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Your mother can always pay your son for the care he provides. However, if you are trying to ask if she can use it as a way to spend down her assets prior to going into a nursing home, that may be suspect assuming your son is not a certified home healthcare aid or another person licensed in the medical community. The funds given to your son may be viewed in the Look Back Period for her qualification. The way to help achieve your intended goal would be to draft a short written contract setting out the terms of his work and payment. This way it is formal and he would be required to declare the money as income for tax purposes.