When we think of caregiving, we immediately think of caregivers who risk their time and their own health in order to provide the best care for our senior loved ones, especially those who need care full-time. Most caregivers come from the family such as the children or other family members who are able to handle the situation, while some are hired help and complete strangers.
We are also well aware on what caregiving can do to one’s health, especially on the emotional side of things, however, there is almost no discussion in terms of caregiver contracts. Because of the amount of time and effort spent in caregiving, contracts should be part of the conversation as well.
So what are caregiver contracts?
Simply speaking, these are contracts, just like the ones you sign when you begin a dec,l however this type of contract deals with the agreements between the patient and the caregiver. Other names for caregiver contracts are personal care agreements, family care contracts and/or adult and senior/elder care contracts.
It should be noted that this should be treated just like any legal document as it establishes and upholds important aspects in the relationship such as the tasks that can be and cannot be done, payment (if it applies), limits and etc. It can also include everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking of meals, housekeeping, billing and so on.
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Is it necessary? Do I need one?
This is a question that might be asked again and again especially for caregivers coming from the family. Well, we do think you need one. This is because caregiver contracts help create a sense of security and peace of mind for both the senior and the carer. Furthermore, these contracts would be able to help avoid family conflicts as well as help clarify financial authority in case of misunderstanding between family members or the senior and caregiver.
If there is no contract, things might get hard for all parties and disagreements might happen which can eventually tear the family apart. It can also help clarify tasks and jobs that needed to be reminded to members and other health care providers involved in the care of the patient. Furthermore, if it is treated as a legal document it can help qualify the senior for health programs by the government and it could be of a big help for those with need of financial aid.
If you are after certain benefits, then this is something you need.
How should the caregiver contract look like?
Contracts may vary from situation to situation, however they all still have common elements such as:
- Name of the patient
- Name of the caregiver
- Care start date
- Frequency of services
- Description of care services
- Amount and frequency of compensation (if applicable)
- Agree duration of care (this can include ‘lifetime’)
- A clause stating that the agreement can be updated only if both parties agree in writing
- Location of services
- Signatures of patient and caregiver
- Date of the agreement