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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

4 Reasons to Have a Personal Care Contract

POSTED ON: November 12, 2018

Studies have found that an estimated 90% of seniors prefer to receive care at home vs. receiving institutional care. They want to continue to live in the comfort of their own homes as long as possible to stay close to their loved ones, maintain their independence, and enjoy a better quality of life. Another good reason to stay home is that the cost of home care is less expensive than residing in a nursing home or assisted living care facility.

When someone is receiving care at home from a loved one, it’s a good idea to create a personal care contract also known as a caregiver agreement. Here are four reasons why it’s a good idea:

  1. Defines the caregiver relationship
    A detailed caregiver agreement makes clear the types and extent of the services being provided by a family caregiver and the amount of money the caregiver is getting paid. This way both the caregiver and the care recipient have the same understanding of the relationship. For both people to be content in this relationship, it’s important that there are set boundaries to what the caregiver will do.
  2. Maintains peace in the family
    The caregiver agreement helps minimize any fights between family members over the handling of an older person. Every detail of the relationship is out in the open for all family members to see, including the payment amount being provided in exchange for what services.
  3. Helps with MassHealth eligibility
    If an older parent makes payments to their adult child for caregiving without a personal care contract, MassHealth (Medicaid in MA) deems that money a gift, which is a disqualifying transfer. Basically, those payments will delay the older parent’s ability to be eligible for MassHealth.  A caregiver agreement creates an employer/employee relationship so instead of gifts, the transactions are considered as payment for services and therefor not disqualifying.
  4. Keeps the money and the care in the family
    People are often more comfortable receiving care from a devoted family member, and it’s nice for the care recipient to know that they’re money is staying in the family vs. going to an outside institution.

We can help your family create a personal care contract. We’ll talk to you about the care recipient’s needs and together we’ll work out what services will be offered by the caregiver in exchange for a specified payment amount. Contact us today for a no-cost, confidential consultation by calling (617) 299-6976 or sending an email to mkarr@maheritagelawcenter.com.