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Caregiver Fees

Posted by briejean (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 9, 09 at 11:30

I am a part-time caregiver for an 80-year-old person with Alzheimer's right here in my neighborhood. She lives with her daughter and husband, and they are the ones who have hired me. She is completely incontinent and in the later stage of the disease. I come into the home and make a pot of coffee, then I go up and wake her up. She is very cooperative and pleasant. I walk her to the bathroom, sit her on the toilet, then change her Depends for her. I help her wash her hands, then help her down the stairs for coffee and breakfast that I prepare for her. I sneak her medications into the fruit portion of her meal. I make her lunch, sandwich and fruit, and pack it in a bag that she takes with her to an adult daycare facility that she goes to daily. After she is done eating, I help her back up the stairs, bring her back to the bathroom and brush her teeth for her. After that, I clean her eyeglasses, then take her back to her bedroom where I dress her for the day, put deodorant on her, and brush her hair. We then go back downstairs to sit and wait for her transportation to pick her up and take her to the daycare center. While waiting, I wash the breakfast dishes and tidy up in the kitchen. When the van gets to the house, I walk her outside, and the driver helps her into her seat. I go back inside, let their two dogs in the backyard into the house, then lock the house up and leave. Usually it runs smoothly. There's been only one time that she had a bowel movement on the toilet, and I had to clean her up. Usually it's just urine in the morning with the Depends being soaked when she wakes up. I throw that away in the garage when we first go downstairs. The woman is very sweet and pleasant. There's no communication, other than two or three phrases that she repeats. She will smile and laugh when I wake her up, as if she's happy to start her day. She does the same thing when the van arrives to pick her up, as if she enjoys going to the daycare center daily...which is good. She's very cooperative, as well as in a predictable routine. I have no caregiving background other than some experience with my own grandmother having Alzheimer's. I visited her regularly at the facility where she lived, and am very familiar with the stages and progression of this illness. My FIL also had dementia, and we cared for him for a time also. The whole process takes about an hour and ten minutes. I get paid $20 for each visit each day. Having never gotten paid for this type of work, I'm trying to determine if this is the "going rate". Any ideas on this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Caregiver Fees

We're in a high-labor urban market so may or may not be equivalent.

8 hrs of licensed, bonded caretaker assistance runs about $275/day. This is a discount from the hourly rate, which is normally $50/hr for a minimum 2 hours home health services.

HTH!


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RE: Caregiver Fees

FWIW, I pay $15.00 per hour for a 22-hour shift which includes care-givers own sleeping time. That's $330.00 so I can have a single overnight away each week. Mom has none of the issues you described. Their duties are attendance, companionship, and light meal-making and clean-up. No housework. I also call on my helpers for occasional duty at other times at the same rate with the understanding that there will be a $50.00 minimum even if the stay/help is brief because they still have to alter their schedules and drive to/from in order to accommodate. Like your situation, my concern isn't any particular skill-set of the caregivers, but trust and dependability.

IMHO, you're being taken advantage of for $20.00 flat-rate. They won't be able to find anyone to do what you do for less than double -- probably more. I could imagine being more flexible since you live close and its a regular everyday thing but I still think they should pay you more than they are. I wouldn't hesitate asking for more -- like in the range of double.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

Two years ago my mom lived with us for a while. We hired help from a reputable agency. We were charged $20 per hour with the caregivers receiving only about $12 of that amount. At that time, if we had found someone on our own, we would have been paying closer to $15-$17 per hour. That was for basic companionship duties. We are in a semi-rural community so wages are typically a little less here too.

Even though you may be only on duty for a little over an hour, all those trips up & down the stairs are demanding. Plus the meals & cleanup. I agree with the others that you'd certainly be justified in asking for more.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

When you hire thru an agency, at least 1/2 what you pay will go to the agency, usually a lot more than 50%. The worker makes far less.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

Am I clear this job only takes one hour and 20 minutes? And that is all the time you spend at the home? If so, maybe between 20-30 dollars each day could seem ok. Who takes care of her in the evening? Do the people work full time? Maybe just a bit more information could help. Is she at adult day care all day?


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RE: Caregiver Fees

Actually, the time I'm there is closer to an hour and ten minutes. And yes, that's the total amount of time that I'm there. I only help her in the morning until she's transported to an adult daycare facility. In the evening, she's transported back home; and then her family takes care of her until she goes to bed.

