Being Paid to Care for Your Parents

January 28, 2009

As their parents have needed increased hands-on care and errand-running, many “Boomers” have been squeezed trying to juggle caring for their parents and performing well at work.  Our current economy has produced a mixed blessing for some – lost jobs means time to address their parents’ needs, but without economic security.

One solution is a “caregiver contract.”  This is a written agreement between the parents and the adult children, laying out tasks the child will perform and a rate of pay.  Set up along with worker’s compensation and the usual payroll deductions, this provides an income stream to the caregiver while giving the parent what most elders want – being cared for by her own family.  Only an elder law attorney familiar with the ever-changing rules of Medicaid should draft a caregiver contract, so that it will protect the elder in the event she needs nursing home care in the future.  If not done correctly, a caregiving arrangement can result in a later denial of MassHealth nursing home benefits.