How to Become A Paid Caregiver for A Family Member

How to Become A Paid Caregiver for A Family Member

There are nearly 53 million seniors over the age of 65 in the United States, and 1,925,649 in state of Illinois. The number of elderly in Illinois now ranks sixth in the country behind California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Only about 2.5 million of elderly people in United States live in assisted living– meaning the vast majority live at home.

If your elderly parents or other relatives fit this description; you may be wondering how you can get them some help. Things like long term care insurance are expensive and don’t always cover the type of care needed. You’d love to help them yourself, but you can’t take that much time off work.

As a result, being a paid caregiver for a family member is common. Many individuals help seniors with non-medical assistance, such as personal care services, housekeeping, laundry, and meal planning.

The Programs that Can Help You Become a Paid Caregiver for A Family Member

Federal and state governments have recognized the value of having family members serve as paid caregivers for older adults. In the 1990s, trial “Cash and Counseling” programs were created in a few states in the Medicaid fund system, developed due to many individuals’ inability to balance having a full-time job with elder care.

Since then, “cash and counseling” has been replaced with “consumer-directed care” or “self-directed care.” In Illinois, the Cash and Counseling Program became the Community Care Program through the Illinois Department on Aging.

The Process of Becoming a Paid Caregiver for A Family Member 

The process of becoming a paid caregiver for a family member is easy when working with a home care agency. To become a paid caregiver for a family member in Illinois, you and the care recipient must meet the correct qualifications. After that, the process is a little like this:

  • Assessment – Case workers from the care program meet with your elderly relative and determine what kind of care is needed.
  • Care Plan – After the initial assessment, the caseworker draws up a care plan that outlines the necessary personalized assistance.
  • Training – While these steps are in progress, you will receive training from a home care agency.

When the process is complete, your home care agency will provide you with a copy of the care plan and the documentation you’ll need to complete to fulfill the requirements of the program and get paid.

Types of Services that Paid Caregivers Provide

Types of Services that Paid Caregivers Provide:

The assistance programs that allow you to become a paid caregiver for your elderly relatives center around “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs). Generally, they fall into several categories such as:

  • Personal Care. Bathing, dressing and toileting.
  • Meal Preparation and Planning. Meal planning, grocery shopping, preparation, and clean up.
  • Medication Reminders. Reminders of when to take specific medications.
  • Light Housekeeping and Laundry. Washing and putting away clothes, vacuuming, dusting, and more.
  • Errands. Picking up a prescription, going to the post office, getting out of the house.
  • Brain Games & Activities. Keeping seniors mentally fit with board games, puzzles, and activities other activities.
  • Companionship & Social Interaction. Regular communication with a caregiver has a valuable impact on seniors.

Navigating The Challenges Of Becoming A Paid Caregiver

Navigating the Challenges of Becoming a Paid Caregiver

While becoming a paid caregiver for an elderly relative can be a rewarding experience and can help you feel closer to your elderly loved one, there may be significant challenges. This is especially the case if they are resistant to change, don’t think they need this much care, or struggle with role reversal. Other family members may not understand or approve of the care you provide, leading to conflicts.

Manage these challenges with open lines of communication. You can always point to the care plan as the authority on what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

Veteran Directed Home & Community Based Care

The VA offers Veteran Directed Care (VDC), previously called Veteran Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS), for veterans of all ages who are enrolled in the VA’s medical benefits package. If your loved one is a veteran who requires skilled services and assistance with daily living activities, they can obtain the assistance they require.

With this flexible monthly budget, veterans are able to choose how they spend it. This includes the ability to hire relatives, adult children, and grandchildren, to provide the needed care.

The veteran works with a financial management service that handles the financial aspects of being an “employer’, such as making payments for care and services. Veterans do not receive cash via this program.

Home Care Powered by AUAF can Help You Become a Paid Caregiver

Home Care Powered by AUAF is a home care agency that can help walk you through the process of becoming a paid caregiver for your elderly relative living at home. We provide paid training and a competitive wage. Call us at 773-274-9262 to see how our dedicated and professional team can help.

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