My brother and sisters and I have been taking turns taking care of our elderly home-bound dad who is still grief-stricken from losing our mom over a year ago. He used to have faith, but has all but lost it. My husband and I have tried to take him to Mass and have a priest visit weekly with communion, but that still doesn’t help. We all take turns visiting dad and bring meals or make meals there and spend quality time with him. Some of us sacrifice our weekends and our days off or our nights after work. He doesn’t want to move and is a difficult person to get along with. He also says he doesn’t need home health care. I think he needs assisted living facility, but he says no.
My sister quit her job 2 months ago and said she was going to spend that time with dad. So she started taking care of him “giving him quality care and companionship and good food” that she said he had been missing for 2 years. She boasted at how much fun it was to be with him and how the days were so good with him and he was doing much better. My husband and I didn’t see the change in him at all. We all still go to our assigned days and were very thankful she had volunteered to be with him 4 hours a day for 4 days during the week. After 2 months, we found out she’s been paying herself an hourly rate for spending that time with him out of the checking account at a home health aid’s rate. We all have power of attorney. I wasn’t consulted, but the other sibs said they thought it was a great idea – that it was a win-win situation.
How do you put a price tag on taking care of your own dad? Where do you draw the line? We still go and visit and spend quality time with him on our assigned days, with meals and groceries and other tasks that he needs done (doctor appointments, cleaning, etc.) And what about the days she can’t go because she’s busy with other stuff and one of us always goes in her place like we always would, who gets paid? How did money come into this? Doesn’t this put a bizarre twist on caring for your elderly parent? We wouldn’t think of accepting payment for visiting our dad, and that’s exactly what she’s doing. She’s visiting him and making him dinner just like we all do.
I have been praying for guidance on this. How do I just look at this as a gift and move on and not think about the salary, because I would never think of being paid? I’m concerned for her because she truly believes she’s the best daughter and caregiver because it comes from the heart – she’s not a practicing Catholic or practicing anything. How can it come from the heart when it’s attached to a paycheck? I need guidance. I want to do what’s right and be grateful for this. :shrug: