The salaries are notoriously low in the home care industry, which is made up of nurse’s aides, home health workers, and elder companions-the majority of whom are women. Forbes unfortunately says that there’s likely no relief in sight from low wages; low wage caregiver jobs will probably continue to be filled mostly by women. However, the article suggests some things women in these roles can do to help themselves when assuming the caregiver role, especially if they have siblings. It’s important to take action early, before caregiving becomes a huge burden on an individual’s everyday life.

1. Advocate for themselves among their siblings.

2. Educate siblings about the personal financial impact of the caregiver job.

3. Insist that everyone contribute when possible, rather than accept the role.

4. Set up caregiver contracts, drawn up by an elder law attorney, to compensate the caregiver sibling in some way.

5. Be specific in requesting a division of labor in caregiving.

Hopefully these suggestions will bring about a more equitable solution. However, in cases of an only child or when the other siblings refuse to assist, the burden may still remain on the caregiving child. In all of these situations, it’s wise to speak to an elder law attorney to get sound advice on how to deal with your family’s specific situation.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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