Caregiver Pay Survey: How Much Should Senior Caregivers be Paid?

Senior caregivers who excel at their work bring compassion and caring to their job duties.  Quality caregiving requires emotional intelligence along with knowledge of how to interact with seniors who are dealing with a variety of health issues.  Learning how to safely transfer someone with mobility issues and provide for personal care and monitoring meals and medications keeps a caregiver busy throughout their day.

Some caregivers have advanced training to work with seniors with memory loss, provide hospice care or rehabilitation after a stroke or hip replacement.

The big question is:  how much should senior caregivers be paid?  Senior care companeis provide for payroll taxes to allow a caregiver to collect Social Security benefits when they retire and provide for unemployment insurance and worker's compensation insurance, as required by law. This guarantees a caregiver they can collect unemployment benefits and receive compensation if they are injured on the job.  Some positions provide for additional benefits.

Share your opinion on senior caregiver pay to help educate the industry and seniors and their families:

Take the Caregiverlist Caregiver Pay Survey

We will share the results on Caregiverlist.

 

Comments (23) -

  • Marjorie Davis

    5/4/2011 5:46:20 PM | Reply

    Caregivers should be paid a base of $15 per hour across the board. Currently there are no sick leave,vacation leave or any other benefits for these workers who are paid per diem. Their work is mentally and physically draining given the seriousness of the client's health problem added to their demeanor. Sometimes it's a 2 for 1 deal, if there is a partner who gets the benefits but there is no extra pay for the caregiver. The rate should increase given the nature of the affliction. They are required to have a fully-insured vehicle in good condition which is used to transport the client to appointments, social visits,shopping and eat-out trips,etc. The reimbursement rate for the use of the car is usually very low. The Agencies which place most of these cargivers care very little about them,treating them like chattels and have no respect for the service they provide. They do not even give them a "Thank You" card at Christmas time, as that is just too much for them to bestow on these poor workers. There is going to be a change in the way the wind blows, very soon and I can't wait to see these women treated with some respect and value for the caring work they do.

  • Roberto Oliveira

    5/4/2011 5:57:10 PM | Reply

    A Care giver, or a Home Health Aide should be paid according to the severity and needs of a client, whether young or old, and per client.
    Caregivers and HHAs can easily be taken advantage of, by the amount of work they are asked to do. This can  sometimes consists more of home care then the client care.

    I am a caregiver for 10 years.

  • gene golden

    5/4/2011 6:49:00 PM | Reply

    $15 to $20 per hour.

  • Josie Perez

    5/4/2011 8:09:52 PM | Reply

    We the "the Caregiver" deserve to be paid right, most of the Agencies pay us between $8-11 an hour as a live out part time or full time. Or worse yet 24 hrs a day live in from $100 to 120. We work around the clock, while their sleeping the night away...We deserve more I agree with Gene G. and Marjorie D. We deserve to be pay>> $15.00 and more an hour and $160-200 24hrs a day.!!

  • Gary

    5/4/2011 8:35:18 PM | Reply

    Caregivers, depending on level of care and duties they perform should be paid about $10/ hour. I had to report a caregiver to the agency she worked for recently because she was mainly watching tv and once when I came to do a home visit she had cooked herself food to eat but left the wheelchair bound client hungry. And last time I had to take the clent to the hospital and the worker was not there yet reported to a housing manager that she was there that day and the client was at home and fine when I was with her at the hospital. A caring worker should be paid for what she does, and a worker that does less and has less reponsibility should not be paid at the same level.

  • Portland OR In Home Care

    5/4/2011 10:30:38 PM | Reply

    The great caregivers deserve to be paid $15-20/hr for the services they provide.  I've been a caregiver and worked in the administrative side for an agency and I can tell you that if caregivers were paid 15-20/hr there wouldn't be an agency in business to provide the jobs for caregivers.

