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Thread: How much do you pay your Caregiver?

  1. #41
    Hi crag,

    Over the years I’ve had a variety of living situations from, live in CP to having a significant other help out, to living alone and having CP's come in.

    I think where I was going with my post was or is rather,
    Each disabled person has a rather unique set of needs and a tool box of resources to work with. The trick is getting to a good balance.
    The person who requires care is an employer and they rather need to get a handle on having their needs met while meeting the needs of the employee. This is a bit more involved than Walmart. Walmart can go through employees easily, a disabled person who needs care can’t. if you fire someone and don’t have back up your screwed, right.

    At the end of the day I prefer to have the CP come-in rather than live in. in my currently held opinion it's less invasive. I try to have two CP preferably three at a time. I try to be a big sweetie too so that a past employee will be someone I can call on to pick up any slack. Tough cuz I’m really a AH but eh, we do what we can.
    CP’s assist with, bathing, dressing, cooking, some shopping, Bowel Care, going along on doc visits, etc.
    I can transfer out of bed but need assistance back in. (a day without anything going on would be 2hrs morning, 2hours night. Nights are actually less but let’s go 2 as few folks would come over for only an hour or so.) I’m not sure I mentioned but I try to live by a schedule so my CP’s know what’s coming. For the pay vs. time I ask I expect the CP to be there doing whatever needs to be done, for as long as it takes. Truth being though I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone around longer than 10 hours over a 24hr period. And I wouldn’t do it to the same CP two days in a row unless it was an emergency type situation.

    My current needs are changing with age, I’ve been disabled since the mid 70’s, so, long time and I’m older, fatter, weaker and starting to have issues. I use to go on long road trips, but don’t anymore, sad really but eh, life. During these I would cover the CP’s expenses and try to do something they’d enjoy too.

    So, where was I, oh pay for. Where I live the minimum wage is close to $9hr as I mentioned. That puts me in competition with fast food and big box stores. So to get good employees, who don’t do obnoxious drugs and aren’t petty criminal types, show up on time and aren’t more of a pain then their worth I pay a bit better. But then I’m in competition with state and agencies. Because of this I sweeten the pot a bit more. So I try hard to keep it in that 13 to 15 $/hr range, even if it means I don’t do something I wanna do. My basic needs get met so I’m ok with it.
    Actually these days my CP’s are doing closer to 17hr, past few months anyway.
    Since I’m private pay I try to give the employers share of SS/ MEDICARE as part of the pay. I also 1099 my employees. I’m not above working out a pay system to help maximize the return from other sources. So, If a CP has a couple children I’ll try to work the pay to maximize the Earned Income Tax Credit and that sort of thing. I’ll talk with my CP about this so that they have a good understanding of how this comes together for my resources and their benefit.
    I’ll start a CP out a little low at first and if they work out I’ll start the raises, a little bit, then a bit more until finally we hit the optimum level. My increases are tied to the CPI, as such I can’t really give better pay increases than I get, thus I let the CP know up front that will be the same for them eventually.
    As an example, $10/hr starting pay, first 90 days $.50, 6 months $1.50, 9 months we go to the $100 day.
    I also kinda say, two years, then we’ll talk again. And this is because of burnout. Both me and them. And this is another topic.

    oh, ps. over the years i have had a few CP's complain about the pay thing and they wanted straight hours. after a few weeks they all went back to the salary, this even though i rounded up to the nearest 15min.

    Ya know it’s kinda a game but one that I hope provides me with the care I need, the quality I desire and fills the needs of my CP.

  2. #42
    Senior Member IsMaisin's Avatar
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    Does anyone use two part-time caretakers (instead of one) on a regular basis?
    Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.

  3. #43
    yes, now and in the past.
    how can i help you, if i can?

  4. #44
    With my mother, we had 4 PCAs: 1 who lived in but also had another job (evening shift), and 3 others who were part time.

    The live-in person was paid by the week, and her board & room was considered into the equation. She got my mother up and did her morning care Mon-Fri., also did the noon-time cath, and fixed her lunch, took her to doctors appointments, etc. on those days. She put her to bed 7 days per week including bedtime care.

    One of the part time people did AM care through lunch Saturday & Sunday, and another did the late afternoon through early evening Friday, Saturday and Sunday (including fixing dinner). The fourth did that same shift Mon-Thurs. It was a fairly complex schedule, but it worked for her. The weekend and evening people were mostly students so that worked for them, and since they had some slow times during their shift, they were allowed to study during that time as long as they were available to my mother when needed.

    (KLD)

  5. #45
    I too am a big proponent of redundancy and currently have four people doing short shifts and all of which are crosstrained to do each other's jobs. Its worked very well for me for 25 years. However, now that I have lost my bed mobility I will need overnight help. Rather than have a live-in, which in my opinion puts too much on one person and is too risky for me, I plan on having someone during the day and someone else at night. However, doing it this way definitely increases the cost substantially, as you cannot get someone to sleep in your house around here for less than 100-125 per night. Even that would be considered a bargain.

