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Thomas Simeone Explains How to Make a Caregiver Contract

The needs of our parent and loved ones who have grown old or are disabled can increase over time and become difficult for you to meet while maintaining a full-time job and satisfying your other responsibilities. In addition, issues often arise between family members as to who is responsible to provide care, the type of care to be provided, and whether the caregiver is to be compensated for their time and expenses. If you want caregiving responsibility to remain in your family, you may want to create a contract that stipulates everyone’s expectations and responsibilities.

Caregiver contracts, sometimes called personal care agreements, make sure that all family members have the same understanding of the needs of their loved one. Having a solid care giving contract protects the individual who has to give up the most to fulfill their full-time caregiving duties. These contracts also help families avoid arguments over how to care for their loved one.

When our attorney Thomas Simeone was interviewed by aplaceformom.com about caregiver contracts, he pointed out how the need to provide care for a family member can become troublesome to a family, “Having one member serve as a formal caretaker often brings out underlying familial issues, including competitiveness, favoritism, jealousy and the like.”

This is why it is helpful to create a strong caregiver contract, though doing so sometimes requires the assistance of an unbiased party to settle the details of the agreement.

Details that need to be addressed in the caregiver contract include:

  • Benefits: How to fairly handle health expenses, paid sick days, and vacation time.
  • Compensation: Caregiver pay rate for the hours they work.
  • Dates: Set forth when the contract begins and ends, as well as a date to revisit the terms of the agreement.
  • Expenses: Caregiving often requires a person to incur expenses. The contract should include details about how to handle extra expenses.
  • Hours: The contract should stipulate the amount of hours that will be worked each week and who will fill in for the rest of the time.
  • Payment terms: How and when payments to the care giver will be made.
  • Responsibilities: Specific details about the daily activities needed to care for the family member in need. The responsibilities should be stated as clearly as possible.

It’s also important to plan for emergency situations. As Thomas Simeone advised, “It is vital to have other family members agree to be back-up caregivers because emergencies that prevent the caregiver from working will arise.” Having plan for emergencies can limit confusion and disputes, while ensuring that care is provided when needed.

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