  • Deborah

    5/5/2011 1:03:01 AM | Reply

    Caregivers ;depending on the level of care and if the job is an 8-10-12 hour shift of an overhight ;I beleive the agency you are employed with shouls have a scale of pay that they use wjich I sure they do. Anyway I think an average of 10.00-15.00 an hour is fair. wheather it be 2 or 24 hours. Caregivers work very hard and it requires a very compassionate,depandable and a person with much repect towards their clients and relatives. We also must have empathy.

  • CaringGiverNGeorgia

    5/5/2011 5:43:54 AM | Reply

    I've been a caregiver for quite some time now. I am in agreement w/many re: pay and how caregivers are unfairly treated nationwide Caregivers should be compensated accordingly and $15+ per/hr. should be a pay rate standard that is long overdue for consideration.

  • caregiver in al

    5/12/2011 1:10:41 AM | Reply

    Care givers should get paid a minimum of start of $15 dollars an hour.  I am in school for nursing and am currently a CNA. Every nurse should be one first. Good CNA's and there are , work regularly and have compassion for the people.  We are over worked. Many times, we ave 10 people to shower, shave, dress, mouth care, style hair, sometimes eleven people to care for, check and change, soothe their nerves when it is called for, feed to meals, snacks, do vitals, feed, clean the rooms, make beds,change bed linens, place the mats in correct area,  carry out linens, stock cart, do ice, take the people to activities, rehab, and to the bathroom ,and to smoke in 8 and 1/2 hours.  What is worst, have a person on their death bed and they are literally dying and their family says call them when they die and try to be with them because you don't want them to die alone and still do all that is mentioned. My heart is with the elderly. My heart is broken for the elderly in nursing homes.  

  • Holly Stallings

    5/17/2011 6:11:55 PM | Reply

    I think there should be a difficulty factor guideline to be followed and paid accordingly, but $15 minimum.  If the client has no mobility, it is, by far, the hardest job in the world.  It takes a  tremendous toll on you physically (back pain) mentally, and emotionally.  It requires a balancing act hard to maintain to prevent caregiver burnout, a very serious condition which has classic symptoms which can be detrimental to your life.  Sometimes you wonder if you need a caregiver.  A social life--what's that?  A lot of IP's work many hours they are not paid for. You can lose friends who don't understand why it took so long to call them back, why you can't be there when they want you. If you want to find out who your true friends are, be a caregiver. It requires a lot of ocmpassion, commitment, it is an honor, but can be a very lonely, isolating job with very few kudos.  

  • viorica schneider

    8/18/2011 5:25:38 AM | Reply

    I am caregiver from 2005 and I earn now les then in 2007 just 1/4. My agenti does not ofer me work and when they do they charge so much and people cancel soon they can.Agenti shwold not charge $20 and pay the caregiver 11;50.Why caregiver has to work for so litle and why agenty does charge in this way?every hour they take almost half sometime more then that.When I was working 12 hours they paid me $ 110 and that case was so hard he need to be lift and has Allsimer.I feel compation for people how need help I wish I can do more for them but I need to pay my bils to.Is so unfair this world I am thinking to call all caregivers to make this things change.I know we can do something good because we have good heart.

  • Deb

    8/27/2011 1:25:52 PM | Reply

    I agree with -->>>   Caregivers should be paid a base of $15 per hour across the board. Currently there are no sick leave,vacation leave or any other benefits for these workers who are paid per diem. Their work is mentally and physically draining given the seriousness of the client's health problem added to their demeanor. Sometimes it's a 2 for 1 deal, if there is a partner who gets the benefits but there is no extra pay for the caregiver. The rate should increase given the nature of the affliction. They are required to have a fully-insured vehicle in good condition which is used to transport the client to appointments, social visits,shopping and eat-out trips,etc. The reimbursement rate for the use of the car is usually very low. The Agencies which place most of these cargivers care very little about them,treating them like chattels and have no respect for the service they provide. They do not even give them a "Thank You" card at Christmas time, as that is just too much for them to bestow on these poor workers. There is going to be a change in the way the wind blows, very soon and I can't wait to see these women treated with some respect and value for the caring work they do.
    Left by Marjorie Davis on May 04, 2011 12:46 PM

