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Paying a live-in housekeeper

shyparentalunitshyparentalunit Posts: 313Registered User Member
edited April 2010 in Parent Cafe
Do any of you have experience with live-in housekeepers? I'm trying to figure out what a fair price per week would be. My elderly parents (small town in the South) temporarily have their housekeeper living in. My dad recently had a major surgery and they need a little extra help, including over night. Their housekeeper has worked for them for several years, just a few mornings per week, but was willing to do more for awhile. My problem? She's reluctant to name a number, just wants me to pick a number out of the blue to pay her. She's a gem, and I certainly don't want to offend her by offering too little, but I also don't want to overpay. I live 1000 miles away and don't have a lot of contacts in my hometown anymore. Any suggestions?
Post edited by shyparentalunit on
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Replies to: Paying a live-in housekeeper

  • moonchildmoonchild Posts: 2,881Registered User Senior Member
    Can you call some local(to your folks) agencies that find housekeepers for clients and see what the going rate in their area is?
  • jonrijonri Posts: 5,215Registered User Senior Member
    Can you look in the local help wanted ads? They probably have jobs for live-in housekeepers which will mention salaries.
  • 2boysima2boysima Posts: 1,792Registered User Senior Member
    What is her hourly rate for the days she works? Would you be willing to pay that for 24 hours? If not....perhaps 12 hours at that rate, and 12 hours at a reduced rate.....
  • nj2011momnj2011mom Posts: 2,643Registered User Senior Member
    Look on craigslist for the area. Don't forget to search childcare, as she's the equivalent of a live-in nanny. Make sure you define her hours, so she has time off and isn't working 24/7, as that is unfair and she will burn out.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,223Registered User Senior Member
    When I researched this a few years ago it seemed to be about the hourly rate x 10....though the evil person charged my in laws 24 x the hourly when FIL was hospitalised with serious complications and MIL needed full time in home care. That was bad!

    It seemed to be about $120/day direct or up to $200/day through a service.
  • shyparentalunitshyparentalunit Posts: 313Registered User Member
    Thanks for the suggestions and concrete numbers so far!
  • northeastmomnortheastmom Posts: 12,379Registered User Senior Member
    I know someone who had a person visit their home to take care of a newborn 3 nights per week, as both parents went right back to full time work. They were paying $140 per night for 7 hours (in other words, $20 per hour and the caretaker came in from 11pm til 6am). Responsibilities were purely to tend to the newborn and nothing else.
  • nysmilenysmile Posts: 5,850Registered User Senior Member
    Please remember that she is a housekeeper and not a nurse. You need to define her duties.
    It's really not fair to pay her to be a housekeeper and also expect her to do the job of in-home nursing care.
  • shyparentalunitshyparentalunit Posts: 313Registered User Member
    nysmile--I neglected to mention that home health is coming in 3x per week and PT 2x per week, so she really isn't doing nursing. However, she often jumps in and does "extras." My mom has some leg pain, and she does a foot and leg massage for her--not something any of us would have asked for, but welcome! She's really a gem...
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,223Registered User Senior Member
    I should mention that the quotes I stated above were for a CNA doing home health care assistance not a housekeeper.
  • mkm56mkm56 Posts: 3,062Registered User Senior Member
    There are several agencies that do in home care. The one I am most familiar with charges around 12-14/hr, depending on level of care. They do meal prep, house cleaning, errands and personal care if needed (no skilled nursing). I think the prices are great considering I know individuals who pay 20/hr for house cleaning only.
  • ellebudellebud Posts: 2,328Registered User Senior Member
    I think that what a live in makes is determined by many things: Where you live. Obviously duties and the hours required. And, pc aside, legal or illegal workers and whether you pay benefits.

    In SoCal we have tremendous access to full time live in help. I no longer have a live in (we stopped with live ins about 16 years ago and switched to day workers), but at that time we paid $275 for a five day week with about 8 hours per day of work. I understand that our neighbors (who can't keep help) pay $300 NOW for a 6 day week. What I have heard is that really good, non medical geriatric help is about $600 per week. Most of the help is illegal here, and rarely are income taxes/social security taxes withheld.

    Our housekeeper, legal, is paid $18 an hour. As she a dayworker I do not pay taxes etc. That is her responsibility (legally). Dear friends who had 7 day a week live in (two sisters who shared the duties) paid about that per hour...but no nursing care required.
  • axwaxw Posts: 571Registered User Member
    A good housekeeper/caregiver is worth their weight in gold, IMO. When you find a good one who is above average, it's worth paying them more than average. Especially this woman, who has stepped up to the plate in your parents time of need. She is apparently someone your parents already trust, someone they don't have to train, and someone who is kind.

    Also, it's a good idea to define what a "temporary" situation is, so there are no misunderstandings. Are you talking about a few weeks? A few months? What if things don't go as planned, and you need someone to live-in for a longer term? Try not to set up a situation where she has to "quit" because it's become too much. If you say "we'll do it this way for _____ weeks/months, and then re-evaluate" then everyone can be comfortable making a change if necessary.
  • shyparentalunitshyparentalunit Posts: 313Registered User Member
    Thanks for all the good advice and kind words.
  • lololulololu Posts: 1,325Registered User Senior Member
    ellebud, if you pay your housekeeper directly (not through an agency), please check to be sure she can be classified as an independent contractor. 99.99% of all domestic workers who are paid directly by the homeowner are considered employees and you are responsible for taxes, etc. If you pay an agency for a worker, you should be good.
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