Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do you know what you're worth?

There is an article at the New York Times Health page that breaks down what a home health aid makes.

Short and sweet of it: "....a week of round-the-clock help costs $1,894.90....."

Most family caregivers in a situation like mine provide round the clock care for their care recipient, and what do we make. $0.00.

We don't even qualify for earning toward Social Security or unemployment.

Which means that my care at the moment, for my father, based on round the clock care, 365 days a year for the past 8 years.... $727,641.60

Over seven hundred thousand dollars worth of care.

But wait -- the article says:

There are times, however, when two aides simply can’t cover the full seven-day week. If your mom truly needs the aide to be awake every hour of the day, we assign two aides to each 24-hour period, one working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the second working the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift. In this case, to cover the full week, we would assign four aides. Two of them would exceed the 40 hours per week limit, each having to work 48 hours during the week. So, you would have a total of 16 hours charged at the overtime rate. In this scenario, a week of care costs $3,328.80.

Okay, so based on that scenario, round the clock care, like I provide to my dad and so many other family caregivers provide their care recipients.

Now we have an estimated value of $1,278,259.20 for the last eight years of care.

Over one and a quarter million dollars worth of care that I provided - just for my father, this does not include the 8 years of care my mother needed as well, just for my father. Over one and a quarter million dollars in value of care were a stranger to have provided that care. And yet - I do not even qualify for deemed Social Security, my teeth are rotting out of my head, I am overweight because of high levels of stress which is deteriorating my health, and I have no savings to fall back on.



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