    I have been a caregiver for 30 years..... NO benefits and now my back is bad, its hard for me to find a job where there is no lifting. I LOVE this kind of work, but now what? Frown I am running out of unemployment soon. Would love to do the *traveling Caregiver* job.  Had a awesome oppurtunity last week, great pay and very good family.... but there is lifting involved! Frown  I gave the best part of my life to this......and would do it all over again too!!! But now I need help to find a good job that pays and no lifting or at least not much!!  The caregiovers are there when we need them! WE need to be there when they need  something!!!!!!  <3

  • Charlie

    8/29/2011 5:24:45 PM | Reply

    The WORST exploiters are agencies that charge 20-25% of each check,call CG's "Indep.Contractors" and pay them from a Trust Fund - unbelievable, but true in Southern Cal.(yes,legalbutcertainlynotethical), so the CG must pay all own taxes, insurances,etc. The agency collects from client, takes 25%,pays CG's from a trust fund and this is LEGAL!!! Caregiver ends up making (maybe $100/day for a live-in) which is very demanding. Try living on this in So. California!!!  

  • Denise

    9/9/2011 6:43:10 AM | Reply

    I have been a CNA for just over 26 years and I am very good at what I do. I charge my private duty clients $15.00 per hr. and I do not blink an eye when I quote my fee. I have learned over 20 years ago to ALWAYS work with multiple agencies and when you you are not being treated well by one, walking away is not a problem. I would NEVER work for an agency were I was an independent contractor or one that demanded that I transport patients in my vehicle or wanted me to pay them a cut of my pay ~~~~EVER! Come on, we do have choices and the money is certainly out there. Agencies are going to hold on to whatever they can and pay the cna/caregiver what they can get away with, but I can tell you that if you are at the top of your game you will be someone they will want to hold on to. In parting let me add, PLEASE DO NOT BE SHY ABOUT ASKING FOR A RAISE!!!!

  • Nickole

    9/19/2011 9:53:37 PM | Reply

    I SEE ALOT OF YOU SAYING THAT CAREGIVERS GET PAID $15-20, I HAVE BEEN TO MANY DIFFERENT FACILITIES AND EVERYONE GETS PAID LIKE $8-10. I DO NOT KNOW WHERE YOU GUYS ARE WORKING. I AM A CNA AND SOMETIMES I WILL GET PAID 12-15 AT FACILITIES. I KNOW IT IS MORE AT HOSPITALS.

  • Baliegh

    11/27/2011 7:14:39 AM | Reply

    I believe the pay for a caregiver should start off AT LEAST making anywhere from $12-$15. As a caregiver we are dealing with so much at once. we have the family in our ear because they feel guilty they can't take care of their family member, then we have the patient who might be confused or violent, AND if you work in a nursing facility you'll have the charge nurse all on your back telling you to do this and that like you don't already have 10 other people to take care of. All of that at once can be very stressful for a caregiver and it is not fair that we are not being treated with a little more respect and being paid with a little bit more money!!

  • Rebecca

    11/28/2011 12:23:25 AM | Reply

    I have been a caregiver for 26 years now. It had been a struggle to be a single parent, and raise a child on what a caregiver makes. I have worked many hours of overtime to make ends meet and that took away from the time I should have been with my child. We should be paid a minimum of $15/hr and and more depending on the client and their condition. I feel that the Homecare companies that are out there and that are succeding are doing so on the backs of their Home Health Aides, If you don't have good aides you don't have a company. We should be paid accordingly.

