smart spending

5 ways to find cash for caregivers

Ways to pay caregivers
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Ways to pay caregivers

The recession wiped out plenty of well-paying jobs, and it's created lots of backbreaking unpaid ones.

More than 20 million Americans provide care to a parent who needs help but is not in a nursing home, according to a 2009 report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP.

Not only are there burgeoning numbers of people donating time to care, but fewer families are also paying for outside aid, with 35 percent paying for outside help in 2009 compared to 41 percent in 2004. The report says that the tightened family purse strings after the economic crisis account for more reliance on unpaid help.

Indeed, many people don't believe services rendered to family members by relatives should be paid, says Chris Cooper, a financial planner and blogger on, a website that offers advice to caregivers. Unless there's been a family business, compensation isn't a commonplace conversation among family members, he says.

But cash may be available to caregivers in these situations:

  • When the person requiring care is poor, government assistance may be available to pay a family or nonfamily caregiver.
  • When a parent has resources, families must examine whether and how to pay a family member for caregiver services.

These questions should help to find out how and where to look for caregiver compensation.




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