    I used to have two hours in the morning and 3 1/2 hours in the evening Monday to Friday and just three hours in the morning Saturday to Sunday. Since I need more help during the day now I'm going to combine my morning and evening help into one position by keeping my evening employee who I have had for 20 years and unfortunately laying off my morning employee. But even this will require paying more than I would've liked, as my evening employee had a second job during the day which was her primary source of income.

    Around here, outside New York City on Long Island, you have very wealthy people who will pay 1000-1500 per week for a nanny to watch their kids and not even have to clean the house, shop, or cook. So when I mention to them all of that (minus the housecleaning which I have a separate person for) plus bowel care, bathing, dressing, etc. etc. they realize what those services would cost through an agency. At least, most do.

    Yes, you can probably do it on the cheap side, but you will probably experience more stress and increased risk due to turnover, inattentive care, and overall poor quality performance.

    At this point in my life, seeing my new projected budget, one starts to take a sober look at one's finances, age, and possible life expectancy and leaves one to wonder whether the financial reservoir will run dry prematurely.

  6. #46
    ouch crags, that is an issue. one reason i'm considering moving to a somewhat more 'cheaper' region. it's never been easy to get and keep good help and it's even more troublesome when in an already costly area.
    i currently live in the PNW and have had quite a bit of difficulty getting decent quality help though it seems a bit easier in more rural towns.

  7. #47
    hmm...NO ONE should ever work for poor wages.

    It's all down to what's fair, say this woman is a very good carer but she cant make her services bills what do you kind of expect?. let's add to that she might have a mortgage or ever increasing rent on her apartment?, she needs to run a car and eat, then lets add in she could have kids?.

    Yep, that's not your problem, you are paying the going rate and that's basically all you need to know about. but she has her own set of problems and who will she look out for as first priority?...herself and her family.

    I think, you should fairly expect to pay up to $25 per hour.

    Sorry, $25 per hour sounds just insane, but come on would you do it for fucking $15 per hour??. To wipe my ass and listen to my "sage" musings on everything from "the shit on tv" to "these underpants itch". i'd be expecting to pay some poor sod like $100 bucks per hour!.

    p.s. dollar for dollar the US is roughly the same and it appears from these postings on this thread that private carers look to be paid as shittily as here in australia. Come on have some sympathy this lady you have working for you she might be just worth curtailing your life to have her 'round the clock excellent care.
    "The problem with self improvement is knowing when to quit." "Diamond" David Lee Roth.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by WahWah View Post
    hmm...NO ONE should ever work for poor wages.

    It's all down to what's fair, say this woman is a very good carer but she cant make her services bills what do you kind of expect?. let's add to that she might have a mortgage or ever increasing rent on her apartment?, she needs to run a car and eat, then lets add in she could have kids?.

    Yep, that's not your problem, you are paying the going rate and that's basically all you need to know about. but she has her own set of problems and who will she look out for as first priority?...herself and her family.

    I think, you should fairly expect to pay up to $25 per hour.

    Sorry, $25 per hour sounds just insane, but come on would you do it for fucking $15 per hour??. To wipe my ass and listen to my "sage" musings on everything from "the shit on tv" to "these underpants itch". i'd be expecting to pay some poor sod like $100 bucks per hour!.

    p.s. dollar for dollar the US is roughly the same and it appears from these postings on this thread that private carers look to be paid as shittily as here in australia. Come on have some sympathy this lady you have working for you she might be just worth curtailing your life to have her 'round the clock excellent care.

    Yes, in an ideal world. But unfortunately many do not have the money. I suspect the safety net in Australia is a bit better, but I may be wrong.

  9. #49
    I agree. Nice if you can pay your caregivers more, but for my mother, having to pay more would either have meant having to go with less hours of care (which she needed for safety) or instead having to go to a nursing home. Not many people with serious disabilities have unlimited funds to pay for PCA care, even if able to do private pay instead of agency. Those who have too much savings or income to qualify for Medicaid may find it even more difficult to manage the money needed to hire PCAs without any outside $$ assistance.

    And yes, we did provide significant amounts of other perks: birthday presents, Christmas presents, meals out at restaurants, and even a cruise (for the live-in PCA) to the PCAs we hired over the years.

    I was VERY explicit in my ads about the care involved for the wage we were paying, and still had no problem garnering 20 applicants every time I ran an ad in Craigs' List for PCAs. This was in a huge urban area (Los Angeles) with a fairly high cost of living.

    (KLD)

  10. #50
    Getting "full-spectrum" care, from bowel care to dressing, just ain't going to happen around here for $15 an hour. People may take it without knowing what they're getting into, but odds are 50/50 they may not last. Those that do this type of work know how much it's worth monetarily. They may not be classified professionally to do it and therefore cannot charge the going LPN rate, but most are not going to do more skilled work at "companion" rates.

    When you're talking about simple "cup of tea", laundry, and meal prep for an elderly person who is a little unsteady on their feet and needs a companion for escorting to appointments then I would say that $15 an hour is possible around here. These people are dime a dozen and represent the largest pool of applicants that you need to choose from and hopefully can train to take their skills to the next level necessary.

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