If you have an elderly parent at home, you might realise that it can really be an overwhelming task to help them with everyday tasks, whether it is running errands, taking medications on time or something as simple as eating meals on time. More than often, it can reach a stage where they are in need of full-time care. Come to think of it, giving proper care to someone is not a job that one really applies for, it can happen without any prior intimation. As per the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) almost 80% of long-term family care is provided by close family members or friends, and a majority of them are unpaid.
Let’s take a look at some of the prime responsibilities of a family caregiver:
- They help the family members in boarding and alighting from the wheel-chair accessible vehicle and also drive them wherever they want to go.
- They attend to their personal hygiene, and also assist in bathing and dressing up
- Since most of the elderly are not so adept with usage of technology, the caregiver can be quite helpful
- They can be helpful in food preparation as well as feeding
- They serve as reminders to take medication at specified timings.
One great advantage of a family caregiver as opposed to a professional caregiver is that it becomes more personal and one tends to be more sympathetic and loving while attending to them. However the task can be quite daunting with many ups and downs to the point of getting totally burned out and emotionally drained, not to mention the additional financial stress. Considering the time, energy and resources spent taking care of a family member, coupled with rising financial expenditure, finding ways to get compensated for their efforts can be really helpful.
The New York State Medicaid program has introduced CDPAP – the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program that allows beneficiaries to hire anyone from their family or friend circle for caregiving services. In simple words, care for your family member and get paid too. It’s a win-win situation indeed. Ways to Get Paid for taking Care of Family
What are the benefits of CDPAP?
- Become a caregiver for your loved ones and get paid for doing the same. This is really helpful if you are spending more time taking care of them or you have completely quit your job to become a full time caregiver. The financial stress can thus be alleviated to some extent.
- No requirement of a specialised training. As part of CDPAP, you are not required to have any sort of specialized training whatsoever. Just ensure to provide care while following directions of the patient or an overseeing third party.
- Conduct need-based medical tasks. Under CDPAP, as a caregiver, you can perform medical related duties like administering medications, giving insulin, checking temperature, and other such related activities which are usually taken care of by a nurse.
Who is eligible for CDPAP?
- Those receiving care must be registered with Medicaid.
- Those willing to become a caregiver must have a stable medical condition and should ideally require assistance with day-to-day life activities.
- Those enrolling themselves must be self-directing, and must have someone on a standby basis who would be willing to perform the same duties in case of unavailability of the specified caregiver.
How does CDPAP work?
The CDPAP has to be informed along with a doctor’s authorization specifying the recipient’s health condition and their respective needs
As a caregiver, proper documentation has to be provided whether you are eligible to work in the US
A physical checkup and blood work is mandatory to prove that you are in a healthy condition to take the responsibility of a caregiver
Once approved and depending on the needs of the recipient, CDPAP will allot the family member certain number of hours on a weekly basis
Paycheck will be sent to the caregiver on an hourly pay rate
Who can become a CDPAP caregiver?
It can be absolutely anyone from your son, daughter, grandchild, relative, close friend, or even your existing home attendant except –
- Legal Spouse
- Someone who makes home care decisions for you
- Parent (if you are under the age of 21)
It must be noted that Medicaid is a government run program and has its own set of eligibility criteria. Only if your income and assets are below a certain level, you stand a chance of benefiting from it. As per a study conducted by AARP, it was found that 42 percent of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year on unreimbursed care-related expenses. So while programs like Medicaid won’t directly pay you for your time and effort, it might alleviate some financial stress by lowering your costs if your family member qualifies.