Senior Caregiver Pay: How Much Should Caregivers Be Paid?

This past weekend the Washington Post magazine published an in-depth story about senior caregiving, profiling a 63-year-old caregiver, Marilyn Daniel, who cares for multiple senior clients as a home health aide.  The story mentions the turnover rate of 40 to 60% for direct-care workers and the low pay.  Although the article says caregiving does not pay much more than minimum wage, which is actually inaccurate, as the federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour and Marilyn Daniel is paid $12.40 per hour, nearly double the federal minimum wage.

Caregiving actually does pay much more than the minimum wage in every state and Caregiverlist provides the minimum wage information in every state to help caregivers negotiate their pay rate.  The highest minimum wage is in Washington state, at $8.55 per hour, followed by Oregon state at $8.40 per hour and then by California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, all paying $8.00 per hour.  Most state minimum wages are somewhere between $6.55 and $7.25 per hour.

As is often noted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the occupation of senior home care aides as the second-fastest-growing occupation in the U.S.A. with projections for a more than 50 percent increase in caregivers during the next decade.

Payroll taxes are typically another 25% of a caregiver's pay (Social Security, Unemployment, Worker's Compensation Insurance), although a caregiver does not see this money as take-home pay, but rather as payments direct to these benefits.

How much do you think caregivers should be paid?  Should there be set increases according to advanced training completed and skills tests?

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Comments (82) -

  • I think caregiver pay should be connected to the type of job the caregiver is performing.  If it is just companion care then $9 or $10 per hour is fair but if it is hands-on care requiring physical labor and managing a senior's emotions, the pay should be closer to $14 per hour.  Caregivers with certifications should definitely be paid more.
  • I have been working as a caregiver for more than 5 years.  I had minimum wage jobs prior to caregiving so much prefer working as a caregiver because it provides a wonderful connection with a senior, in addition the pay.  I am happy with $10 per hour but feel that there should be pay raises after finishing training and for each year of service.
  • As in any other occupation, I think caregivers should be rewarded for training and for the length of service in the industry.  Ten dollars should be a minimum for pay and adjustments should be made according to the difficulty of the tasks being performed and the location of the client. The employer should have a written contract showing the pay increases available when additional training is done and the increases available for each year of service.
  • I am hired as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA).
    I had to pay to attend the one month training, and, pass the numerous tests.
    My Certification is not an illusion, but, a real training.
    I have to pay for yearly updated credentials such as CPR, First Aid, BLS, physical, chest X-ray, TB & various Immunizations, such as Hep., etc...
    Each employer makes me fill out a multitude of forms, and I run around for drug test, and anything to comply with their requirements.
    A CNA is supposed to be paid accordingly, and, treated fairly with decency.
    HOWEVER, after a lifetime of dedication and experience, in various States,
    I am sad to report that, it is a "new hypocrite scenario" for CNAs... and Caregivers.
    In 2006, I worked 24/7 for 6 weeks, in California, hired as a CNA, to work as a Caregiver...
    I was paid $150.00 daily, and $225.00 on Holidays.
    My plane fare was paid to get me to the client.
    I drove her car for her errands.
    I ate her food, and slept in her home (what little I slept...)
    Today........ I am offered ridiculous amounts...
    such as $100.00 for 24 hours of care.
    Yes, we sleep.
    With one eye open... I have never had clients who slept through the night.
    And, I have always made several bed checks... throughout the night. So... yes, I am "AT WORK"... and, no, I do not sleep much or well.
    I am used to that. It is what I do.
    However, I should be paid, and not cheated.
    Live-in.......... is not supposed to equate to NO PAY.
    We do not LIVE there. We WORK there.
    We deserve a wage. A FAIR wage.
    I am hired as a CNA.........
    but, my wage implies a different, lesser status.
    I have one client who hires 3 CNAs.
    One is paid 16.00, one 13., and I earn 9.00.
    The Registry obviously underpays me...
    The laws are that we must be paid overtime after 8 hours, and after 40 hours.
    This Registry never pays me any overtime.
    Actually, I repeatedly must remind them that they are cheating me of 4 hours each paycheck.
    They pay me 8 hours when I work 12.
    There is some odd "creative accounting" on my pay stub...

    Some Registries make us sign papers that we won't get overtime, or will pay our own taxes, as self-employed.
    A person earning $9.00 to $16.00
    is NOT a self employed person.

    If you got hurt while on duty...
    there would not be any Work Comp for you.
    If you hurt someone, or broke something, or, made any type of error... you'd be sued...
    An employee is covered through the Registry.
    A self employed person is on her own at all levels...
    Once you retire,
    and attempt to collect Social Security...
    there would not be anything there...

    I am asked to drive clients in my car.........
    I am not a Taxi Driver.
    My insurance does not cover this.
    The liability.......... far exceeds logic...
    Gas is way too expensive.
    Clients wet their pants...
    I can't drive and watch clients at the same time.
    I am not familiar with roads in all Cities...

    The Registries are USING, ABUSING us.............
    The wage never equates our duties.

    The point is.........
    NO ONE watches over CNAs and Caregivers.
    We are expected to have credentials and experience...
    and, we become prey to ruthless employers who detour laws... No one protects us.

    HHA, Caregiver, Companion, CNA..........
    All equate no wage.............

    Anyone just starting out, should attend an RN training.
    Registered Nurses earn huge wages, benefits, and are treated respectfully.

    Good luck to everyone.

    • ray
      Hi.  Thanks.
    • Gia
      Marie Smith, you said it SPOT ON!  Thank you.
      We run around on our OWN time and PAY out of POCKET for everything.
      People took advantage of my good heart and now I will NO longer allow it to happen again.

      May God shine His Light on all!  CNAs rule!
    • Thanks for sharing your story. The story about the treatment and exploitation of CNAs needs to be told. It seems to me that the elderly care system is run like a clearing house business. Where good care doesn't really matter. What matters is the bottom line profit. The job market the way it is has created a situation where companies have plenty of workers in the pool and can pay whatever amount they want, no matter how much experience a CNA has.
    • You are so right Marie Smith! I was first trained and Certified in 1986 as a PCA. Been working since and in different states. The rude people in this company i'm with now lied on public website saying you get paid starting $700.00 every week. I never received till this day May 2015! The first case was in massachussettes where the client wanted to stay up 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. and I told him NO! He wore a diaper and was falling with other caregivers while disrespecting me. I never got a break when the family came home. So I left the case. Now on a case with the sweetest client who had a stroke, paralyzed, wears a diaper all day and night I change now up to 3 times a day! I was getting up at 6 a.m. to dress and driving him to day care that the agency never told me about 6 a.m. and the rest of the list on this page, i'm using a manual wheel chair, manual hoya lift and 3 braces on his body every day I put on him, but i'm getting paid less then $90.00 a day with hardly no rest and some times the night aide didn't show up so I was doing double work pulled my hip/back twice, but now I am leaving and I have passed my Caregiver exam yesterday and I asked God to please send me to the right live in job week days only for me with the right pay $140.00-$200.00 a day like I am suppose to get asap near my home. This has to STOP IN This Country that' Suppose to be so fair to legal Americans like me and millions of others and so great! It's ALL LIES!
  • Most Certified Caregivers(hha's-cna's,pca's) do RN's work as far as caring in home,hands on for the paitient when they are hurt, sick and need full oncall attention. Paitients lives are in these caregivers hands.
    Not to mention Caregivers do get sick from caring for their paitients,-colds,flu,rashes,anything contagious..ect.. while RN's get paid to to the paperwork, home care caregivers are paid to do the real physical work and as it may be rewarding morally to care for one who cannot care for themself,still caregivers need to live and shouid be paid accorsdingly to the work they are performing as well as taking into consideration the health risk involved.
    RN's and LPN'S are paid around $30.00 an hour so I feel caregivers shouid be paid close to that, why not? $10.00-$12.00-$12.50 thats nothing!How dare you insinuate caregivers are not worth more???
    In  compaired to what caregivers go through and sometimes the paitients are very difficult to handle.
    Caregivers shouid be paid $17.00-$20.00 dollers an hour-especially when hourly homecare aids only recieve 2-to-4 hours a day as a permanant schedual, and they have to ride around to each case in the surge of high gas prices and little to no car milage reimbursment.
    Non certified Companions shouid receive 12.00-14.00 because they are not hands on but still some enviorments the paitients are in are filthy,unclean and the companions and homemakers still have to clean as well and are still at risk of getting sick.
    Their shouidnt be a question or debate whether or not Caregivers shouid be paid more, its better for the caregiver and the paitients well being also if they were.
    • AMEN to that. That is true but I guess they look at it the money way because they do spend more money on school, however, caregiver not asking for the same pay but close to. It is hard work I am doing it right now and it is a lot of hands on and mental stress. I hope the pay change soon.
      • There are overhead cost in running any business.  We would have to bill the client an amount they could never afford.  Then there would be no care at all.  Just Saying.
        Caregivers are priceless.  You have a special gift to care for others.
    • There are overhead cost in running any business.  We would have to bill the client an amount they could never afford.  Then there would be no care at all.  Just Saying
    • First of all, you're not a Licensed Professional.  You're a caregiver/CNA.  You don't have the education of an RN or an LPN.  These nurses went to school for 2-4 years to obtain a degree which cost tons of money.  So, they earn every bit of that 30$ + an hour.  You're missing the big picture, EDUCATION!  The nurses sacrificed a lot to become nurses with big titles, so that they can have more opportunities to work in different areas of the healthcare field.  When you go to nursing school dealing with all the hell you have to go through to complete your education, then you will understand.  Whether you're a "sit behind the desk" nurse or a floor nurse, it doesn't matter.  You have earned the credentials to be able to choose which one you want to be.  I hear this constantly all the time, where CNA, HHA, and Caregivers complain about how much money the nurses are getting.  You want to earn more money without putting forth the money for higher education.  How is that fair that nurses sacrifice their families and other things to go earn a degree, but others don't want to.  But, you demand higher pay without the education.  Go get your credentials and then let's talk about it.
    • In what planet do LPNs get $30/hour?  I get 17 for home care in Florida and I do the physical work of a CNA and the paperwork of an RN.  I also pay (like everyone else) for my CEUs, cpr, and training.
  • Personal care is an amazing service. Is it too much to ask that caregivers receive higher pay than someone who takes your order for a burger? Caregivers (even those not certified) make sure our elderly are safe and can live a dignified existence at home. Some (especially family members who take care of elderly parents) work around the clock with no financial incentive.

