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Getting Paid to Look After Elderly Relatives

时间:2011-03-30 06:35来源:互联网 提供网友:oz5221   字体: [ ]
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     Millions of Americans are looking after an older family member. A survey a few years ago put the value of family care-giving at $375 billion a year. And while care-giving has traditionally been something family members do for their elders, a growing minority of these caregivers is actually paid to do the job.

    Since the economic downturn began, elder law attorneys1 across the country have been drawing up more contracts that deal with how to care for mom or dad, and get compensated2 for it.
    Paying for family careDavid Fowler and his wife, Gloria, take care of his 94-year-old mother Mary Ruth, a retired3 teacher. She was widowed in the 1960s and lived on her own until a few years ago. But when her eyesight started failing, they moved her from Indianapolis into their home in Ogallala, Nebraska.
    Mary Ruth is blind now but she’s still pretty self-sufficient. She climbs the stairs and dresses herself, although David and Gloria lay out her clothes. She’s started showing signs of dementia, so they make sure she takes her medication as directed.
    David says it’s a joy to care for his mom and he’d do it for free, but he doesn’t. Mary Ruth pays her son $1,000 a month as part of an agreement that was initially4 his brother’s idea.
    "At first we were kind of uncomfortable with what he was talking about because…..I don’t want to make a profit off of my mother," says David. "That’s just not in our way of thinking."But the money is welcome. David will soon turn 70. He and Gloria both work part-time. For years they owned a photo studio in town and put everything they made back into the business.
    "Well, as it turned out digital(数字的) really killed the small mom-and-pop portrait studio and our business was worth maybe half of what we had anticipated when we sold it," says David.
    Everyone in the family is happy with the payment arrangement. Nothing was put in writing. But elder law attorneys say families should draw up a formal personal care contract.
    Protective measureLawyer Howard Krooks says it’s a way to protect the older person. There may come a time when they have to go into a nursing home, have very little money left, and should qualify5 for Medicaid, the government’s medical assistance program for poor Americans. But there’s a catch.
    "The monies you paid to the family caregiver absent an agreement in writing will be deemed6 to have been gifted by you to the family caregiver," says Krooks, "causing a period of delay wherein which you will not qualify for the Medicaid benefit."In other words, Medicaid may not pay for care for months - or even years - because it considers dollars given to a family member to be money that could have been saved to pay for nursing care. But if both parties sign a contract before the family caregiver starts the job, Medicaid accepts that as an employment agreement.
    Growing businessKrooks says his business in this area has doubled in the last several years. Other elder care lawyers say the same. Why are more families turning a personal relationship into a business arrangement? Krooks points to the recession7. Some of his clients are adult children who were laid off and can’t find new jobs.
    "They find themselves in a position of care-giving and there’s a way to really satisfy two needs: the need of the parent for the care - and the parent would have to spend a whole lot more money to hire a third party to provide similar level of services - and the need of the child to be able to earn one’s keep."He expects the number of paid family members to keep rising even as the economy recovers, because the need for care-giving is growing as America’s population ages.
    Of course, money is famous for causing family feuds8. Krooks has seen arrangements fall apart because one relative hated the idea.
    "They were frankly9 looking to have another family member provide the services in an unpaid10 manner," he says, "so that more money could be left in the estate and hopefully when the parent died, they would get more money."That’s not a problem in the Fowler family. For one thing, there’s not much of an estate to leave. For another, everyone gets along -  even if David does tease11 his mother about the family hierarchy12.
    "You always loved me best," he tells her.
    Mary Ruth answers with a laugh. "That’s what all three of you say. But there’s no good, better or best in this family. They’re all best. At least to me."(本文由在线英语听力室整理编辑)

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1 attorneys 5ea51d3bf46029faa13ddaaf3da29638     
代理人,律师( attorney的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The judge granted the condemned man a respite to enable his attorneys to file an appeal. 法官同意缓期执行,以便这个犯人的律师提出上诉。
  • At five the attorneys would have gone home. 5点钟律师们就会回家了。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
2 compensated 0b0382816fac7dbf94df37906582be8f     
补偿,报酬( compensate的过去式和过去分词 ); 给(某人)赔偿(或赔款)
参考例句:
  • The marvelous acting compensated for the play's weak script. 本剧的精彩表演弥补了剧本的不足。
  • I compensated his loss with money. 我赔偿他经济损失。
3 retired Njhzyv     
adj.隐退的,退休的,退役的
参考例句:
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
4 initially 273xZ     
adv.最初,开始
参考例句:
  • The ban was initially opposed by the US.这一禁令首先遭到美国的反对。
  • Feathers initially developed from insect scales.羽毛最初由昆虫的翅瓣演化而来。
5 qualify oCFyi     
vt.取得资格,有资格,限定,描述;vi.取得资格,有资格
参考例句:
  • I won't qualify until next year.我明年才具备资格。
  • You must qualify yourself for the post.你必须使自己具备担任这一工作的资格。
6 deemed 5e74afd8105c2b8708fa4890963ea846     
v.认为,相信( deem的过去式和过去分词 );想
参考例句:
  • The evening was deemed a great success. 大家认为这次晚会非常成功。
  • They deemed the young clergyman a miracle of holiness. 他们一心认为这年轻的牧师是神圣的奇迹。 来自英汉文学 - 红字
7 recession GAozC     
n.(工商业的)衷退(期),萧条(期)
参考例句:
  • Manufacturing fell sharply under the impact of the recession.受到经济萧条的影响,制造业急剧衰退。
  • A rise in interest rates plunged Britain deeper into recession.利率的提高导致英国经济更加萧条。
8 feuds 7bdb739907464aa302e14a39815b23c0     
n.长期不和,世仇( feud的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Quarrels and feuds between tribes became incessant. 部落间的争吵、反目成仇的事件接连不断。 来自英汉非文学 - 文明史
  • There were feuds in the palace, no one can deny. 宫里也有斗争,这是无可否认的。 来自辞典例句
9 frankly fsXzcf     
adv.坦白地,直率地;坦率地说
参考例句:
  • To speak frankly, I don't like the idea at all.老实说,我一点也不赞成这个主意。
  • Frankly speaking, I'm not opposed to reform.坦率地说,我不反对改革。
10 unpaid fjEwu     
adj.未付款的,无报酬的
参考例句:
  • Doctors work excessive unpaid overtime.医生过度加班却无报酬。
  • He's doing a month's unpaid work experience with an engineering firm.他正在一家工程公司无偿工作一个月以获得工作经验。
11 tease 2IHzi     
vt.戏弄,取笑,挑逗,撩拨;n.戏弄人者
参考例句:
  • The other boys tease him because he is fat.因为他很胖,所以其他男生都取笑他。
  • His friends used to tease him about his tatty clothes.他的朋友过去常常笑话他破旧的衣服。
12 hierarchy 7d7xN     
n.等级制度;统治集团,领导层
参考例句:
  • There is a rigid hierarchy of power in that country.那个国家有一套严密的权力等级制度。
  • She's high up in the management hierarchy.她在管理阶层中地位很高。
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