Family Caregiver Contract Makes Sense

By John Bauslaugh on January 23, 2014

Family Caregiver Contract Makes Sense

In the past, when a family caregiver needed to provide increased amount of time and care, to keep the aging senior at home, it was expected that they would do so in spite of any financial or emotional sacrifice. Aging baby boomers are changing that expectation and many are doing it out of necessity.

A family caregiver contract is a legal contract in which a family member is paid to care for the aging senior member of the family. Once a unspeakable or ever unthinkable topic, there is a growing interest in the family caregiver contract.

Families are exploring creative solutions to providing care for the aging senior in their life. Caring for an aging parent can involve time, emotional and financial sacrifices. Providing care can involve many years of commitment and dedication. Families are exploring options so that they can provide the quality care the aging senior deserves. Many do not want to suffer the financial consequences or losses of providing that care, even though there may be tax consequences to the income they receive,

Five reasons a family caregiver contract makes sense

when a caregiver is needed.

  • The first and foremost important aspect is that the aging senior will be provided cafe by a familiar person, not a stranger. Many aging seniors find comfort in having a trusted and caring family member provide support and care for them as they age.

  • A formalized contract drawn up by a law attorney can help ease the tension and resentment that occurs between siblings and other extended family members. The attorney can act as a buffer between family members and make the tracking of the aging senior's finances available to all involved. A contract clearly will determine who is getting paid, how much and for what services. An attorney's involvement can reduce the family arguments with clear cut rules and expectations they set forth in the agreement.

  • A benefit of having a written agreement is the prevention of the caregiver and the aging seniors finances becoming entangled, which is so often the case with many family members that provide care. It becomes difficult to determine who paid for what. Over time, family caregivers become resentful and even angry at the financial loss. Having an agreement in place can prevent that from becoming a problem.

  • Utilizing a family caregiver agreement, they are paying their younger family members to provide care in their home. This can be considered a form of family long term care insurance. The family provides care receives a modest reimbursement for their services and the aging seniors benefit from remaining in familiar surroundings and receiving quality care.

  • This is a win – win proposition for both parties. With a written agreement, the caregiver can identify what they can and cannot do. The aging senior can express what expectations they have about the care. It is all clearly stated and in writing so there are no surprises or unrealistic expectations. When a family caregiver needs a breather or break from their duties, without a formalized agreement, many had no back up plan. They felt too guilty or ashamed that they wanted, needed or even deserved a break.

A family caregiver contract should address those issues and be part of the agreement. A family caregiver agreement may not sound appealing but for some families it does make sense.


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By John Bauslaugh| January 23, 2014
Categories:  Care Giving

About the Author

John Bauslaugh

John Bauslaugh

John has been reporting on home health care and independent living for over ten years. In addition to extensive research, John writes on important issues from personal experience.

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