    Put a price on it? OK, how about twice the minimum wage, with some sort of benefit package as well.
  • I totally agree! I am a Registered Medical Asst. and I bust my butt with patients, while our RN & LPN fill out paperwork. I love helping people and I love the euphoric feeling of making a difference in a person's life. However, I am also trying to make a living to help care for my family financially. The general population has no problem accepting the fact that these professional athletes make tons of money for doing what they love. I am not suggesting I make that type of money but what I do indeed suggest is that I should be compensated for doing what I love to do as well...especially when it has to do with the health and well being of another human being!!!!!
  • Caregivers carry a big burden. Cleaning, running errands , putting up with certain  demands and leaving
    you concerned about your own health, and well being as well. We should be considerate and respectful not only with work ethics, but with pay ethics.Does honest an ethical Conduct exist anymore? Lets Be fair
    at least $15-$20 per HR

  • Quality of life, what price can be placed on that?  A quality caregiver, one whom engages their client on a moment by moment basis, is worth their weight in gold.  There will always be mediocre caregivers who do the minimum, if that, however a caregiver that treats their client as if they were taking care of a loving family member is priceless.
    I feel a part time caregiver, one whom is capable in all aspects of care, to include medical monitoring, sanitation, quality meals, extends a quality life and creates a loving atmosphere is worth a min. $20 per hour.  A sleep in 24 hr caregiver should paid $300. daily.  This is one of the most demanding jobs if done properly and should be rewarded accordingly.
  • I have been a CNA for about 5 years. It is up to me to pay for my certifications, vaccinations, gas, ect.. I worked hard through my training. (of which I payed for) Graduated top of my class. Here I sit 5 years later making the same amount $10.76 as a non certified hha. What a joke. Don't get me wrong I love my job and my clients but all CNA/PCA's deserve a decent pay. I made more working at McDonalds 6 years ago. The state should be ashamed of themselves!!!! We save them millions a year to keep the growing senior population healthy and happy in thier own homes. I have never had a job that was so physically or emotionally demanding in my life. We deserve to make more than minimum wage. We earned our certs. I'm sorry to say that the only reason I keep my job is my clients. I'm even sorrier to say that I can not afford this job anymore.
  • A Cut Above Home Help Care, is a Indiana-based home care agency that is willing and able to provide  caregivers (CNAs and experienced) to elderly people in Indianapolis  and its neighboring cities. We are managed by a Professionals and our Agency is LICENSED, BONDED and INSURED . Our caregivers undergo background checks and are eligible to work here in the US legally. Our philosophy is caring. Our goal is to maintain the dignity and independence of your loved ones. We create and maintain a family atmosphere. We  are an   independently owned non-medical Home Health Care Agency. We are committed to our clients and their assisted living needs. Our goal is to give dedicated health care assistance and support to our clients and to their families. We can provide home health care services to anyone in the Greater Indianapolis  Area from 18 years of age to seniors and elders.

    Our Mission
    We help seniors to stay safe, secure, and happy in their own homes or. We provide “the possible” in home care and assisted living services at affordable prices. We become the “link” that organizes home care for your loved ones and provides peace of mind for you

    .Respecting your Privacy
    All information we receive about our clients and their families is kept strictly confidential. Many of our clients are referred to us through other organizations and societies. These may include physicians, social workers, government and home health agencies, trust companies, hospitals, guardians, and other clients.

    Protecting our Clients and Their Families

    We are bonded and insured. Selecting our caregivers includes a thorough screening and background check.  
    Cost and Guarantee
    Our rates are reasonable and afford ably priced at only $13.95 per hour.
    Our services are unconditionally guaranteed or your money will be refunded.
    Families can save a lot if they let us provide them with our caregivers. Most companies start at $25  hourly. We want to save you and your loved one money.  We also help the low income by charging only what they can afford which sometimes is only $8 hourly. We can assure you that we will respond appropriately to your needs and do our best to match the needs of your loves ones with our pool of well-qualified and trained caregivers.

    At This Moment We Have A Two Week Waiting List.
    You  May Want To Call Right Away And Add Your Name To Our List,
    So That You Will Not Have To Wait Longer Than That.

    AS Our Waiting List Seems To Be Growing Longer Everyday, We Are Also Seeking More Professional individuals to Take Care Of Your Loved Ones.If You Or Someone You Know 50 Or Older Have Experience In This Field Please Give Us A Call.
    You May Have To Leave A Message Because
    Our Phones Are Always Ringing Especially With These Prices.

