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How to provide new caregivers with funds to grocery shop, pick-up items for senior.

Matt in Clawson, MI
April 22, 2018

Concerned about how to "fund" a carer with money to pick-up prescriptions, grocery shop, etc. Do not want to give seniors credit or debit card. Also don't want to provide blank checks or cash.

Anyone have any ideas or experience in this area.

Answers

I understand your concern so let me just say what my experiences have been as a caregiver. It is imperative that you build a trust relationship with your caregivers. If you are worried about them misusing a debit or credit card, or taking off with cash, then you probably shouldn't have them as a caregiver bus money isn't the only thing that a dishonest person can take. With care.com I would advise you to never hire a caregiver who doesn't provide a criminal background check. You are just asking for problems hit you hire someone who hasn't paid for a background check. This is a small cost for the caregiver in the big picture to be able to show potential employers that I am a safe person. That said, I have handled thousands of dollars for clients, once having proven myself with trust and honesty. I have an employer who leaves me blank checks to pay for anything I do with her child. Always demand receipts from anyone you ask to pay for something, verify the bank account immediately following a caregiver using a debit or credit card, etc. With technology, you can verify this kind of information immediately. Lastly, if there are ongoing concerns on your part, open up a separate bank account other than the main account for the family member, put a very little amount of money in that account, and only use that account for this trips to the pharmacy, or grocery store, or whatever. This way, if the caregiver does do something dishonest, it will not be something where they could have access to hundreds or thousands of dollars. First though, please don't hire anyone that you don't trust, especially if this is for a loved one, or even yourself. Get a background check before hiring. Hope this helps.

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If you don't trust the caregiver with money and using a receipt then I certainly wouldn't trust them to care for my family. Look for the right one and this will not be an issue

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Get a reloadable VISA/MASTERCARD.

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Cash and get the receipt make a list.

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User in Orlando, FL
Jan. 24, 2019

Do shopping online and have the caretaker pick-up for you and not handle money. Or have the caretaker pay with a pre-paid debit card that only has a certain amount of money to use and needs to get recharged once the limit has been maxed out or utilized. It's like an allowance that you put on a pre-paid card to limit the liability that is placed on the caretaker and to secure the amount of risk that the client assumes when fiduciary tasks are involved in the care business.

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Susan in Oxford, NC
Nov. 22, 2018

Set up a PayPal account and send them money from one PayPal account to the other. If they have facebook you can send money to their PayPal instantly free.

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Make a segregated bank account with the exact amount of funds needed to make purchases. Then you can track exactly what was purchased by the caregiver

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So call the grocery store and shop on line, Most grocery stores have delivery services these days. Or, send the caregiver to pick up the grocery.

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Theresa in Bowie, MD
April 5, 2019

If it's allowed use Instacart for shopping. Orders are delivered to their doors. No need to be accountable for their money other than making sure they get what was ordered. They use Aldis, Wegmans, Giant, CVS and a few other stores. Check it out!

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cash is the best option. write out a list of what needs to be gotten. you know how much you left so if it dont add up thats when you question them

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You can load a grocery store gift card or purchase a Visa gift card with enough money to get the groceries.

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David in Chenoa, IL
Feb. 8, 2019

Trust is something that is earned over a period of time. If you are not comfortable with cash check or credit cards then you must do the shopping for the senior. It is always best if you provide a credit card that you received a receipt and check the validity of the caretaker when they do shopping. This should build trust enough to make future purchases

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Sounds like you make consider on line shopping services such as Safeway, Giant Harris Tweeter. Prepay for prescriptions via telephone

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Anne in Miami, FL
Feb. 4, 2019

It may be helpful to send via cash app or Venmo at least 1-2 days before needed so that they can transfer to their own account and use as needed. Also offers a convenient way to send small amounts at a time if the concern is making too much money available at once.

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Purchase several gift cards for whatever amounts you want and the cards can be used at grocery stores. If you do gift cards, make a 'form' listing the card and the balance, then the caregiver can record the date of purchase, where and the amount spent. They should enclose the receipt of purchase and record the balance. That way you can check on the card balance and make sure it balances with the form. You also can see what items were purchased to make sure they are all for your parent and nothing else. That way you will know if they used the gift card for their personal items. You could call the pharmacy and see if they will take payments over the phone with debit or credit card. If they do, then a family member can go ahead and pay for the prescription and the caregiver only needs to pick it up. Or the pharmacy can charge it to her or his account. Never give blank checks or credit cards to anyone. If you do cash, make sure the caregivers brings the receipt back and check the change.

