From the elder's doctor or qualified health care provider, obtain in writing the services needed by the elder so he/she can stay at home. This can be the home of the caregiver or the elder. It is important that the health care provider list all of the important categories of care needed; for example, toileting, cooking, feeding, medications, trips to the doctor, etc.
Determine your hourly rate
Search on-line and perhaps call, home care providers who provide the same type of services needed by the elder in order to obtain the going hourly rate in your geographic region. Choose your hourly rate less (it can be much less) than the going rate in order to maximize your chances of success when a Medicaid caseworker examines your contract. Save your research in case you have to prove that your hourly rate is reasonable.
Determine the hours you can provide and set your weekly schedule
Carefully determine the number of hours of services you can provide the elder that you can realistically provide. Does this schedule make sense? Can the elder afford your hourly rate? Will other family members help you and get paid? Will the elder need some professional care as well? It must be a realistic plan
Prepare a simple contract and both of you sign it.
Prepare a simple contract to be signed by the elder (or his/her agent) and the caregiver. The agreement must match as closely as possible the list of needed services discussed in step one; the hourly rate, and your schedule. The contract should state that you are an independent contractor and not the employee of the elder.
Keep a log book
Keep a log book and write daily notes of what you did, how the elder was doing, etc. This need only be a couple of lines. You want to perform as professionally as possible. You are a professional caregiver because you are being paid for your services.
Pay yourself weekly at the end of each week
Pay yourself weekly at the end of each week based exactly on the actual hours of service you have provided. Never pay yourself before the services are rendered.
Pay the taxes on the income you have received
Pay the taxes on the income you have received. You are also entitled to be reimbursed for your mileage (for trips to the doctor, etc.) and any other costs you have advanced. Keep all receipts and proof of payments. You are not taxed on these items, just your income.
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