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3149845 tn?1506631371

Getting paid to watch Grandmother

My mother is 90 and just made a turn for the worsed and needs some day time monitoring. I just fond out that both my sisters sons, age 24 and 25 are taking turns. Sitting watching TV, washing her cloths etc. They stay 8 hours a day and are charging my mother $15.00 and hour or $90 a day. My sisters are signers on her checking account as are paying with it. Ill be visiting this weekend to see whats going on and have not asked my mother if she knows about this.
Do you feel this is right? I mean should her grandchildren be getting paid for helping their elderly Grandmother?
13 Responses
134578 tn?1546634665
If they won't do it and it is needed, someone else will get paid.  Your sisters should have talked this over with your mother, and if they did and she agreed, it doesn't sound bad.  Better than a stranger coming in and ripping her off (as happened to my friend - the caregiver even stole his mother's medications).
144586 tn?1284669764
I have hired excellent caregivers for ten dollars an hour. They are asking more than the going rate. To be frank, I consider the situation to represent an ethical issue. Clearly, if she is a millionaire, it doesn't matter. Sometimes, if a nursing home is being considered it pays to reduce the person's savings, which will otherwise be consumed by the home. This nis a stategy. I have hired many health care aides (on the books), and have found many from Ukraine and Georgia with advanced degrees available for service.
Avatar universal
As long as everyone is in agreement, I don't see anything wrong with this.  
They are being paid in exchange for working; it's not like they are just taking money and sitting around doing nothing.

You or I would do it for free, however, these people aren't us.
Avatar universal
If it were me I'd do it for free. For everything she did for me over my life it still wouldn't pay her back but at least I'd feel like I was giving back some of the care she gave to me. And while I find it abhorrent to charge for this, I would have to recognize that not everyone appreciates and loves their grandparents like I do. So, since they're greedy and grandma isn't complaining then it is what it is. But yikes, what kind of kids did your sister raise?
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi there.  Well, I'm really sorry about your mom Life.  That is a hard time when our parents decline in health.  Very sorry to hear this.

I tell ya, blurring business with family can often make for tense situations.  I highly doubt that the care these boys are giving is stellar but then again, you know they are not hurting her.  I always worry about strangers with the elderly.  They are there with their grandma and that has some value.  Does your mom like it----  some older folks have a hard time with older people in their homes and a family member is better.

??  just questions to think about for your visit.  It sounds like they are making more than they should based on caregiver's response.  But then again, you are asking young men that should be done with college (did they go) to be somewhere for 8 hours . . .   as in, do they have apartments or bills that they do need a job that pays a bit more than minimum wage and this is the only way they will do it . . .  and again, your sister is comfy with family verses strangers?  

I don't know these boys and I don't know if it is worth it or not.  You need to talk to your mom.  It's hard to live far away in these situations.  If you think your mom is being taken advantage of, then pull the plug on it.  Or talk to your sister about it.  

I do think the longer you can keep someone in their own home, the better because people sure seem to decline very quickly when they enter care centers.  

Again, sorry about your mama.  hard stuff!
134578 tn?1546634665
Look into the local cost of caregivers, too.  Around here you could not hire someone trustworthy for $10 an hour.
13167 tn?1327197724
I agree with Annie.  My aging father just moved to my town to live in semi-assisted living and I had looked into getting some help for him before that.  

Agencies charge about $30 an hour.  I think you could probably get someone independent,  but I wouldn't trust them.  It's like leaving your infant at home with someone you're not paying well -it's a recipe for abuse.  At $15 an hour,  you might be able to get someone you could trust,  but just as likely not.  My guess is, she enjoys her grandsons company.  At the end of her life,  she has her grandsons taking care of her and not some stranger.  i think it's a win-win.

Do they not work at other jobs?    
3149845 tn?1506631371
Yes, one works and the other a student. My issue is the grandchildren charging her! Throughout their lives she paid big buck helping like paying for private school, doctor bills, cars and many other money situations.
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
The only thing is, it's a big time commitment and it might preclude them from other things.  The student might have a part time job besides going to school and the one who works is giving up his free time after work.  It sounds like their grandma has been very generous to them though.  I'm just not sure what you can do.  If the arrangement is already made and your mom is okay with it, would it cause a major scuttle for you to come in and fight it?  Is it worth it?  I hear where you are coming from but what your mom doesn't need is stress.   So, just something to think about.  
480448 tn?1426952138
Hey there, I too am sorry about your Mom's failing health.  I agree with the others' replies above.  This is kind of an iffy situation.  Difficult to be sure.

