The parent and child relationship changes when frailty, health, or accident requires the child to become a full or part-time caregiver.

Parents are often uncomfortable having a conversation with their family should they become frail or need caregiving services, whether by family or professional home care services.

Scheduling Conversations with family is essential to learn the wishes for Caregiving (activities of daily living) and end-of-life decisions.

It is always my recommendation that those who will need Caregiving own a long-term care policy or create a fund to pay for care services to hire family or professional caregivers to help with their activities of daily living.

Siblings and children may want to help; however, they have their own lives, jobs, and families.

Many will be conflicted or resentful about spending their time caring for Mom or Dad.

There may be unresolved issues between parents and children. Movies and television programs have focused on these issues.

A parent’s decline in health or mental capacity will be stressful and emotionally difficult.

A Caregiver Agreement, or a “Personal Services Contract,” is a formal written agreement between a person who will need Caregiving and caregivers, who would be adult children, relatives, friends, or professionals.

There may also need to be a fiduciary agreement for family, friends, or trusted advisors to be in charge of health, financial, and end-of-life decisions.

There are numerous reasons why a caregiving agreement is advisable and valuable.

The Caregiver Agreement provides monetary compensation to the caregiver who will offset the loss or of the child’s income from other work. Income is lost along with retirement and social security contributions, which may never allow full funding or require additional years of work to fund their retirement plan.

The Caregiver Agreement acknowledges the caregiver’s participation in helping a parent with their activities of daily living.

The Caregiver Agreement will reduce family issues because the child providing the care is fairly compensated for their time and effort.

Siblings may be relieved of their guilt or embarrassment about not participating since the caregiver-child is being paid.

A caregiving agreement is valuable when applying for Medical Benefits.

When entering into a Caregiver Agreement, you’ll want to know the factors determining whether the agreement is Medicaid compliant.

a. The agreement must be a formal written document that sets forth the duties and responsibilities of the caregiver and calculating the caretaker’s compensation. Compensation should align with the fair market cost of similar services in the same geographic area.

b. The caregiver’s duties and responsibilities should not duplicate the services provided in a nursing home. It may be challenging to get Medicaid to accept the Caregiver Agreement if you have been performing the services without being paid.

c. If the Caregiver Agreement provides for a lump sum payment, it must be calculated concerning the life expectancy of the Medicaid applicant. The agreement may not exceed the applicant’s life expectancy. The Social Security Administration’s life expectancy tables may be used in most states.

d. The agreement must be irrevocable and non-assignable.

e. The Caregiver Agreement cannot stipulate that services will be provided “as needed.”

The agreement must expressly state the average number of hours offered each week. The caregiver should keep comprehensive information of all services provided and render invoices for caregiving services.

Caregiver Agreements have increased in recent years because these agreements can be an excellent solution for avoiding a Medicaid penalty while providing a caregiver with fair compensation for their services.

Medicaid has strict policies and changing rules and regulations.

It is beneficial o consult with an Elder Law attorney in your area to create a Caregiver Agreement.