services and tasks the caregiver will provide, over what course of time and the rate of pay for the services performed by the caregiver.
   
If you choose this option, I highly recommend using an elder law lawyer to draft up the contract and that other family members, especially siblings, should be aware of what is being agreed upon. To prevent conflicts, this type of arrangement should be transparent to all family stakeholders invested in your parent’s care.
   
When drafting the contract, you’ll need to address paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes, filing a W2 form and specifying the terms of payment. The hourly rate should be comparable to what a private home care provider would charge in your area, usually running in the $20 to $35 range. If your family member is a nurse or other medical professional, the rate can be higher, but it should reflect the level of services actually rendered. In other words, you can’t charge a $75 an hour rate because that’s what you’re paid as a nurse when you’re really doing house chores that commonly pay $20 per hour.
   
As a paid caregiver, keep a daily record of the tasks you perform and a report on your parent’s status just as if you were working for a home care agency. Make sure their review is part of your records and share it with other family members.

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