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Personal Care Agreements: Helpful Information For Family Caregivers

Personal Care Agreements: Helpful Information for Family Caregivers

As we age, certain limitations call for caregiver services. Whether it be cognitive concerns or limited mobility, many senior adults require assistance from a caretaker. 

Caregiving can be provided in a number of ways, depending on a person’s needs. There are professional caregiving services that will visit the home and provide the necessary help your loved one requires. You can also transition your loved one into an assisted living home, where on-site caregivers will provide the help they need.

Another way to provide care for an elderly adult is through a personal care agreement. Personal care agreements enlist the surrounding family members or a particular family member to give any necessary care an aging loved one needs. Find out more about personal care agreements and how they work in the guide below.

What Is a Personal Care Agreement?

A personal care agreement is a caregiving arrangement between a sick or aging individual and a friend or family member. The most common type of personal care agreement is one between an elderly parent and their adult child. 

When a senior adult is diagnosed with a serious health concern, limited mobility, or cognitive condition, they often require caregiver services. 

If they do not want a professional caregiver to come into their home and they do not want to transition into an assisted living facility, they may prefer one of their children to act as their caretaker. This is when a personal care agreement comes into play. 

Responsibilities in a Personal Care Agreement

Caregivers in a personal care agreement can have various responsibilities depending on their loved one’s needs. If you are asked to be a personal caregiver, you may need to help your parent or other family member with the following:


Most older adults with cognitive concerns or limited mobility are unable to drive. Personal caregivers are often looked to as a method of transportation. You may need to bring your parent to run errands, attend medical appointments, and more.

Personal Hygiene

Seniors who have cognitive concerns or other serious health issues may be unable to keep up with personal hygiene. Things like bathing can be harder to do without assistance, meaning you may be required to help them in the tub or shower.


Another aspect of daily life a personal caregiver may assist in is housekeeping. Limited mobility can make it tricky for seniors to keep their living spaces clean and tidy. As a personal caregiver, you may need to provide basic cleaning, such as washing dishes, doing laundry, and vacuuming.


Cooking is something many seniors struggle with as they continue to age. In a personal care agreement, you may need to provide your loved one with their daily meals by cooking for them or bringing them food you made at home.

How to Navigate Personal Care Agreements

Personal care agreements can look different from family to family. There are several factors to discuss before officially starting any personal care arrangement. This includes the following:


Compensation is one of the main details you will need to discuss when making a personal care agreement. Some family members act as a caregiver without any payment, while others require some form of compensation. 

It is completely reasonable and expected to desire compensation when acting as a caretaker. Caregiving can occupy a great deal of your time and is physically and emotionally taxing. 

Before you begin caring for an elderly loved one, you will want to decide on any potential payment. If your loved one is not paying for their care, there are certain resources and organizations out there that will actually pay you to care for an aging family member. These should be utilized if necessary.

Shared Responsibilities

Another detail to discuss when making your personal care agreement is if there will be any shared responsibilities. Will you be the sole caretaker, or will other family members be involved? This will help you divide responsibilities and design a schedule that gets everyone on the same page.


Everyone has unique needs, which means that your parent or senior family member may not need your assistance on a daily basis. Depending on their circumstances, they may only need your help several times a week or at specific, isolated times. 

When making your personal care agreement, you’ll need to decide on a schedule that meets everyone’s needs. This is especially important if you have an existing job that you will be doing on top of your caregiver duties.

Becoming a Family Caregiver

To make your personal care agreement successful, it is important to know what you are getting into and discuss all of the details beforehand. When handled correctly, a personal care agreement can be a rewarding experience for both yourself and your loved one.

If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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