Alert
Close

Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Most
Popular

Viewed

Caregiving in the Community

Help your older friends and neighbors — but protect yourself, too

If you're being paid, new rules apply

Does your older friend pay you for cleaning his gutters, driving him to doctor's appointments or doing his laundry? If so, consult a lawyer to draft a simple contract that outlines the duties and how much you're paid. This might sound unnecessary to you, but it's vital for protecting the person in the event he ever needed Medicaid benefits to cover long-term care.

"If Medicaid were to see transferred assets, it's going to take the position that all the elder did was make gifts to this individual," says Amoruso. And gift-giving could void Medicaid eligibility. "But that presumption can be defeated with a proper contract."

Is your neighbor insured?

Before you patch a leaky roof or agree to run the lawn mower, ask your friend if his homeowner's policy is up to date. "What if you got hurt?" says Amoruso. "The caregiver's doing something out of his own heart here, but it would be terrible if that affected his means of earning a living due to an accident."

Also make sure your own insurance policy is in effect. "If you shovel the walk and miss a patch, there's nothing that would prevent the homeowner from suing you for not doing it properly. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished."

Also of interest: How to manage someone else's money. >>

Cynthia Ramnarace writes about health and families. She is based in Rockaway Beach, New York.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Caregiving
Resource Center

Find tools, work sheets and tips on how to plan, prepare and succeed as a caregiver. Select a Caregiving Resource Center topic from the drop-down menu below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx discount card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% on eye exams from Sears Optical.

membership schwanns discount

Members get double Schwan’s rewards on all online orders from Schwan's Home Service™.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.