  • I have found america to be in a moral cesspool and declining.  We value a person who can throw a ball more then someone that cares for someones health and life.  I am a live in care giver.  I am from a very large family (15 children) out of that six will help with my mother.  Out of the six left none say they could do the job.  The six that help value their material things more then their moms life.  I put in over five hundred hours a month.  Yeah some people say that some of that is sleeping but if you ever lived with someone that depends on you, its not hard to realize you sleep maybe two to three hours at a time.  Some nights even less.  You clean their bodily fluids from them or what ever they have leaked on to.  Sometimes gagging from the smell.  Wonder if the over paid athletes would do this.  You pick up the pieces of their routine everytime something goes wrong.  Not many would sacrifice the hours that can never be got back.  Senators pass their pay raises while cutting your hours.  DSHS does everything they can to keep hours at a minimum.  No one offers to take your place just to help out.  Your freedom is forfieted because you must be there 24/7 for someone else.  A caregiver does this out of compassion and love.  One can tell the state of the world when they give the lowest wages to the most important job in the world, which is forfieting the majority of your life to give care for the less fortunate so they may live a life seminormal to those that go on their way to hord more material things in their already packed garages.  Until people that turn a blind eye look to see We care givers will be brushed under the rug so they can live a life that lets them live guilt free.  It should be manditory for each american to give a month of thier life for the less fortunate so all can see what a job it really is.  I think alot of minds would change on the price we recieve.  To all those care givers that no one is helping my prayers are with you and remember there is a Higher being watching you.  Someday we will all answer why we did things..maybe this will help your case then.  
  • I read much of these comments but I did not see anything about the exemptions which allow caregivers to be paid less than minimum wage.  there is a federal exception and state exceptions in many states.  I'm not saying it's fair, I'm just pointing this out.
  • I am a caregiver , I do so because if i don;t it would be just one more senior in a nursing home with out love and compasstion . I care for a 55 year old Retired Military Sgt who has brain Injury . I met her because she was trying to get help and couldn't . In fact i cook and feed her ,clean, wash her, carry her ,take care of her two service dogs pay her bills drive her to apts and if not enough sit by her when she goes through bouts of depres. and brain injury as well as cancer . I have three teens at home i work as well and well here is the biggie i don;t get paid to do this . I do it out of love and knowing this is how i would want to be treated . The money which i would be makeing pays for her to have other care which she could not otherwise afford . She has a chance in life to come around to be a first class citizan instead of feeling worthless. My pay Priceless . i'll die knowing i did something in life besides cash that check .To those that dwell on money ...wait till you get old and need help ,,,Then you'll relize just how much you're worth ....
    • If the person is a retired military sergeant
      they may be entitled to other benefits through
      other programs. The department of rehabilitation
      pays personal assistants.
      If you are saying you get paid and
      you use the money to perform other miracles...
      just because you care and are a caregiver is more than noble,
      there is no guarantee, that because you did so,
      you won't need a caregiver (or someone will come to your rescue)
      when you are old and won't be able to pay for yours, because you did not get paid while you were well and young and could work and get paid.
      Realize your worth now, then it will be too late, look for some programs...
  • I am a self employed care giver, and I charge $18 to $21 an hour, with a 3 hour minimum per visit, for my sevices, which list over 30 different things that I do for my clients as they are needed, with free food and drink while on duty,.... yes, the list includes wiping them clean if necessary.
    Included on the list are a few duties outside the house, namely mowing the yard, fixing the fence, watering the flowers, washing/polishing the cars etc., after working hours and for extra pay.
    I am not trying to skin anybody, I am told that I do a very good job on all that I do, caring for the patient and the few extras. I am not going to GIVE my time away.
    After all is said and done, in paying my taxes, SS , health , home and auto insurance, gas, tires and auto repairs, I may end up with $12 per hour.
    I will not work at taking care of a person for agency wages. (I would end up with abuot $3 per hour)
    I don't blame them , I know that they have to pay the fees to do business and make a profit. But in a scenario like that , everybody gets their fair share except the caregiver, and I do not like those odds.
    I like what James wrote:
    "It should be manditory for each american to give a month of thier life for the less fortunate so all can see what a job it really is. I think alot of minds would change on the price we recieve."
    Do yourself a favor do the legwork, find as many diff. ways to let people know what you can do as a good caregiver and go on your own, just do not forget to pay uncle sam, and remember you are not there to watch TV. Good luck to all of you , always Alberto

  • J
    Angie that's nice you do what you do free, but most people are not in your position and need payment to support themselves or to care for dependents.
    Desiring a pay that shows you are valued is not a  "hangup"it is a matter of survival.
    People who provide care are often caring by nature. It is manipulative to turn this against them, chastising them for wanting to be cared for in return. Of course,it is often women who are care providers, and women get guilt-tripped into doing a lot of hard work for not much. Caregivers should form unions like blue collar men did along time ago.

  • I was asked by my Mother 8 months ago to come live with her and help her. She has COPD and has reached a point where she is no longer able to do most of the thing we all take for granted, Drive Shower, prepare meals pay her bills let alone shop or do much of anything for herself. She asked to pay me a amount so she felt better.  I am 48 have a 7 yr old and own my own home. I have left everything I have and moved in with a suit case and my son to help out. My Sister have decided that I am now the PAID caregiver and all my mothers care is up to me.  I get paid 1500.00 a month and cked out this site to see what the rate is if they were to hire someone else or if I need to get someone to help so I can care for my son's need also. Other than it being very time consuming and stressful I wouldn't change a thing!!!! I am so grateful for the opertunity to help care for my Mom and can only hope that if and when I am in her shoes that I too will have children who love me as much as I love her.  
  • Hi, I am a home care aid in British Columbia ,Canada. I was curious  how much other areas of Canada and the states are paying and came across this blog. WOW, $10-12 an hour is outright criminal , I make $18.36 ,with wage increases every 1800 hours worked up to just about $22 per hour, also payed 50 cents per kilometer I drive for work with my car and am paid for my driving time between clients. With my position I also get medical/dental/optical benefits.  For long term care I get paid $21.72 per hour that is a standard rate here in hospital and facility. However I also was required to go to college and take my Home Support /Resident Care Attendant Certificate ,this program was 9 1/2 months ,full time , with clinical components in the Hospital , various Long Term Care Facility's for Seniors and of Course about 100 practical hours withing Community Health. This education also cost ME $16,000. in student loans. Also worth it as I love my job. My confusion here is , What certification do you need in the states ? is there really a difference in pay depending on your training and qualifications? I have no idea what I would even be considered as in the states as from another post on here ,the person stated she took a one month certification course?
    Regardless I completely agree that no mater where you are RN's pass the workload to LPN's in turn they Pass it to Care Aides , and Care Aids are the ones doing most of the actual work, so yes we are always underpaid. Maybe higher standards in training and education,  as well as states requiring home care providers to be trained by an accredited college would ensure  higher wages and respect towards employees
  • I work as a caregiver in "so called assisted living".  It feels like a nursing home because all of our residents have dementia.  Our company seems to let in almost anyone just to make a profit.  We now have 35 residents and 5 caregivers and almost all of these resident have serious dementia.  You can imagine how hard this job is.  I love my residents, but sometimes I come home in tears from emotional stress.

    And I get paid $10.71 an hour. WHAT THE FUCK!  Most of my co-workers are stressed out beyond belief and act nasty towards each other.  I am responsible for people's LIVES.  I am at the front line injury and possibly getting an illness.  I have to take vital signs, and file reports when falls occurs.  I love it when the fucking doctors come in and try to talk to these people with dementia.  They seem to be confused on why they are not cooperating.  Fucking assholes getting paid over $100,000 a year and does not even know how to deal with a person with dementia.  I am excellent at what I do and I really care about my resident, but I am seriously thinking about going to another type of job (if I can find one) because emotionally I am being eaten away from watching people suffer 32 hours a week.
  • I'm working as a private duty caregiver/CNA making $16.00 hrs, the person I work for stated they rather give me the money than give it to an agency where they will pay me $8 or $9 dollars.
  • While I am reading all of your comments on here, I appreciate your points as caregivers.  However, I do not appreciate you putting yourselves in the same pay catagory as Registered Nurses or even Licensed Practical nurses.
    I am sorry for all of you but the truth is I went to nursing school for 4 years to get where I am today.  4 years of extremely hard work. Versus a CNA's 6 weeks.  
    A CNA is NOT a nurse and many of your comments on here reflect your lack of education.  Most of you are unable to spell simple words.  This comes with college.

    While I understand your frustration at low pay and hard work.  Please do not assume you know what nurses do to earn their money.  We take on enormous responsibilties and "paperwork" that you are lucky you do not have to do.
    I once made minimum wage too.  I didn't like it so instead of complaining on sites like this, I went to college with 2 small children and a full time "minimum wage" job and I did something about it.
    Stop complaining you are being paid well for what you do.  You are not nurses.  If you want more money then go to school and earn it!!!!!
    Over and out!!! R.N.
    • First of all...Shame On You!  I don't believe that anyone here is really saying they believe that they should be paid at the same rate as a registered nurse with four years of education.  They just believe that their pay should be commensurate to the level of care they provide, and to be able to provide a reasonable living for themselves and their families.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be fairly compensated for your time and your caring!

      Secondly, it is exceedingly rude of you to comment on the "lack of education" of those leaving comments on this site.  The ability to properly structure a sentence or paragraph (lacking in your comment), or to spell correctly is not necessarily indicative of a college education.  I have not attended a four year institution myself, and in fact only have a GED and a few accounting courses under my belt.  I know several individuals who have in fact attended college and still struggle to spell correctly!

      In closing, I would like to say that a little empathy goes a long way in life as well as in your chosen profession.  Instead of scolding, (of which I am also guilty) perhaps in future you might choose to be a little more constructive instead of belittling others.


      Senior Caregiver
    • People no matter their job title or calling in life
      deserve to be paid a fair/living wage.

      While you were able to go through a nursing program with two small children and a min. wage job,does not translate into that "everyone" can.

      Maybe sharing how you were "able to" go to college with two small children would translate into helping someone achieve that, but a college degree doesn't make you a better speller or raise your conscience into a more caring person,it just makes you better paid.

      Caring for individuals comes from the inside and I remember something from the university while I attended.

