Q: If a daughter has a power attorney over her parents and has been told that the parents need a caregiver to live at home by a government official and the parents want the daughter to be the paid caregiver instead of a stranger, can the daughter pay herself from their money? Can she pay a little less than what the agencies charge for 8-16 hours a day? If that is what the parents requested in writing? She also handles all their finances, groceries transportation everything it takes to live because they can’t do any of I on their own. Mother has Alzheimer’s disease and father had a stroke and is paralyzed on one side. Neither drives a car, cook nor can bath themselves, and they smoke cigarettes. (Blawnox, PA)
A: You should really consult with an elder law attorney who is versed in Medicaid law. He or she can review the paperwork and all the details. Generally, if the POA document allows the agent to be a paid caretaker, then such care is authorized. However, I am unsure of who the “government official” is and what specific directives this government person has given. If they feel you personally are qualified to provide this care, and do not need specialized nursing, I assume it is OK. I would highly recommend that you have your care authorized by a written caretaker contract which specifies the scope of your duties, hours and wages. This should be drafted with the help of an elder law attorney in the event your mother eventually becomes eligible for Medicaid so you can be paid and reimbursed by Medicaid.