How to write a care contract for an elder

Written by gregory robb
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How to write a care contract for an elder
In the twilight of life, your or your parents may need the help that your family can provide. (lost image by JulianMay.co.uk from Fotolia.com)

Ageing is a normal part of the human life cycle. You need care at the beginning of your life, and you, or your parents, may need care near the end. An elderly care contract is an effective way to legally define family responsibilities and duties, as well as any possible compensation for family members' time, in providing care for an elder member. A contract also provides a transaction record of care expenses for low-income seniors in need of state subsidies such as Medicaid.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Elderly Care legal document
  • Lawyer (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Meet with all family members--including the elder to be cared for--at one time, if possible, to make a list of the elder's needs and discuss strategies for meeting them. For optimal effectiveness, allocate caregiving tasks to family members based on how much time they can realistically commit to those tasks. If the family deems that legal counsel is necessary, hire a lawyer to assist the family at this critical juncture.

    How to write a care contract for an elder
    Good communication leads a family to the clarity of purpose needed to coordinate elderly care. (Negotiations room in office image by Alexey Kuznetsov from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Draft, in clear language, the terms of the agreement for care services: who provides what services and when, how much caregivers will be paid and when, and the duration of the agreement. You can keep the duration open-ended with wording such as, "This agreement shall remain in force until terminated in writing by either party," or you can set a specific duration. Write a separate clause for each aspect of the contract, such as needed services, delivery of services, and compensation.

    How to write a care contract for an elder
    Terms of service, in this case, involve tasks like grocery shopping, arranging medical appointments and cleaning. (graffiti of terms of service image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Use the Internet or consult a lawyer, if you prefer, to obtain appropriate legal documentation. Lawyers can provide an interpretation of laws and "legalese" phrasing when drafting a care contract for an elder, but at a cost. If your family's care agreement is clear, concise and fully consensual, a contract template, available online, can work well and save you money. Fill in the contract document with the written terms, as agreed on in your family's consultations.

    How to write a care contract for an elder
    A clear outline of specific terms can result in a good care contract for an elder. (firma contract 10509 image by pablo from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Secure the signatures of all parties involved in the agreement, including the elder to be cared for if the elder is legally competent.

    How to write a care contract for an elder
    A clause is a specific section and relates to a specific provision of the elderly care contract. (ambiguous clause image by bilderbox from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • A memorandum of understanding, such as among siblings, can help to bridge the disparate views of family members about what constitutes "quality of life."
  • Caring for an elder can be time-consuming and challenging, so expect to feel overwhelmed at first.

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