      The story goes like this...I require as an accommodation a little more time,so in becoming a future teacher in a room full of other future teachers, I said I needed to practice the presentation (when I saw that they were not going to practice it as a group)because I have a disability (from a stroke) called aphasia, that when I am nervous, it shows itself. Well my young group said, about accommodating me, that they did not have to, they only had to worry about accommodating their future students.

      And while you may be a RN or an LPN, keep in mind that you could not have that occupation,without your CNA's(you so readily want to label as underachievers), because after all, it is teamwork that gets the job done and you as a college graduate and a person making min. wage ought to know, that all people deserve to make a fair/living wage.
    • Dear R.N.
      I am a nurse, however, my degree is from Germany and i am forced to do it all over as 44 years old woman in the USA. How nice!! I am currently working as caregiver, doing 12 hour shifts, and they are paid minimum wage...because, that is how it is..
      My company know and hired me because of my nursing knowledge, but i am not a nurse...i am not a CNA, i am the lowest of the lowest...and i hate it!
      Anyway, i am back in college, and working on my degree...planning as soon i am graduated, to let them know how pissed they got me..for sure!
      • To Paula,
        I was on this site doing some research, as I testify in court regarding how much it costs to care for disabled folks who have been injured in accidents, malpractice, etc.

        At first I had to chuckle a little at your comments. Obviously you are emotional, angry about this issue, hence the all caps response. You sound like you have a grudge against nurses and that is unfortunate. When I graduated from nursing school, the first unit I worked on did not even use CNAs or LPNs (critical care) and we did EVERYTHING. It was tough.

        But my dear, you are seriously misinformed about nursing education. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which actually took me 5 years to complete because I was a single mom who had to work full-time evenings/nights in a hotel restaurant. My curriculum consisted of 138 semester hours. It was full-time study.

        There are other paths to nursing...too many to name here, but here are the basics (and I don't list all the different "bridge-type programs):
        LPN/LVNs usually only train for 12-18 months.
        ADN RNs train for 2 years.
        To obtain your BSN, you must study full-time for 4 years.
        To obtain your Masters in Nursing, you would first need your BSN and then you would study full-time for another 2 years.

        And there are many different doctorate programs including DNP and PhD.

        I don't think just anyone can be a nurse. It is a difficult curriculum. I took more than the minimum amount of science courses, as I started out studying to be a doctor. But it is not easy and anyone that says it is has no clue. When I was a critical care nurse, one of the units I worked on did use LPNs and CNAs. I appreciated everyone who worked on my team, CNAs included. We ALL have hard jobs and a good RN respects and listens to her LPNs and CNAs, who are often our eyes/ears-we can't be 20 places at once.

        And I am still busting my butt in my 50s and work 60-70 hours week. No one in healthcare is sitting on their butts earning a living.

  • No we are not nurses if we were we would not be cleaning up after our patients, feeding them when needed or running to them everytime they need assistance (we would be paging the CNA's for that).  Yes you did go to school longer and paid more for your education, but do you really care about the patient anymore then I do? Do you do any more for the patient than I do? No, I don't think so. I have a sister who became a nurse years ago when the pay wasn't even half of what you make now and she probably worked harder then you ever thought, but she did it because she loved helping people.
           I work for a gentleman (his wife was also here up until June when she passed away) from Sunday afternoon until Friday afternoon (120 hrs/wk) and I am ashamed to say my pay is alot less then anyone here has stated so far. The girl that works here on weekends gets paid twice the amount simply because it is the weekend and she supposedly has a certificate.  Although I do not have a certificate and it is during the week, I still do the same if not more than her and plus I am away from my family all week. I have been doing this type of work for 4 years now and I don't really think the certificate means a thing. I am responsible for my own taxes and I have no other type of compensation other then a place to sleep and food during the week. Can someone tell if this is the norm for this type of situation. In the past I have stayed with my patient all night but only for a couple of days at a time. At times I feel as though I am getting cheated and just recently was really stabbed in the back by the family. Also, I have no backup available and so I am unable to take care of any personal business during the week this includes going to the Dr. to keep myself well.  Any comments would be greatly appreciated.  
  • Ok. hello every one? now,  I have a huge question. hopefully some 1 can answer this...I have been taking care of an elderly man...I see him as my own dad. I do things for him as far as: I go food shopping for him, clean his room ( he lives in a motel) his laundry make him coffee etc etc well every now and then he gives me any where from $5 to 20...but not every day...he wants me to find out if social security will pay me for taking care of hm....will this be posible?....I am no body i have no nursing degree or certificate of nursing, nothing like that...i used to work at the motel where he is staying and we just got along very well. i feel real sorry for him and thats why i have been taking care of him....what type of information or suggestions can you offer me?
  • For the last 12 months I left my home, job, and family to help out my mother by being her primary caregiver. She neededd financial, physical, and medical attention,. The last 4 months she became severally ill and ultimately hospice come to the home the last month. I never took a day off in 365 days and the last several months have been extremely demanding physically and emotionally. I am concerned legally and fairly how to charge the estate for my livein caregiving.
  • I worked fro a man for 4 years and basically kept him alive by providing excellent care for him. I am sure all of you know how that goes. I stayed with him until the minute he took his last breath and his family was no where to be found except home sleeping.
    I worked 7 days a week and was up sometimes 2 and 3 days with him and he had major health issues. When he passed I got just the few days pay that I had coming to me. No severance pay no anything not even a thank you.
    I took them to court for my over time and I won. The pay for a caregiver is no different than anyone else.
    8 hours straight pay. Anything over that is time and a half and then double time from everyday you work in a row after that. We went to court in California and I won my case and got $45,000 from his estate. I was never planning on doing this or suing but had it not been fro the fact that after the man passed away his son was calling me and telling me lies that his dad left me a house and left me this and that and he wanted my address for whatever reason. It ended up bad so I sued.
    I will tell you this caregivers. You best at all time pay into your taxes and file your taxes as well. Don't think that just because you are paid cash you can get away with the whole tax thing. Client do not have to count caregivers on their taxes because it isn't a write off. But when it was the to go to court I have to show everything. That was one of the things his son was going on that they had paid me a certain amount and they thought for sure I was cheating on my taxes. I had everything in order.
    Caregivers should get minimum wage and anything over that. There is NO set separate rules for in home care giving. We are NOT set apart from the rest of the workers in America. If you work 16 hours a day get paid for it. Caregivers are priceless.
  • Im a caregiver working in a 11 bed facilty for elderly. My question is what the law says with regards to quality care if you are having a 11 bed facility for elderly (RCFE). In my situation right now, im taking care both ambulatory and non ambulatory patient and most of them are dead weight, so you could see the picture how hard is it, the caregiver on the floor is only one taking care of all 11 residents and one cook who only care is to cook and wash the dishes and nothing more. While the caregiver on the floor doing all the work like bathing,dressing cleaning,transferring,medications and lots of nasty work due to residents having dementia dont know what there doing, like they just played their bowel unintentionally because of their illness. Emloyers sometimes take advantage of their caregivers because they know its hard to find a job nowadays and even more they take the opportunity of having undocumented caregiver that could not complain to the authority with regards to the abuse that they are sufferring like letting them work 15 hours or more a day without proper compensation. Employers saving and earning a lot of money thats all they care about, because of the caregivers who take care of their clients and watching over their facility they are always oversee the hardship they have been doing. Please advise!
  • MJ
    I have been a CNA for well over 15 years and of course I get paid for providing my services, as money equals having utilities and food.
    so to the person who expects it to be done for free, like she does,  well kudos to you for your good deed
    (although good deeds are much prettier when not bragged about) but this is the real world and even the most uncomplicated person requires money to live..
    and I cant for get Cara,
    Although i see your frustration with reading the legit complaints about RN's and LPN's, I feel it is not appropriate and rather non-collage like for you to downgrade the way any individual spells or writes, If i had your ignorance or disrespect i would have to tell you that your own punctuation is incorrect.
      Not everyone can afford collage and i am damn sure you didn't do it all on your own, without some kind of government or other assistance, as you can not pay for child care and work a minimum wage job and then still pay for collage. so save the i am better than you speech. Anyone who can add and subtract  would agree that a Minimum wage job wont even pay for childcare alone, so save the bullshit for you collage drinking buddies, Us real "Care" providers clean enough shit throughout our day,Also i would not compare myself to any RN or LPN as you have stated because I am very certain My duties are above and beyond yours.
      As I have said, I have worked in this field for a very long time and I have seen RN's and LPN's who are worthy of their pay and they personally interact with clients or patients when ADL assistance is  needed but I have also seen a larger percent of RN's and LPN's run CNA's like they are personal slaves, while sitting on their ass 80% of their shift.
    Honestly Cara, If we (RN versus CAREGIVER) shared the same clients for a year and we were Given a test about any one of those clients, rather the testing be related to personal or medical details, I'd bet my certification that the caregiver or CNA  would know 90% more than the RN or LPN ever would about any individual client.
    I will not let you cut down CNA's and caregivers as well as anyone of us that you may portray as beneath your collage education, because,from cleaning ass to washing down a deceased client, that is all pushed off on the CNA/caregiver , BY YOU the collage educated RN
    Without us you wouldn't be able to do YOUR JOB! but without you , we could still do ours, (as we already do)
  • The National Private Duty Association is a national trade association representing more than 1300 member agencies across the country providing private pay in-home care to seniors and those with disabilities.  The NPDA strongly supports initiatives to professionalize the caregiving profession, compensating at or above minimum wage, and all NPDA member agencies are required to employ every worker providing care in the home - no independent contractors.  This assures that proper insurance is in place and that workers compensation and unemployment are paid.  The National Private Duty Association will be presenting a "National Caregiver of The Year Award" in March 2011 in Las Vegas!
  • I have been a caregiver for 4 years. Although there are great benifits to being a caregiver I feel as though in some cases pay is not enough! I make $9 per hour which to most minimum wage workers would be great and for regular independant living facilities I feel that would be good pay but for those residents who require alot of assistance ... the job can become quite physically straining. I have injured my back 3 times in 4 years. I feel that with the the more physical strain, the more the pay should be. I think $12 per hour would suit me just fine, i don't know about anyone else although my co-workers feel the same. And not to mention the mental and emotional aspect of it ... i mean dealing with dementia and alheimerz is not easy and i have found myself quite stressed. So on that note I think not only should the pay be $12 per hour, i also think that every caregiving facility should offer free therapy to their workers!
  • I have been a caregiver for a few years starting with caring for my partner for 5 years with various maladies including Dementia. No one has stated not only they cared for their client, but had to do with dealing with their clients families. Granted, family members are going through acceptance or denial that their loved one actually has an ailing health condition...they attack our moral and efforts to do our job in as safe and timely manor each day we work with them. Yet, our pay stays the same and families complain or say, we don't do anything for my...Pretty hard to take and keep a smile for our clients. 100% of our time and efforts are with the client, we do need breaks in between; everyone else gets 15 minute breaks. I tip my hat to all the caregivers and myself. If it was not for us, family members or other, would not be at home resting and not having to deal with what we do each day to keep them safe/clean/companionship/or fed. So much more we do to add to make sure they are comfortable and make them smile. What ever we can do for them to make their last days happy and exercise or play games, what ever it takes to keep their dignity. Even when our own life has it's up's and down's, we come up and leave it at home. Yes that fair income raise sure helps pay our own bills and rent. We are just as important and need moral support sometimes. Yes getting paid what we put in should be not ignored. A pat on the back or words we are doing great, does not pay our gas to get to that clients house/appartment or pay our own responsibilities at home or school.    
  • With all due respect, I have to disagree with Sheila's statement:

