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Thread: Tipping aides

  1. #1

    Tipping aides

    Along with my help my mom has a live-in caregiver. Any suggestions for how to tip her at Christmas time? I'm pretty sure cash is the order of the day but how much? I've heard everything from $25 to $3000.

  2. #2
    this will be my 3rd christmas injured i've never tipped my caregiver's didn't know we were suppose to

  3. #3
    We don't tip. If the aide works for a registry or Home Health Agency many do not allow this, nor are aides allowed to request them. We hire on our own. We may make a raise take place at the holidays if indicated. We always give a gift, a gift card sometimes, or something we know the would like, but never cash.

    KLD

  4. #4
    If your mother is employing the caregiver directly herself and isn't going through an agency, I don't see an issue with giving whatever you feel is appropriate, whether it's cash or not. If you can afford it and are happy with the caregiver, in my opinion it's nice to offer something as a holiday bonus/tip/gift.
    Last edited by orangejello; 11-05-2011 at 05:22 PM.

  5. #5
    Here is an article that appears on the Caring.com website:

    What to Tip Caregivers at the Holidays
    By Paula Spencer Scott, Caring.com senior editor

    As if the hair stylists, teachers, and newspaper deliverymen in your life weren't enough people to acknowledge in the holiday season, looking after aging loved ones plants new deserving faces onto your gift list. What's the protocol for tipping or otherwise thanking home health aides, geriatric care managers, elder companions, nursing home aides, the woman who tackles Dad's gnarled toes every month, et. al.?
    Try this 4-step formula:
    1. Consider "The Rules"
    Here's what etiquette expert Emily Post (who's actually now a bunch of third-generation Posts, presumably all well mannered) suggests:
    * Home health aides: Gift, unless it's against company policy (then consider a donation to the agency)
    * Personal caregiver: One week to one month's salary or gift
    * Private nurse: A thoughtful gift
    * Nursing home workers: Flowers or food for staff to share (not cash)
    * Live-in help: One week to one month pay in cash tip, plus gift
    * Daycare provider: Gift or $25-$70 for each staff member
    * Housekeeper: Up to one week's pay and/or small gift
    * Yard/garden worker: $20 to $50 each
    But these traditional guidelines are only starting places.
    2. Factor in reality
    Life isn't a textbook. So consider:
    * The economy. Not to let you off the hook completely, but your budget matters -- especially this year. It's a calculus you have to make with your head and your heart, and that's hard.
    * The relationship. The person who spends hours with your parent every day deserves more than, say, the masseuse Mom sees at rehab once a week (who may not require or expect any tip at all).
    * The policy. Some home health agencies and care facilities don't permit their employees to accept cash tips, so check. Again, this doesn't mean they dislike gratitude.
    * The town. It's customary to tip wider and higher in some places (including New York City, where a lot of journalists writing about tipping -- not me! -- live) than others. So don’t just go by what you read. Ask your neighbors.
    3. Go with your gut
    Ultimately there's no single "right" answer. Ask yourself:
    Why am I tipping? Because you feel obligated? In hopes of better service in the coming year? To say thanks? My mom used to shower her mother's nursing home staff with food treats and flowers so they'd be more aware of Gram, as well as because she knew they worked hard. But for one or two of these women, she also knit fabulous blankets -- because she felt deeply grateful and wanted to express special thanks. Which, of course, is the best reason.
    What can I do if I'm flat broke? Ask your extended family to chip in. Remember, too, tips aren't necessarily big checks. Think food (a homemade specialty, a treat), grocery or Wal-Mart gift cards, or handmade gifts. Think personal -- one caregiver I know gave new pjs and a robe to an aide who stayed overnight often, plus some custom-made CDs of her favorite kind of music.
    Whatever you give, include a quick note.
    How much is too little? You tell me. Sincerity always beats generic re-gifting.
    4. Just do it (or not)
    Given that many service workers are seen irregularly over the December-January holidays, timing can be an awkward part of gratuities. What if your Mom's favorite aide has Christmas off, or Dad will be out of town over Hanukkah? Is it too late?
    No equivocating here: This time of year is a season, with a pretty wide latitude for giving. If you missed giving before the actual holiday, give after. Give as a reflection on the past year and the new year.
    The "when" is the easiest part.


    Guess it comes down to what you want to do and in certain circumstances what you are allowed to do (usually agencies don't allow tipping). Even in the case of the agencies, I don't think anyone could argue with you for giving a nice card or note and possibly a box of chocolates or some homemade cookies.

    All the best,
    GJ

  6. #6
    We give the aides a $25 restaurant gift card for their birthdays. Last year we gave them each $100 in an X-Mas card.
    One of them recently had surgery for thyroid cancer and will be gone 3 weeks.
    We sent her a $25 Walmart card in a get well card.
    They are not through an agency.
    I think it is what you can afford and how long they have been with you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaT View Post
    I think it is what you can afford and how long they have been with you.
    A good answer Linda.

    Be aware of the tax implications if you're going "high end".

  8. #8
    We give boxes of homemade Christmas cookies to the professionals I see now and then (doctor, visiting nurse, physical therapist) and a gift to the good aides (usually a gift card for a store I know they like, plus something I pick out). (The aides who aren't working out get a token small box of cookies.)

  9. #9
    What are they worth to you? Would the amount you give convey the right message? Would it make a difference in their life? Have they proven themselves? Lastly, what can you afford?

    I've had someone now for 16.5 years. Never misses work w/o good cause. Saved my ass many times when hospitalized by coming to the hospital to do my bowel care after the staff pop in a suppository, come back 1 hr later, and say that nothing's there (digital stim not allowed by nurses).

    I'm up to $1,300 at xmas, a bonus every year at employment anniv date, something at her birthday. Does she have an IRA, employer pension, inheritance, etc? No. It's hard on them and only cash, which allows them to use it in the way best for their immediate needs, serves that purpose. In my opinion.

    I've had to hold the line on salary, so I make it up on bonuses/gifts, as situation allows. Could be a problem if situation changes and it is perceived an expectation. Be prudent, but show your respect for their situation if they show it for yours. Nothing hurts more than giving cash to a caregiver only to be dissed or worse right after. Had that too. Family dynamics, think carefully.


    Trick is investing properly to generate extra income to do this and other things.

  10. #10
    I keep reading the thread title as "tripping aides," as in, a gadget to trip your aide. Must be a Freudian thing.

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