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Tammi in Bristol, IN
Jan. 26, 2019

Have them take you with them until you feel you can trust them.In the mean time,i would have a family member or friend do it.

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Mary in Millstone, NJ
Jan. 23, 2019

I would give them a prepaid debit card that has a $500 limit. You can get one that you can keep replenishing. They must then provide receipts to you. You can also set up an online account so you can watch the expenditures.

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There are many stores, (local grocery and Walmart), that will allow you to now order, shop and pay online. This will allow the caregiver to just go and pick up the items. This will also free up the caregiver's time to focus on other duties.

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Mabye know how much to the penny all would cost and only give that amount. Or possibly have a prepaid card linked to u so that when caregiver knows amount the money can be transferred. Always get receipts.

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I have provided home health for over 8 years. There are several ways to do this including prepaid cards and credit/debit cards for which the caregiver is allowed to sign for. Ask them to keep all the receipts and keep a register of what is purchased. Each month when the statement shows up, collect this, balance it, and sign it.

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I have run into this issue and have found that online ordering works great! You fill your order through the store, pay online and your caregiver can pick it up when its filled.

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Getting a prepaid debit card is best. It allows you to keep track of the amount spent and what it is spent on. Always have the caregiver sign a receipt saying she received the card. Upon her/his return from shopping require an original receipt from the merchant that has a date, time and merchandise purchased on it.

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No blank checks EVER, If you give cash make sure they bring back two receipts one for your records and one for theirs. Credit cards are the BEST way, the ones that don't need a pin. But I also get receipts to cover myself, or team members on top of allowing patients to know they are secure. If you need anything else please feel free to message me.

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Anna in Camino, CA
Nov. 25, 2018

Repaying caregivers can sometimes be a hassle, luckily in today's world it has become a much less daunting task! You can use caregiver designated credit card. Another option is to simply have them give you the physical receipt or send a pic of the receipt and you add save them adding it onto the caregivers paycheck each week/month. You can also repay them using paypal or zelle. My personal favorite is to purchase a gift card that is only valid at the grocery store you send them to. You can have one for the pharmacy, grocery store and gas station! Just remember to tell them to always keep the receipts! Hope this gives you something to consider!

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Estimate each mth how much ALL expenses will add up to and purchase a prepaid visa card(right amt)and have them use that each month. This way no more no less is being used by the Caregiver and Family should have a peace of mind. I am a Caregiver myself and I have always earned the trust of the Family and have been given cash or credit cards to use as they see the end results at the end of the month(statement bill)to question anything unusual. Trust the Caregiver YOU hired. Ty

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I have answered this question more than once. Why can't this process end so I can complete this application?

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Hi, Do a background check prior to hiring them. Lots of people know that once you have a copy of their DL, SS card and know their address they won't try anything stupid, or you can order online the groceries, pay and have the caregiver go pick them up. Same thing with the medicine, you can prepay or have the card on file and let the pharmacy know that your doing it for seniors who can't get out and a caregiver will come pick it up and just use the card on file, they will allow it.

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I would do cash, but only if you feel as though you can trust.. if you build a cloe relationship than maybe credit card.. but make the health care provider sign a paper stating they will not spend money on anything besides what the client needs and what is told to get, if any other money I spent further actions will be considered?

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User in Tampa, FL
Oct. 11, 2018

Get loadable gift cards and keep tabs on receipts if lost or stolen funds can be transferred to another card.

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It's all about learning to trust the right person.

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Patricia in Ogden, UT
Sept. 23, 2018

Have the caregiver use their own money then you reimburse them upon them providing receipts. If you don't trust a caregiver with your money, how can you trust them with a loved one?

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You can put a certain amount of cash you think will cover the items. Make sure they bring back receipts. Make sure you have all your caregivers personal information, background check, HCA ID or at least their drivers license, just in case.

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First, find out how much the prescription(s) cost, the grocery list is followed. Give the person enough money in cash to cover the medication(s) and follow the grocery list. Ask for a receipt and change, if any. How much is the hairdresser and tip? Did they go to lunch? Never give more than what you think needs to cover expenses.

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Provide caregivers with a list of supplies to pick up at the grocery store and request a receipt. Keep track of all expenses and receipts so that you can track your expenses. Example, if you need groceries, you can send a caregiver to the store with $50 and the list of groceries that you require. When the caregiver returns, ask for the change and the receipt.

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I would set up a cash fund per month for those items. Do not use a credit card. Ask for receipts.

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Ben in San Jose, CA
Aug. 11, 2018

Allocating the monthly Budgets

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My clients have trusted me with cash, checks, and cards. I just make sure they get the receipt and change/card back right as soon as I return to their home. Like others have said, if you can't trust the caregiver with your money, you should trust them to be in your home.