    Regardless I completely agree that no mater where you are RN's pass the workload to LPN's in turn they Pass it to Care Aides , and Care Aids are the ones doing most of the actual work, so yes we are always underpaid.

    I am a BSN-trained RN and everywhere that I have worked, I have witnessed RN's and LPN's working WITH, not OVER CNA's in order to care for the patient's basic physical and comfort needs. In addition, CNA's and LPN's cannot provide the level of medical care for very sick patients that RN's can. I was a CNA before I became an RN and it blew my mind how much I didn't know about what nurses do. That "paperwork" you see RN's doing is not easy; it's saving everyone's ass so they don't get sued. RN's are responsible for EVERYTHING; they COORDINATE the patient's care. We are held to a level of responsibility and accountability that is incredible.

    Does a CNA or caregiver immediately know what to do if a patient's chest tube is dislodged?

    Does a CNA recognize the signs and symptoms of a postpartum hemorrhage in a new mother?

    Can a CNA perform a neurological assessment on an unconscious head trauma pediatric patient and be able to determine which cranial nerves are impaired?

    Does a CNA know the first kind of drug used in order to bring a patient out of pulse-less cardiac arrest?

    I'm not trying to be harsh but let's face it, RN's are medical workers and all-around emotional healers. We have extensive training and certification and our jobs are far from easy. We are some of the most taken-for-granted workers out there. Like you, we face being underpaid for the job that we do. Guess how much I make?

    If you're thinking close to $30 then you're wrong. I work my ass off for $21 an hour (yes, and I have a BSN) and it's hardly making a dent in paying off my nursing school loans. I also paid for my own certifications and I don't get paid for my on-call time or time spent driving too and from work.

    I'm not trying to say that RN's are better than anybody else. What I'm trying to point out is that caregivers as a whole, whether we're CNA's, LPN's, or RN's, are vastly underpaid for the level of work that we do. I know people straight out of college who are making twice what I'm making and they sit at a desk all day in DC, sleeping. I'm not joking.

    Being embittered with each other will not help us; instead, what we should do is join each other in trying to make a change for the better for ALL caregivers. Even though we love our patients and we know we're in this career to make their lives better, that shouldn't mean that we don't deserve fair pay as well.
  • Kim
    I have been working as a Home Care Giver to my best friend for the last 7 months.  He had end stage COPD and was on a ventilator. My husband and I gave up our jobs, cashed in our 401K's and moved up to where he was in a "Extended Care Rehab Facility" We went through their vent care training and I spent most every day for 3 months there working with him to prove I could do it. I have an extensive medical background but not a RN (1 year shy).

    We brought him home and he was eligible for Medicade to offset his Medicare. They would pay me as his care giver but not my husband he was termed Natural Support. I was paid variable wages mostly $4.55 per hour well below minimum wage. Some hours I was not paid at all and few were paid at $10.20 per hour. They said it was because I slept 8 hours. By the way this is a union job through the State of Oregon. My friend NEVER slept more than 20 minutes at a time and if it weren't for my husband I would have never slept and he would have ended up back in the facility.  

    He passed away Dec 6th and then they told me that all my accrued paid off hours were gone because I had not requested them before he passed away - how was I to know I would have need them at that time? We are still living in his house thank the lord because the State of Oregon has left us with nothing. To top that off they said we were not due any wages for December because he was in the hospital Dec 1 until the day he passed when the EMT's that were bringing him home thought his vent malfunctioned and took him off it and bagged him.  There was nothing wrong with it and the young man who was doing the compressions on the bag was doing them rapidly - in excess of 50 per minute. He passed within mere moments of being brought into his home of respiratory failure. But he got his wish to die at home.

    His family has been very gracious and are letting us stay until April when the reverse mortgage bank comes and gets his home.

    The state kicked in $2000 a month to us as opposed to the $35,000.00 per month they kicked in to the facility he was in......
  • I was reading these comments with interest until I came upon the one by the RN.
    Honey, if I could AFFORD to go to keep up with my rent, car insurance, gas, food, utilities, clothes, my inexpensive hobbies..perhaps I would.  Right now, working as a caregiver, with CNA training, I'm lucky to make 11.50/hour...but I have to take out my own taxes.  And I have an agency that somehow only finds part time work.  So I am just barely making ends meet. Savings? Retirement? Funds for school? Sounds like a foreign language.

    And having worked in a hospitals, assisted living, and private homes, I agree.  WE, THE CAREGIVERS, do the work.  I've seen nurses come in, take vitals (um, hello, what do you think I went to CNA school for??) ask A question..and leave.
    Lucky me, I get to deal with the incontinence, convincing them they need a shower, preventing them from hurting themselves or going out in the snow with bare feet, and dealing with angry and frustrated spouses and family members.

