Emergency, Emergency, Emergency!!!!
Here’s a bit of good advice for you to know when it comes to dealing with live-in-caregivers. Count on, and I mean really count on, the fact that you will be hit up for a loan by a caregiver.
Now, the good news is that this won’t happen right away. It will happen once the caregiver has gained the complete trust (and affection) of the elderly family member, and of the extended family. However, once a relationship has been established, get ready for being hit up for the loan.
And hold on to your seats, because the request will be powerful. It will be heart-wrenching. It will be a wipe the tears away from your eyes moment. It will be the tale of an unfortunate soul, under the most unfair and unfortunate circumstances and/or extreme injustice, who is at the end of their rope.
But, just as your heart is breaking under the strain of this story… you get good news!!! The good news is that thankfully this entire tale of woe can have a happy ending if you, and only you, could find the compassion and courage to loan the caregiver $10,000-$15,000 (at least). You will also be given every assurance, promise, and plea (short of actual security) that the loan will be short and repaid.
Now, after hearing this whirlwind tale, you will be totally confused over what to do–unless, of course, you read this article first.
On one hand, there is no way that you would ever loan that type of money to a semi-stranger, unsecured. But this semi-stranger has been chosen and entrusted by you to take care of your family member. The caregiver knows that, you know that, and you both know that you are counting on the caregiver to pull through for your family member. Talk about being in a “tight corner” (and the caregiver knows it). Therefore, you will bend over backwards with rationalizations, and want to make the loan just to keep things running smooth.
So, against your better judgment, you make the loan.
Well, what happens next? That answer depends on the caregiver. Here are the predictable results of what comes next after making the caregiver an emergency loan:
- Either, the caregiver immediately quits after receiving the money without leaving any forwarding address with you or the agency;
- The caregiver strings you along each month with stories about why the loan cannot be repaid, until the caregiver eventually quits without leaving any forwarding address. or
- The caregiver pressures your elderly family member to tell you to stop seeking payment of the caregiver until after your family member passes away, at which time the caregiver will be long gone without leaving any forwarding address.
In either case, you won’t get paid back — and you won’t hire an attorney at $$$$ an hour to go after the caregiver, who may have little assets to begin with (if you can find them).
O.k., so what happens if you don’t make the loan? Well, for starters, pat yourself on the back for making a good choice. However, that decision should also come with a “pink slip” for the caregiver, and a report to the agency (if one is involved). The bottom line is that a caregiver should never be asking the family or the family member for a loan. If the caregiver does, it is time to consider getting a new caregiver. If the caregiver wants a higher wage, and deserves it, then that is a fair negotiation you should consider having. But, that’s it. Because, if the caregiver is a inheritance predator (and a loan request is a tell-tale sign), and you say “no”, then just know that the caregiver might go behind your back to get the loan directly from the family member, or use your “heart of stone” refusal to try to unduly influence your family member against you.
In all events- heed this advice — be very careful about a caregiver who asks for a loan. They may need really desperately need it, or they may be a predator. You can’t afford to stick around to find out which one is correct, because remember today, more than ever — inheritance is poison.