I DO agree that the person who MOST needs to be in agreement is your Mom.  Is she still of sound mind?  If so, and she's on board, I would just encourage her to get the agreement in writing, and to keep good records of their income, and expenses they have (money they need to spend in order to care for your Mom).  Sadly, it's a reality that loved ones can indeed take advantage of their elderly family members, so it's important to have checks and balances in place.  The more of the agreement and transactions that are "on paper" so to speak, the better.

The ETHICAL issue you raise about "is it right"?  Well, that's a whole other thing.  Many people would not agree with it, and many would.  Actually, if a family member quits their job to take care of a loved one at home FT, the state will actually pay them, it becomes their "job" essentially, so on that front, I get it.  

If we're talking a pretty big time investment, then I would probably (if I were you) feel a bit better about it.  If your Mom's needs are pretty minimal, and it isn't a HUGE time investment, then, yes, asking to get paid to help wouldn't sit well with me.  

However, like sm says, though, in the end, if your Mom is of sound mind to make this decision for herself, and she's FULLY aware of all the terms of the agreement, then there just isn't much you can do, and bringing it up may indeed cause more issues than necessary.  If that's the case, I think you're going to just have to respect your Mom's decision, and probably would be wise to not stir the pot too much.  You could help out as well, when you can, which will limit the amount of time the grandchildren need to spend caring for her (and getting paid).  That mat at least make it more palatable for YOU, you know?

So, again, I would encourage you to talk with your Mom about ensuring that this whole deal is done on paper, and that all the t's are crossed, and i's dotted.  If your Mom is NOT of sound mind, that's a whole other ballgame.  In that case, does she have a power of attorney?  If not, it would make sense that ALL of the siblings (not just the ones on the checking account) come to an agreement everyone can live with....and again, make sure checks and balances are in place to ensure that no one is taking advantage of your Mom.  You could even hire legal counsel to make sure everything is done properly.  When it comes to money, people don't always do the right thing, and it often muddies the waters.  If everyone has Mom's best interests at heart, then no one should have an issue with making sure everything is properly documented.

If your Mom is still lucid, and hasn't already, it may be a good time to encourage her to put her wishes in writing...from everything to final disposition plans (funeral wishes, burial/cremation, etc), to finances and POA for both financial issues AND her health care.  It's SO much easier to navigate through these tough situations when the person has clearly spelled their wishes out, and appointed a person (or people) to step in and act on her behalf if she no longer is able.

You're in my thoughts, definitely a rough time!
134578 tn?1546634665
I can only see getting huffy thinking the kids should be doing this out of gratitude *if* these were her kids.  But they are her grandkids.  It makes a difference, no matter how much they theoretically "owe" her for their medical costs, education, etc..  She presumably did not pay those costs because she was expecting them to come take care of her some day 8 hours a day and do her laundry, etc.; we "pay it forward" in life, paying our children's costs so they can get good jobs and presumably pay their kids' costs.  We aren't looking for ROI, and I'll bet your mom accepted that this is the job of the upper generations, to help with the younger generations.    

Except for watching out for any kind of coercion or abuse, I would not come on like a critical angel with a flaming sword, demanding to know why these boys are so ungrateful as to not want to work for her for free.

My little sister is excellent with older people, goes to help some old ladies she knows from church, etc.  But when I suggested she go into that kind of caregiving as a career, she refused totally, and said, "You're really just being a servant."  These are young men, doubtless with average young men's interests.  If they are also loving and caring to her, she is lucky to have them want to come do the dull and sometimes menial work of elder caregiving.  I certainly would not squawk about $15.00 an hour, in that case.  If your Mom is of sound mind, has the resources, and is on board with this, don't say anything about their supposed ingratitude.  They *are* paying it back by being there and not taking a moonlight job at a bar or Macy's.  The other option would be to have some stranger sit with her.

What I would do, however, since the topic has an element in it of you not trusting your sisters with your mother's checkbook, is to talk with them (your sisters) about where they are spending your mom's money.  They should be able to tell you and should cheerfully do so if they are working hard to manage Mom's costs.  When I was paying out and doing the finances for my mother-in-law, and would not have minded at all if my husband's sisters had asked for a meeting just to hear how the money was going.  You can frame this as wanting to have a meeting to work out together whether Mom's money will stretch for her anticipated life span.  If they are being conscientious, they would like to talk about that.


Avatar universal
Ditto, ditto and ditto AnnieBrooke.  Your last post says it all.
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