    You are in the wrong field, to have such an derogatory attitude to us.  And actually the spelling on this site is better than most.  Shame on you RN Cara.  I'm glad I don't work for you.
  • ren
    I have read all on this site. I agree with most. I have work as a caregiver for over 18 years. I have worked for the state, assisted living, home health, personal care, and family members. Out of all of these things I have never made over $11.00 an hour. and I have NEVER come accross a RN. that has been as cruel speaking as RN Cara. So she went to school and got an education.Big deal. What aren't you telling us. How much help did you have while getting that education. Just because a CNA or caregiver doesn't have an education doesn't mean we don't know things about what we are doing. it is called learning while on the job. you know some of use are capable of learning while on the job. It is called training. no one should be knocked for what they do for a living. Maybe some of use couldn't go to school because of unforseen sercomestances. as a CNA or Caregiver we are with the clients all the time. when a RN walks in who do they ask when wanting information about that client. It is us. so we should all be working together to make the clients last days the best we can.
  • i have been a cna for over 5 years and all these people want is a clean house not care for them selfs weel i want my house cleaned , but these people abuse it government . i am not a house keeper
  • Hello Out there. I want you all CNA'S and PCA to keep your head up. Most outsider as well as clients think we"re maids,servicer and will speak to you anyway if you allow them to.  I have told may of others hey look I'm here to take care of you well being and health, yes I can cook,clean as well as iron, however it states light/lite house keeping. So please respect I title is of a Nurse even if Aid is is behind it. Ladies as well as guys.  There are way too many company hiring for CNA as well as PCA go to craigs list in the city and state in-which you live and go under med/health as well as  There are so many Jobs listed there.  I have gotten well paying jobs, for each state I've moved to. Just make sure you have you paper work in line, TB,Cpr,First Aid as well as CNA Cer... As well as look into taken more classes this will asst in making more money like , BSL and anything eles you can get your hands on.  Never give up just do more, Some school will take the fasha and they"ll pay for everything.  Just better yourself and never keep your head down are let someone eles put you down. We can always better ourself.  Thanks... If you want to chat just e-mail me at and I have a line of inter sites that are hiring for CNA as well as PCA....  
  • I've been in this business since the 80's. Last year I payed for a coarse to become certified so I could get a better pay. I spent 800.00 on a CNA/HHA coarse through the American Red Cross. I reciently had to take a position as a per deim. In most cases per deim is suppose to get a little more for working on an as needed basis but I'm only getting 9.25.Believe it or not the state of Massachusetts pays 12.40 an hour and you don't need to be certified when working as a PCA and you don't need any training. I got certified and I'm only getting 9.25. In all reality I do a job that not many people can handle and comes with lots of responsability so you would think the pay would be a bit on the 14.00 to 20.00 an hour seeing how I am licenced. Maybe some day CNA's will get paid as much as a ticket teller at the toll booth they get 70.000 a year to pass tickets.
  • In being a full and part-time caregiver over the past two.5 years, the frustration displayed in these posts is certainly understandable. While money should not be the real basis of the heartfelt work that so many of us do on behalf of seniors, it is an issue in terms of the disrespect and demeaning attitude caregivers get from their workplaces, clients, and those who couldn't possibly handle the job we've set out to do from pure love, compassion and dedication.

    No, caregivers are not RNs or LPNs and will NEVER be paid on these health care professionals' levels by no means. However, while our work falls below them on the health care hierarchy scale, it does not mean that we should be paid on the poverty level as a result. Our work is just as challenging as those above us.

    Yes, higher education to become a Nurse, Radiographer, Sonographer, Physical Therapist, etc. will yield a higher income; however, not every CNA/HHA wants to do so for their own personal reasons. Lack of this should not hinder caregivers from excelling in this field through company-sponsored certification programs, in-service skills assessments or years of job experience and service as a caregiver.

    While money should not be the sole reason for performing the challenging, yet rewarding, work caregivers undertake - rightful compensation is an issue that truly needs to be addressed from a positive standpoint.
  • Experiences nurse's aides should earn between 11.75-$20.00hr those starting off should earn entry level $10.75-upwards to $12. $6-9hr should be illegal.especially in states where the cost of living is high like California. How about health care for caregivers,companions, aides at a reasonable cost? my job doesn't pay any of these, no work no pay they do honor time off but at your cost. sick pay, holidays,vacation pay, unheard of, since seniors are a fast growing population, are living longer the demand for quality care is increasing i say if i provide a caring,professional service that enhances the quality of life for the citizens i care for in the community, than i also am entitled to live a certain standard , quality of life that helps me to advance in my career,continue to do my best while taking care of the citizens i serve., and achieve greater goals i set for my self.    
  • Pat
    I am a CNA and as such thought I would make a decent wage after graduating. I found out that wasn't the case at all, so I went back to school to take phlebotomy to make myself more marketable and after spending THOUSANDS on education ... I found that I make more money being an un-certified Veterinary Technician than as a certified nurses aide w/ phlebotomy. How sad is that?? CNAs should be paid less than nurses but more than HHAs and whoever heard of a one month course????? that's crazy and can't be right! I think a CNA should be paid between 15 to 20 dollars an hour and HHAs should start at $10.00 and must be certified!! Otherwise you are just house hold help!
  • lets all be real!!! AS a CNA i love my clients but, we deal with a lot of gross stuff at work. we get down and dirty(if u know what i mean) but we continue to be payed,as if we work at burger king. we are dealing with lives, but we are treated as an under dog. we get looked own on b/c we only took a 6 to 8 week course and had to pass a state test, but we have more hands on with a client or resident than most RN's or LPN's do so i think we should atleast be paid 15 to 20 an hour.
  • Hi everybody I'm starting off as an cna I just want to know how much you all think I should be asking for I have no clue
  • Deb
    Well it appears to me that the caregivers are really selfish and are not looking to help people in need but to rape them for money to spend on themselves. A true caregiver would realize that our seniors do not earn enough money to pay for 24 hour care at even $9 an hour. over 70% maybe more of our seniors are below the poverty level but it appears you people feel somehow they should pay you more than they make. I think you need to all go back to school since you cannot do math properly. Shame on you! What about these poor homeless seniors who can't afford to pay these rates I guess you would send them to the pound or run over them with your car to put them out of their misery?
  • Deb
    Perhaps if you all took a course in basic economics you might understand how the wages work for different types of jobs. I agree that people in sports make a sinful amount of money. But look who funds them... You do by supporting their games and watching them on TV buying their products.

    No one cares about the elderly or disabled. No one buys products to help support them. Doctors and nurses see them as $$ signs because they can bill the government more than is allowed for the assisted living or home care caregivers. The problem is with the Federal Government not the employers. Small businesses wish they could pay more so they could get decent employees because the people you get for minimum wage are are uneducated and selfish. The ones who complain for more money usually do the worse job. If you can't be happy making minimum wage taking care of someone who can't take care of themselves, then get a job at Burger King cleaning out the grease trap or mopping floors perhaps you are more suitable for menial jobs rather than caring jobs!
    And lastly if you don't like your job go back to school and get educated! But most of all stop being the whining generation of America! Your grandparents did not whine they worked. You are a bunch of spoiled children who feel someone else should pay your way instead of you working to pay your own way.

    I am working on my Masters Degree but I still take care of 40 homeless disabled individuals and I am not complaining that I barely make enough to put a roof over my head. I do it because I want to help those who need it.
  • Deb, I congratulate you on working toward your Masters Degree. It will certainly lead to better things (more opportunities and more pay.) But I think it's rather cynical to say that no one cares about the elderly or disabled. As in every walk of life, there are those who excel and those who do not. It's been my experience that many of the owners of Home Care Agencies (like the ones in the directory here on Caregiverlist) started their companies because of the needs they saw in their own families. And they've carried that caregiving spirit into their businesses. I urge all home caregivers to work with quality Home Care Agencies to help ensure a decent wage, benefits, and in some instances, paid time off.

    Caregiving is a job. A sometimes gross, sometimes thankless, oftentimes underpaid but ultimately necessary job. As the population ages, more people will need the services of CNAs and Nurse's Aides. Hopefully, as the need increases, so will the pay (and appreciation!)
  • I am an RN and I do everything for my patients because on my night shift, we don't have CNA's. I'm glad to do it though because I get to catch things like a new deep purple injury or something. It's how I do my assessment. I guess I'm a "do it all myself" kind of person. Anyways, I believe in delegation when time is on the short side but when push comes to shove, I'll do everything myself. Some RN's do, many don't. I work in an ICU so unfortunately, a lot of basic care gets pushed aside for later when a patient starts coding out.
    Sorry for RN Cara's attitude. I see what she meant but it could have been stated a little more "delicately." We all need to band together because otherwise...we're screwed.
  • Ali
    I have just started working at caregiving agencies in California, after a year and a half of helping seniors as an independent contractor. I have many years of college (waaay too many) and an AA, almost have my BA in an unrelated field.