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Laure in Edmonds, WA
July 30, 2018

Ask the family what the program is for money needed for groceries and presciptions, do they fund if with cash or a debit card?

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Sandra in Jupiter, FL
July 25, 2018

These options were very helpful.

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Tamara in Phoenix, AZ
July 15, 2018

If you hired that person you must of like and had a trust for them so that is a good start but always do a credit card so you can keep track of the card and always have a receipt book that you both sign at all times so there are no confusions. Never ever do cash no matter what. I hope that helps. Tamara

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Put it on a prepaid card or possibly a gift card.

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Have a cookie jar fund.When the money is spent tell the person to provide you with a receipte

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I think a prepaid Visa is a good way to build trust. We already know how much we spend when we go to the store ; load it weekly until your sure you have a caregiver that's trustworthy. I would also be sure that the caregiver has a background check and plenty of references so I know who will be in your home and with your loved one!

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You just have to trust the caregiver to do the right thing, do the shopping and bring back a recipe.

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Keri in Eustace, TX
Jan. 7, 2018

I'd say pre-paid cards with small amounts could be helpful. Or a person can write the checks to the order of the stores and demand receipts for everything. Verify all activity with the banks immediately so you know they aren't being abused.

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most families give cash and I return with the receipt and change. Showing the client or family member that all is accounted for. There has to be some trust no matter what type of payment is used

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Families to provide funds in advance for items that are needed for the month. To do a meet and greet and discuss in advance of what is needed for the client

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Rhonda in Clovis, CA
Dec. 15, 2017

Purchase a prepaid Visa card so you can load the amount of money you wont the care giver to have.

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Julia in Endicott, NY
Dec. 14, 2017

Prepaid debit cards or store gift cards,can keep track and spend only whats allowed

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Lois in Gary, IN
Dec. 13, 2017

You have been the caregiver, so you know the amount groceries, Rx and the other items this person needs cost. Get a Visa Pre-Paid card that you have loaded (and used to make sure that they will have no trouble when they go to the store/s) with the amount the items needed will cost, plus maybe a few extra dollars for gas, if they have to use their personal car. You give them the pre paid card and tell them that they need to bring all items, receipts, with the returned pre-paid card, so that you may reload that card for the next time they have to go out for the same or different needs. I hope this helps solve one of your possible problems.

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Do your budget ahead of time. Know how much you will need for groceries. Gather coupons, list, etc.,and the appropriate amount of cash for errands and prescriptions. Gice to care giver. Expect receipts and change from all trasactions conducted that day. Could also get a net spend card(or other) just for these thing with just enough money on it each time.

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User in Sandwich, MA
Dec. 13, 2017

My clients give me cash and we count it out together and then write out how much they gave on a receipt and both sign it. That way there are no discrepancies. Then I bring back the receipt and subtract the totals on the paper for their records. Everyone is always happy with that in my experience. Checks and cards are hard now a days because the clerk may ask for id and obviously that can pose a problem.

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My own experience the client trust me completely and always give her receipts. What I think is that the client probably tested me in the house with other values jewelry etc and never disappeared

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Jenifer in Westwood, NJ
Sept. 26, 2019

Pay online and just have them pick everything up or you can get a card that you just put some cash on so you can see that the person is trustworthy. You can get one time cards or a card you can refill with cash when needed online or by phone.

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Reloadable debit cards are a great solution to help monitor finances for senior care.

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Many grocery store now offer on line ordering. I would do that. The items can either be delivered right to the house or you can pick them up or have the caregiver pick them up. I would check if you can pay for the prescriptions over the phone.

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give only what necessary or u go to store yourself to take off ease of being uneasy

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i had a high profile client wanted to give me a card with a 100k limit i told him i could not except that card i ask him to go to his bank and to have a preset limit that was acceptable

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You can now shop at home at Target, Walmart, etc. and your caregiver is only responsible for the pick-up. Pay in advance by credit, no problem. Many pharmacies deliver, too.

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As a caregiver for over 12 years I have always gotten any groceries, supplies, etc... with my Own money for which I then supply a weekly invoice for not only my time spent with my client's, but receipts for anything I have purchased for my clients for then I am reimbursed by the client or family with my pay.

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Jennifer in Sylmar, CA
April 14, 2019

Well I bill my clients Monthly . I don't do cash and carry . Anything they need from the store, ect. I just pay for it out of my pocket . At the end of the Month Submit my invoice and my Receipts . Everyone feels Comfortable about it . :

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