Sunday, December 21, 2003


Dear Mouse, Caregivers may be licensed nursing assistants or simply elderly sitters. Families of the patients either hire them directly or thru registries. Some work in skilled facilities while others go to the private residence of the patients. This is a good paying job that even those 9-5, 5- days a-week moonlight as caregivers during their free time. There is this husband-and-wife who are both caregivers. The husband works in a hospital where he receives benefits while the wife works with a private patient. One Christmas, the wife received a brand new car from his patient as a gift. Aside from the three houses they own in the US, they have rows of apartments for rent in the Philippines. Lucky them. Some are not as lucky though. A friend of a friend of a friend (that means I do not know her personally) received $ 200,000 when her patient died. Afraid of the tax consequence of that windfall, she deposited it to her daughter's account. The daughter used it to pay for the downpayment of a house, to buy a new car and to get married. The poor woman is left in the old apartment with big IRS problem. It seemed that her bank account was frozen until she can pay back taxes for "under the table" income from her caregiving services. No one has advised her that she could not get away from taxes since the patient's family estate will be claiming the caregiving wages as expenses. Another couple who came to the US as tourists worked on their papers thru the help of a benevolent old black man. Aside from the generous monthy salary, the wife got a car and a unit of their own from the several apartments that the old man owned. No one had advised them that the petition for caregivers takes a while and the death of the sponsor invalidates the application for adjustment of status. I haven't seen them lately but they may still be among the invisibles in the neighboorhood. The cinderella story of a caregiver was one that ended with a marriage of the Filipina to the old patient. She is not a looker but the family did not want to lose her due to her immigration status.Now, she is a rich widow driving a Benz visiting her friends-caregivers. Remember Christopher Reeve who declared to the world that he is going to move heaven and earth so that he can keep his Filipina caregiver ? What about the star of Back to the Future Michael J. Fox. The moneys that change hands from patients to caregivers may have produced nurses and other professionals but the caregivers continue to work until the day when they could no longer lift their arthritic arms to transfer their patients to chair from bed and from chair back to bed. In their desire to get more from their salaries, they forego the Social security coverage, medical insurance and dental insurance. Many of them are still working past their retirement age . The SSI is not even enough for a small room while the beneficiaries of their "scholarships" enjoy the bounty of high paying job of nurses. Life is not fair; who said it is ? The CA t


Post a Comment

<< Home