    I just started working with a senior homecare agency in California. They told me my hourly pay rate is $10/hour, but that for a 24-hour shift, they only pay a "flat rate": they pay "$128 per 24-hour shift." I don't recall if they said that was net or gross pay (or if they even said.) The supervisor did a quick calculation of $128/24 hours = ~$5/hour. I was stunned. How could that possibly be either the gross OR the net? They said I don't get paid for 6 hours of sleeping time.

    A lot of the problem with caregiver pay is that the Industrial Labor Relations Board(?) has written the caregiver wage rules for California in an extremely confusing, unintelligible way. Even the online attorneys have differences of opinion regarding what the minimum 24 hour pay is for a caregiver employee (who is not "live-in," in that I have my own apartment, and am just getting assignments from the for-profit caregiving franchise agency. I've worked for them less than a week and am really wondering about the pay rules. We are told not to discuss the pay with the clients or the other caregiver employees, which really seems like foul play because they can rat each other out if anyone asks other caregivers questions to try to understand what our rights are.

    So, can anyone in California, please, tell me with 100% certainty what the minimum pay must be for a 24-hour sleep-over shift? Also, how many hours do we have off, unpaid? It seems to me, based on what a Labor Commission staffer told me today, it would be three 1/2 hour unpaid meal breaks (plus the 6 hours of unpaid sleep time if the agency is correct about this.)

    The Labor Comission person said the following for California wage laws:

    - The minimum wage is $8/hour for the first 8 hours/day of paid work.
    - Any work over 8 hours, up to 12 hours in a day, is compensated at 1.5x the hourly rate (so that would be $12/hour.)
    - Any work from 12-16 hours/day is paid at 2x the hourly rate ($16/hour.)
    -Every 5 hours, the employee must have an unpaid meal break of a 1/2 hour to 1 hour (at employer's discretion regarding 1/2 or 1 hour).

    So this is how I figured it for a shift starting at 8 am Monday and ending at 8 am Tuesday, at minimum wage:

    8 am - noon = 4 hours x $8/hour = $32
    Noon - 12:30 pm = required unpaid break
    12:30 - 4:30 pm = 4 hours x $8/hour = $32
    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm = 1 hour x$12/hour = $12
    5:30 pm - 6 pm = required unpaid meal break
    6 pm - 9 pm = 3 hrs x $12/hour = $36
    9p - 10p = 1 hr x $16/hour = $16
    10p - 10:30p = required unpaid meal break
    10:30p - 2am = 3.5 hours x $16/hr = $56
    2am - 8am = 6 hrs unpaid sleep

    Grand total: $184 gross pay for a 24-hour caregiving shift. I don't know if this is right, though!
    Can anyone help me with this, please? Am I calculating this right, and if not, where did I go wrong in the above list of hours and pay?
    How are other people here coming up with $192?

    We caregivers at least need to find out what the minimum legal wage is for a caregiving agency employee for a 24-hour shift, so we can know our rights, educate employers, and band together against unscrupulous agencies.
  • I kinda had to chuckle after reading all of the comments about the nurses not doing their part and that the CNA's do all the work. Well, I have been a CNA for 13 years, and yes, CNA's do a lot of the dirty work and also do a lot of hands on work. A lot of times the CNA knows little things about the residents/patients that the nurses do not. But dont think that the nurses do not do anything. Who do you think charts everything? Who gets to call the nasty, grumpy, mean doctor in the middle of the night to report a fall? Who has to pass out the meds to the residents and worry about somthing going wrong and their license being on the line? Nurses have just as much resposibility, if not more, as a CNA does, even though they may be sitting behind the desk while the CNA is running around doing hands on work....It takes each and every one of the workers to make the residents/patients life a little bit brighter....
  • I have worked as a CNA for 20 years, caregiver 22 years, and personal care aide 2 years.  I did have a workplace that had workmens comprehensive and built thru each year of service.  Personally, I do not know where that went?  I have helped alot of elderly.  I suppose if I worked hard and extened myself...I'd retire with playing as most...the vacations...etc.  I think practical and whimsical that all of the health care teams deserve one of those new Volts and however many years we served...our car maintence and vehicle insurance paid.  20 for 20 or 30 for I seeing the government mule come in?
  • lite caregiver, what is the pay rate for them?
    this is also in exchange for cheap rent, too.
  • I think it is just unfair to the caregivers on the payrate. I have been a caregiver for 28yrs, and trying to find employment with the same pay rate of 15.00 is just imposiable. They just want to pay 8.75per hour. Mcdonalds starts there employees at that rate. At least in Ohio they do. We are taking care of clients that need more then just a burger flipped! It don't matter if you have college education, they still only want to start you out at a wage that won't even pay for gas. Nothing like being told you have to much experience, that we can't afford what you are worth. Now, if it was my loved one, I would pay the moon and back for good care! It is a rewarding job, but at the sametime it is also a physical job and they want to pay us at such a low rate, and they wonder why they can't find good care. They need to open there eyes, no, there hearts and ask themselfes, how much they would pay for good care to come in and take care of one of there loved ones!
  • well as nice as nurses can be it must be wonderful to be able to work an 8 hour day and be able to go home and relax. as for 24 hour sleep in caregivers the job is 24/7... and the union expects you to be on house arrest. No amount of schooling or college will ever earn you a job. my grandmother has been a caregiver for 12 years, to her mother, and i am completely outraged at what the state thinks they deserve. paid daily for 6 hours. 6 hours and she is expected and has been reported several times for going to the STORE and the BANK and leaving the house for all of two minutes because the system believes caregivers are obligated to be home 24 hours a day. So for those of you who went to school and graduated great. But you have no right on this site to tell caregivers to stop complaining and go to school obviously you haven't any idea what the occupation of a 24 hour sleep in does. so please do not compare your nursing job to a 24 hour 7 day a week career.    
  • I am caregiver for one person with Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and  the another one  in the early stage  of Alzheimer..I work btw 4 and 5 hours every single day and they pay me $12 per hour, I have to clean the house , prepare meals and laundry,... I do not think is fare at all
  • D
    I have been a CNA in a SNF and am currently a HHA tha being said I would never talk poorly about RNs as a professon, RNs individually as a person with a bad attitude yes.  There is a chain of command so to speak with CNAs being on the bottom and that is just the way it goes. If a CNA tried to come near me with a butterfly IV the CNA  is going to have an issue with me. That is what the nurses are for they know the doses of meds that won't kill that an overly tired DR missed, they know the right way to save lives and do charting so there are no mishaps.  If a nurse came in to take my vitals and it's not a recheck I'd ask her what she was doing, that's what a  CNA does.  The CNA will also catch changing of skin color, unusual behavior etc. It's a win win in my mind each person doing their part as a team. That's what it takes, unless you get a bitchy RN in charge or a whiny CNA....
  • i hav been weking for this adult family home for 2years i paid for my training nd every other certificate i hav im still geting paid 10.07, wen the new girls are geting paid the same wage as me nd iv been der longer we dnt get any benifits wat so ever (no vacation,sick days or anything) i take care of 6 residents giv med der am,noon nd pm medication i also give dem der breakfest lunch nd dinner do londery tak dem to da bathroom nd somtimes iven shower some of them for a 10.07 hr its not fair for me or my family the only reason i still ther is cus iv gotten so attacht to all of them i fill lik der part of my family now but i dnt knw wat dis people would do with out us mybe da RN should take our position for a hole week all dey do is come in hir der heart nd leav iven i can do dat i feel lik its always me dats doing everything but i feel lik i cant quit cus of my residents
  • My Mom has two caregivers who come into the home from 9AM-3PM, 7 days per week; one works Monday - Friday, the other works Sat. and Sun. only.

    In the State of Washington, caregivers pay rates are set by the SEIU which ALL caregivers are required to be a member of if they do any work for patients who receive state aid (ie, medicare, medicaid, COPES, etc.).

    The Union sets these hardworking individuals' rates at approximate $10.13/per hour and they cannot be paid more than this.  Let me repeat that . . . The Union sets these hardworking individuals' rates at approximate $10.13/per hour and they cannot be paid more than this.


    Particularly when you consider that Union Dues are taken out of this plus taxes, unemployment insurance, etc.

    I sincerely believe that a fair and equitable starting rate of pay for these individuals is $25.00/per hour.

    It is inconceivable to me that anyone would NOT want those caring for the ones they hold dearest to them a fair and equitable living wage!!!

