Are there risks when bringing in a privately paid caretaker?

Q: We have my mom in a board and care home. She has Alzheimer’s Disease. We’d like to supplement the care she gets by bringing in a companion a few hours a week. The companies that provide this service are expensive ($20/hr), and require a minimum hourly visit (3-4hrs). So, we’d like to pay a private person under the table, to come in and befriend our mom, take her on outings, etc. What are our legal risks? Example: if the companion falls at the Board and Care home? If mom injures the companion via the Alzheimer’s aggressive behavior mom has at times? (New Castle, PA)

A: Talk to a lawyer about preparing a Release of Liability for the caretaker to sign. There are other issues you may need to address here with a lawyer such as the potential need for Medicaid funding in the future. It may be better in the long run to have the paid caretaker under contract with proof of all payments made so in the event Medicaid is in the future, a challenge the spending of mom’s funds for the caretaker will be documented and not be an issue for eligibility.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.