  • Angela

    12/18/2011 7:04:53 PM | Reply

    $15/hr ia a minimum. I had clinical hours in a Nursing Home. I felt sorry for CNAs. That is very hard job with great risk for health.They have a lot of responsibilities, deal with mentaly confused elderly, and also with their feces and dipers. Why their loving kids and relatives don't want to care about them?

  • Ruth C

    12/31/2011 1:08:36 AM | Reply

    I worked for nearly two years for an agency in Virginia. When I moved here from a larger, metro area, I was surprised to find work I was previously paid $10. Per hr to do, was only offered $8.00 to start. I received a raise to $8.25 because I signed an independent contract to help cover an overnight, private paid client. I also was very disappointed to find agencies here are exempt from overtime laws. I worked 50-60 hours weekly for months. After the first year, I asked for a raise and was told the company had a freeze on pay raises. More and more I felt exploited by the agency. I was cit back to part time with no notice because the agency dropped a chronically disabled client I cared for for over a year. After months of pt work, I agreed to take another private pay overnight shifts, at the same hourly rate and over 50 miles from home. I discovered the client paid the agency over twice my salary pr hr. Then the kids told me McDonald's was doing a hiring push and starting pay was $8.50. Can you say "Disgusted!"  Yes! After attending THREE training programs and having the health & welfare of others be your responsibility, there ought to be NATIONAL standards pertaining to comparable wages for all skilled healthcare workers, as well as paid health insurance and overtime pay! Private agencies build their personal wealth on the sweat and compassion of their workers, who can't support their own families or see a doctor! What is wrong with this picture?

  • Martha E

    7/8/2012 1:14:42 AM | Reply

    I also receive lousy pay, but remember when it comes to Social work, many are underpaid. A college degree in this field won't net you big bucks.

  • Dawn D

    8/10/2012 10:55:12 PM | Reply

    My mother is in her early 70's and the oldest of 8 and is the caregiver for my elderly grandmother. She lives with my grandma and sleeps in the same room so she can help her through the night. It is a very difficult 24/7 job. She receives little help from her siblings. When my grandma passes, they will sell her assets and split the money. I feel my mom should receive monetary compensation for being caregiver, but I'm not sure what to advise her to ask for. I was told that a live-in caregiver would make about $3000 per month in No. Calif., so taking into consideration she does not pay rent, I thought about $2000 per month. Would that be correct?

  • Leslie

    3/13/2014 6:56:31 AM | Reply


    I take care of my 82yr old Dad. The livein caregiver program in this massachusetts area is offering between $20 to $50 a day. I now am a 24/7 live in PCA,quit my job and can not pay my bills. I took care of a quadropelegic stranger when I worked for an independant company and they paid me $11 an hr. I made about $50 in four hrs. Curious who sets the guidelines. He has dementia,altzheimers,blood clots(brain,leg,heart} stroke,alchoholism 20% of heart cap.,to name some conditions.He is so paranoid without proper medications he hates to pay for anything. I'm also The Healthcare Proxy and Power of Attorney and no one is helping me . Not even the Lawyer. Where to turn?

  • Christine

    7/14/2014 6:31:36 PM | Reply

    I take care of my 75 year old mother who has advanced Alzheimer's Disease. I was recently awarded Guardianship. Due to a drop in her blood pressure my mother was experiencing dizziness, fell and fractured her hip. I stayed with her day and night for a week in the hospital taking FMLA from my job.  Shortly afterward I returned back to work I lost my job. I have no other income, no savings, no credit cards, nothing.  I have recently been told that the state of IL has a program that pays family caregivers 40 hours a week for caring for their family members. I was wondering if the state of IN offers that same program as my mother needs 24/7 attention. This makes it very hard for me to find work. If IN does offer this program, what do I have to do to get into the program.  Please, we are on a limited budget and having a hard time getting by. If you can't help me can you tell me where I need to look and what I need to do to continue living together. My grandmother died in a nursing home and I honestly don't want to see my mother do the same.

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