    Perhaps once the onslaught of Baby Boomers enters the client market at full force will these hardworking individuals receive the fair and just compensation that they are entitled to.
  • I care for a woman with demetia and congestive heart failure.  I work 7 nights a weeks 12 hour shifts.  I get paid 200.00 a week.  Based on all these messages, I am under paid BIG TIME!!  However ....I don't want to see her go to a nursing home.  So ... although I have no "extra money" and I am so poor it's not even funny...I am doing something good just because that's how it should  be.  If I ever go through this again -  at least I will know that I need to be paid MUCH MUCH MORE!!! Peace to all those who have committed themselves to helping others ... you are all very very special.
  • Caregiver - Very difficult and stressful job w/ slave labor pay.  C'mon, seriously--the article makes me sick--no wonder there is no author credited! Minimum wage to $15/per hour is still poverty level, especially for a sole supporter.  One can hardly rent a room, pay taxes, utilities, auto insurance, cell phone, internet (to find jobs), food and gasoline--bare necessities, noting the the omission of car maintenance, toiletries, clothing and any other required insignificant items of this nature (sarcasm)are not even possible in this wage category of the "Working Poor".  I don't get the blindness that goes on, because all one needs to do is look at what things cost.  It's utterly shameful.  I want to scream at the person who wrote this article commenting on caregiving being paid much more in many states--"REALLY, TRY LIVING ON $12 AN HOUR YOURSELF FOOL."  I suppose that would mean you wouldn't be able to get your nails done, sweetie.  

    From CNAs to RNs who have pursued education, you're worth your weight in gold... all of you... it's amazing the lack of compensation across the board.  For all the independents who watch the years pass by you without having any time to live a life of your own in one of the hardest jobs there is dealing with Alz and more w/ patience, smiles and forgotten what it's like to live in a normal environment w/o feeling stuck... all I can say is pray and have faith for miracles and laws changing to pay us to be able to live a life of your/our own.  I guess we should be grateful that it is one of the few jobs that hire those over 50.  For ALL caregivers w/ or w/o the letters after your names--you are valuable, worthy of so much more and thank you.  I pray for your financial and survival miracles.    
  • Where can I find a job as a CNA getting paid 18 to 20 dollars
    An hour. Because this little money I'm getting paid is ridiculous
    , & I cannot live on this! So if anyone knows any places that start off
    In that range can you please let me know ASAP !
    Thank you 😷
  • Pam
    I get 52 cents an hour for my work caring for a lady with dementia.  She lives with me in my family home. This is the medicaid amount South Dakota allows. The family pays for the room and all meals I provide. They pay $10. per day for food, and $10. per day for room. The state pays $12.52 per day for my caregiving.  I am a nurse. I am required to provide 24 hr. per day care. I never take a person on medicaid to start with, but only if they've been with me for several years and run out of money. The state of SD should be ashamed.
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  • First of all...Shame On You!  I don't believe that anyone here is really saying they believe that they should be paid at the same rate as a registered nurse with four years of education.  They just believe that their pay should be commensurate to the level of care they provide, and to be able to provide a reasonable living for themselves and their families.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be fairly compensated for your time and your caring!

    Secondly, it is exceedingly rude of you to comment on the "lack of education" of those leaving comments on this site.  The ability to properly structure a sentence or paragraph (lacking in your comment), or to spell correctly is not necessarily indicative of a college education.  I have not attended a four year institution myself, and in fact only have a GED and a few accounting courses under my belt.  I know several individuals who have in fact attended college and still struggle to spell correctly!

    In closing, I would like to say that a little empathy goes a long way in life as well as in your chosen profession.  Instead of scolding, (of which I am also guilty) perhaps in future you might choose to be a little more constructive instead of belittling others.


    Senior Caregiver
  • I looked up this site to find the answer of how much should a caregiver be making? I never did find an answer. It does sound like there should be a support group for caregivers, and legal aid, that everyone could pay into. Like home-schooling parents pay $100 a year to a legal service that will then help you when anything comes up.
      I am currently not being paid any money, and would like to approach the adult children, of the gentleman that I am taking care of at their request about being paid. They had wanted me to seek government sources for payment, but I have no time for this, and his time is too short for any of these agencies to come into play. I will be working on getting him signed up as a disabled Veteran, something I had wanted him to do prior. He never took the time to do. I dropped in on him several time to find him starving having not eaten for three days. I would stay for 4 to 5 days and get him back onto the road of self maintenance, well at least where he could get up to the refrigerator. I would try to get his 30 year old children involved, and I would get no response from one and just ridicule from the other.
    I am now providing care 24/7, at the request of his adult children, who tried it for 2 weeks and decided it wasn't something they could do.
      I guess I just went on like everyone else, we all do need support. What I really need to know is how much to ask for? I have quite a bit of experience in many medical area's, life experience. This is not the first time I have dealt with cancer and someone passing with it. I am a licensed Pharmacy Technician, also. Which really doesn't mean a whole lot. But sounds good. LOL
    Sincerely, Located in the Central Valley of California
  • only one thing i can say nothing is gonna change if we don't unite they will keep on doing it to us. our Pay should be almost close to whatever the LPN makes. its very unfair to us that all this hard work
    will all go to drain when its our time too.  

  • I agree i work in the state of va as a are people supposed to make ends meet off of 8.00 per hour taking care of a medicade patient in their home..the company i work for is a freakin joke...i Have worked for them for over a year and been promised a raise and 1 week paíd vacation..
    Well were is it at....i like what i do but the work we do and get país so little...there are burger flippers that make more than the home health Care aggencies need to get their shit  together and pay people more and takes better Care of the staff...and to top off i did not get paid for 2 weeks in My training .   dont become a pca cause in va...the agency i work for in va bases out of boston va is a joke
  • I believe just cause min.wage is $9.30.Doesn't mean that's what the pay should be paid.Pay should be based on the fact the PCA drives out to home ,are they safe in the area their sent yes pay should be based on EVERYTHING THEY DO!!!!!! Like taking their lifes  in jeopardy driving out to metropolitan (rual)areas that are dangerous places to enter.I'(I've had my car broKE into many times in  metro politan areas,I've had my gas tank broKE into,and they broke a 3
    $300 dollar gas tank door ,that was NOT replaced or paid by company or corp.knowing they where sending their pCA's into dangerous area's and in these areas I've seen people get murdered in front of me,plus many other things.the work it self was sold as a whole system Three plus job preformances for $25 dollars hour shown on pay check.and when you get the clients will have you do more than on schedule to make appear the service is only worth $10 an hour I call BS No One agreed to drive out with their own car and do just companioning they agreed on $25 dollars an hour and LET them Do the JOB they agreed to do for pay.Aswell rual areas 21- 24 miles driving out is to be paid $25 auto plus,I do every bit of the physical lobor plus the caring of the client.Some people have mental health problems plus severe health problems ,paraplegic ,Quad.,mirsa in legs and bones,dementia(wandering ,severe memory loss may get lost or forget anything  quickly),schitzophrinia(May become dangerous to PCA,I've had schiotzofrinics males(i'm female try to even rape,chock,pretend PCA was wife and if she didn't do as told like bring own shampooer in and shampoo rugs for $10 OR choke her )(also HAD CLIENT TRY TO THROW ME DOWN STAIRS ATTEMPTING TO BREAK NECK USING MENTAL HEATH WAS BAD).the job is NOT a MIN wage or $11 dollar an hour wage job.they just can't calm they can use your car your time(there are times agentcies will try Not paying hours driven or gas and milage they CAN NOT PAY 0 FOR WORK RENDERED!!! oR PERFORMED.SCHEDULE CHANGS ON SHIFT IS A SCAM BY CLIENT AND AGENTCIES BY ADDING ON WITHOUT SHOWING ON SCHEDULE.SO APPEARS AS IF PCA DOES JUST LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING)  WHILE THEY ACCTUALLY DID MEDICAL RUNS PLS EVERYTHING ON SCHEDUE(TAKING CLIENT TO DOCS APPOINTMENTS WHICH COSTS ABOUT !8 TO $25 DOLLARS PER HOUR STARTING FROM THEIR HOME) I SEE A GROSS UNDER PAYMENT OF PCA'S WAGES.JUST REMEMBER YOU MUST ALLOW PCA TO DO WORK AGREEDED UPON OR IT'S HERRASSMENT AND EVEN COSIDERED SEXUAL HERRASSMENT,TO STOP THEM.I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY ON THE MISTREATMENT,GROSS UNDER PAYMENT'S OF PCA'S WAGES.I FEEL THE

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