Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Compensating a Family Caregiver

Given the still-fragile economy, a growing number of families are compensating relatives who serve as caregivers to elders, elder-law attorneys say.

But to avoid stoking family tensions or running afoul of Medicaid eligibility requirements, it's important to draft a formal employment agreement--and disclose the arrangement to the entire family.

According to a recent report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, about 43.5 million Americans look after someone age 50 or older, up 28% from 2004. While no one tracks how many are paid, elder-law attorneys say the numbers are rising.

Howard S. Krooks, an elder-law attorney who practices in Boca Raton, Fla., and Rye Brook, N.Y., says nearly all his clients who serve as caregivers are compensated. Such cases currently comprise about 20% of his workload, a figure that has doubled since before the recession. "When people are out of work," he says, "they are more likely to ask for payment."

1 comment:

Brandon said...

I believe it's critical to compensate a family caregiver. The sacrifices made by caregivers are huge and monetary compensation is the best method our society has for appreciating and respecting those sacrifices. We highly encourage appropriate compensation for all caregivers.