The only other time I am called to help is an occasional evening when the family have plans to go out. In the evening, I get paid $10 an hour. I don't have to cook for her at those times, though. Mostly just sit and watch TV with her, take her upstairs, brush her teeth, change her underclothes and get her into her pajamas, then back downstairs until her family gets back home.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

You are being underpaid....period. Basically your presence on-site is worth $15.00 an hour with a triple-that minimum for the bother of showing up. They couldn't get someone to sweep their garage for 15 minutes for $10.00 -- and they know it.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

When I checked for a care giver to relieve me so I could do things away from home it was $20 an hour for a licensed care giver. I can't remember if it was for a nurse or not. That is more expensive than a care home.

It would depend on how long it takes you to do what you do. If you are satisfied and you are untrained and doing it for extra money, I would say it's fair.


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Another thing, is you might be underpaid, but if the family feels confortable, and the person is safe that is good. Maybe later you could ask for more, or maybe for the holidays, they will give you a bonus.


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I pay a "companion" for my mother, who resides in a ALF. She charges $20/hr with a three hour minimum per week. She mostly picks my mom up and takes her to the doctor, beach, shopping, movie or restaurant. I reimburse the companion for my mom's receipts only. She does help my mom by bringing cat food and helping with keeping her apartment clean (incl kitty litter), trying on clothing, etc. She is a wonderful "friend" for my mom and is a retired nurse (unknown if that was LPN, RN, etc). I give her a bonus of about $200 for Christmas. IMO, she could demand more $ but I probably couldn't afford it. I pay for the minimum hours per week - for over two years - though she probably spends more time than paid by her own choosing. She has developed a friendship with my mom .... or so she reminds me. This is in Central FL.

Hope that helps in your *assessment*.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

In northeast Ohio I paid $13/hour for UNskilled assistance, through an agency. For this area, $20 for 80 minutes of unskilled, unlicensed, unbonded care is not bad at all. Certified nursing assitants in the local hospital will get paid much less per hour(but will have benefits). Registered nurses in the hospital start at about $22/hr.


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It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job as a caregiver & she sound very sweet & trusts you, but I also agree that you are being underpaid. You are doing a lot more in that hour & ten minutes than just being a companion. Bathing, toileting, feeding, dressing, managing meds. etc is much more than just being a "babysitter. In addition you are doing dishes & taking the dogs out.

I cared for my Dad & Mom in our home. After my Dad passed & my mothers dementia deteriorated even more, I looked into an agency so I could attend my son's wedding. They wanted $20 on weekdays with a 4 hour minimum and $25 on weekends again with a guaranteed 4 hour minimum at the least. Fortunately, at the very last moment, my Mom decided to go to the church & wedding after months of telling me she didn't want to go. Go Figure! So we never did need the use of that agency.

I would call around the agencies in your area to see what the comperable rates are. You might be able to find a fee that is more equitable for you. She is very fortunate to have you watching out for her.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

A caregiver in my area said she charges $15 an hour and she would do dishes, laundry or whatever I would want her to do. She said she would rather be busy doing something than just sitting. I may have her come sometime if I want to go shopping for a few hours, although I wouldn't have her do any chores. I think just watching my husband would be enough as he gets up and down quite often thinking he has to go to the bathroom, then can't go. He needs help walking now She lives close by (about 2 miles) so she wouldn't have to travel far. She does this type of work for a living.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

A caregiver in my area said she charges $15 an hour and she would do dishes, laundry or whatever I would want her to do. She said she would rather be busy doing something than just sitting. I may have her come sometime if I want to go shopping for a few hours, although I wouldn't have her do any chores. I think just watching my husband would be enough as he gets up and down quite often thinking he has to go to the bathroom, then can't go. He needs help walking now She lives close by (about 2 miles) so she wouldn't have to travel far. She does this type of work for a living.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

One reason we have an umbrella liability policy is that my MIL lives with us, plus me and DH have some mild health issues natural to our own aging (we're in our 50's; MIL is 82). We always have the risk that something unexpected will happen and one of us may need home healthcare assistance. I would not want to have someone working in my home without knowing we have sufficient liability coverage in case an accident occurs. We always try to use bonded/insured service providers, but just in case, we feel better knowing we have the additional umbrella protection. It's a very inexpensive insurance, compared to many.


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RE: Caregiver Fees

It sounds to me like both of you are getting a good deal, depending on -- do you want to work more hours, or is this what you want.

You are working close to home, and while most places have a minium # of hours, with no commute, I dont see the big deal. You are earning more per hour than agency would pay you. YOU HAVE A PERSON WITH A PLEASANT PERSONALITY. PLEASE DONT DISCOUNT THAT.

They are paying slightly less than in my area an agency would charge.


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