Companion Over-time Exemption Protection Act: Senate Bill 3280 Update

Live-in senior caregivers are exempt from over-time pay and this works well for both seniors and caregivers as it sort of doesn't make sense to pay someone over-time pay for sleeping at night.  Live-in caregivers are paid a daily stipend and receive additional benefits such as food and are given down-time in the evening and must be able to sleep 8 hours at night.

An exception was made to over-time pay to allow for the daily stipend instead of hourly pay which would mandate over-time pay after 40 hours in a week.  Most professional caregivers do not work more than 40 hours a week if they work as an hourly caregiver, as they definitely need to recharge their batteries and receive adequate time off.  In addition, a senior could not afford to pay for hourly care for 24-hour care which is live-in care.  If a caregiver is required to be awake constantly while with the senior, then 2 different caregivers are rotated on 12-hour shifts, with one caregiver working days and another working nights.  This type of care obviously is rarely needed although it does happen for end-of-life care and then is short-term.

This exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act would possibly end if a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Labor is implemented.  However, because the exemption from overtime pay for third party employers delivers advantages for seniors who choose to age-in-place in their own home, Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns introduced a bill which would preserve the companionship services exemption.  An additional 13 senators have co-sponsored the bill and the House of Representatives have a similar bill labeled H.R. 3066 which was introduced in September of 2012.

Status update on S. 3280:

Latest Major Action:  June 7, 2012:  referred to Senate Committee. Status:  Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Caregivers interested in supporting the bill may contact their Congressman or Senator.

 

Live-in Caregiver Jobs Do Not Require "Moving-in" with the Senior: Earn a Full Week's Pay in a Few Days

Live-in Caregivers are in demand and the job position will continue to grow as seniors choose to age-in-place in their own homes.  However, while "live-in caregiver' is a common senior care industry term, it can be confusing for everyone else to understand.  As more and more live-in senior caregivers will be needed, we thought we would share a few fast facts about live-in positions for professional senior caregivers.  You may apply for a professional caregiving job, including live-in positions, in your area, on Caregiverlist.

Live-in Caregiver FAQ's"

What is the job description for a live-in senior caregiver?  

Live-in senior caregivers assist seniors with all activities of daily living, including with meal preparation and clean-up, household tasks such as laundry, managing medical appointments and medication reminders in addition to basic caregiving duties.  Seniors with memory loss or who need assistance with mobility will often require full-time live-in caregiving services.  Learn about senior caregiver job duties for professional caregivers.

What schedule does a Live-in Caregiver work?

A live-in caregiver will go to a senior client's home in the morning to begin their shift and stay for a few days at a time, always working solid 24-hour blocks of time.  The caregiver does sleep at night and also receives a couple of hours of down-time each evening.  Most senior care companies rotate 2 professional senior caregivers, with one caregiver working Monday through Thursday, for example, and the second caregiver working Thursday through Monday morning.  Usually the caregiver team will fill-in for each other if one needs to change their schedule to accommodate personal needs.

What are the advantages of working as a Live-in Caregiver?

Caregivers who have been working in facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes often find that live-in caregiving delivers the advantage of managing care for one client and the added benefit of only needing to commute to the senior client's home once per week.  The elimination of multiple managers and co-workers can be welcoming to many.  In addition, the live-in caregiver has the additional rewards of being able to socialize with the senior and participate in activities which they may find enjoyable.  For instance, maybe a senior usually goes to lunch at a certain restaurant each week.  The live-in caregiver will accompany them and join in for lunch.  Sometimes there will be family functions and even trips which the caregiver will escort the senior on.  One live-in caregiver flew to Australia with their senior client for a family vacation.  Some live-in caregivers will drive the senior in the senior's car.  The benefit of sharing the senior's lifetime of wisdom and experiences can be both fun and fulfilling for the caregiver.

How much are Live-in Caregivers paid?

Live-in senior caregivers receive a daily stipend which usually is between $90 and $160 per day, with all payroll taxes and insurances paid for in addition to this (allowing professional senior caregivers to be able to collect Social Security benefits for their own retirement).  In addition, meals are provided for and additional activities required by the senior are also provided.  The caregiver will receive their own bedroom and usually be able to choose their own food for meals.  The caregiver may go grocery shopping with the senior or for the senior and have a separate budget for their own food.  Other times the caregiver will be able to order food through Peapod or another service or create the meal plan for the food they will prepare and share with the senior.  Usually a routine will be created for the senior and this will also include a schedule for meals.  Many times senior caregivers will take pride in sharing their cooking skills - everyone has at least one great meal they can prepare, right?  Or has a family recipe that everyone loves.  The caregiver can showcase their cooking skills to the senior and know they are being appreciated.  As the owner of a senior home care agency, I can share that oftentimes the live-in caregivers would both want to prepare their own Thanksgiving meal for the senior, separate from any family celebrations.  We would work with the caregivers to make sure their schedules would allow for this and the senior and caregiver would get to have 2 Thanksgivings or Christmas dinners.  This also provides a peek into how enjoyable live-in caregiving can be - - true relationships form as you share the retirement years with a senior.  In addition, many times seniors will live in homes that have a great view or offer other amenities that you may have seen on HGTV or in magazines but never experienced, from gardens to decks to pools to beautiful yards and you are able to enjoy this lifestyle while working as a live-in caregiver.

What training is required to work as a Live-in Caregiver?  Anyone with a caring personality and the availability to stay overnight at a senior's home can work as a live-in caregiver.  Training is provided for each client's care plan and sometimes the most important training required involves understanding medical requirements for a special diet or medication monitoring. Basic senior caregiving skills can be learned through a 10-hour online training course and most senior home care agencies will also provide their own customized training.

Apply for a live-in senior caregiving position in your area on Caregiverlist or refer-a-friend to a caregiving job for the chance to win $50.  Live-in caregiving services will continue to increase as the Baby Boomer population ages-in-place.  Build a caregiving resume and enjoy the experience of not only obtaining pay for assisting a senior but also receiving the fulfillment of making their senior years more enjoyable as they are able to stay in their home.

 

 

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