Learn something new every day More Info... by email
A caregiver contract is a legal contract which defines the rights and obligations of a caregiver with respect to the client. Contracts are used to make the specifics of the caregiver-client relationship very clear so that there will be no confusion in the future. A lawyer can draft a specific contract, and it's also possible to use boilerplate contracts, many of which have fill-in options which allow people to describe specific duties. Using a contract for employment can be beneficial to all parties.
In the caregiver contract, the services which the caregiver is expected to provide can be clearly outlined. These can include assistance with daily tasks, administration of medications, help with errands, and so forth. The contract may also clearly define tasks which the caregiver is not expected to complete. For example, many providers of home health services are not cleaners and will not provide cleaning services, and appreciate having this clearly discussed in a caregiver contract.
The contract also describes the number of hours to be worked every week, the pay offered, and other terms of employment. It can also define conditions which can lead to termination, which offer a form of protection for the client. A personal caregiver may also request that a caregiver contract include allowances for vacations and other breaks, as providing continuous care can be difficult. If a caregiver will be living in with the client, the caregiver contract may also define the specifics of the live in situation, ensuring that the caregiver is provided with a private room and other amenities.
In some nations, it is growing increasingly common for family members who provide care to ask for a caregiver contract. There are a number of reasons for doing this. One reason is that it can eliminate tension and friction between family members by designating a family member who provides care, spelling out the terms of that family member's compensation, and defining the duties that family member provides. Using a contract can also allow clients to access government benefits, as they can demonstrate the need for a caregiver and point to the types of services provided.
When developing a caregiver contract, it is important for the client and caregiver to both look the contract over carefully. If the client requires care because of illness or disability which may impair decision making abilities, an advocate for the client should inspect the contract to confirm that it will meet the needs of the client.
I wanted to add that many assisted living facilities can be an alternative to having an in home caregiver contract. The nice thing is that the family member is in a facility that allows for nursing care if they should need it and also can be in the company of others because many of these facilities also offer recreational activities as well as nursing care.
I had a friend who had her father in an assisted living facility and they would have scheduled trips to the mall along with movie screenings so they not only received medical attention, but there was also a nice level of companionship among the residents.
If I had an elderly parent, I would be afraid of them staying home alone because at an assisted living center I know that they have round the clock nursing care. It might cost a little more, but this way you know that your loved ones are safe because caregivers do have to take time off and may not always be available.
Also one sibling does not have more of the responsibility than another because if there are costs that the parent cannot pay each sibling can pay the charges evenly.
I know that my aunt has a caregiver stay with her a few nights a week because my cousin travels on those days. Her contract is flexible but she averages twenty four hours of care every week. Some weeks the caregiver stays overnight and other weeks when my cousin is in town she only comes in for a five and a half hour shifts Monday through Friday.
The arrangement has worked out really well. I know that some companies contract out caregivers for a minimum of two hours, so there are short term options for people needing a few hours of help every week.