Caregiving for the elderly, especially a parent or loved one can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Many need more care than most family members can provide. Some caregivers cut back hours or leave their jobs entirely to adjust to growing needs, causing financial strain. We get a lot of questions about caregiving on the Patients Rising Concierge service. We’re glad to say there are programs that can help, and even ways to possibly get paid to be a caregiver. Let’s explore.
DETERMINE THE LEVEL OF NEED
Before you make any steps forward, you can narrow down your searches by deciding what your caregiving needs are and what they are not.
- Does a skilled nurse need to be in the home?
- Does the person just need help with cleaning, laundry, and preparing meals?
- Can they use the bathroom without help? Or,
- Do they need 24/7 care and supervision?
- Do you have the time and money to be able to do this alone?
Once you’ve determined the type of caregiving needs to be met, you can start inquiring for info. This blog site https://www.seniorlink.com/blog/how-to-become-a-paid-caregiver-for-a-family-member-6-steps-to-uncovering-financial-assistance-options-for-family-caregivers has a lot of good information on where to start. It’s full of different options on how to get paid, and/or get another caregiver paid for. We’ve turned to it often with questions about caregiving.
WHERE TO TURN FOR HELP
Medicaid pays for caregiving, but there are rules. It can be difficult to navigate, and varies from State to State, but resources are available. Here are some sites that can help you navigate State Medicaid.
DEPARTMENT OF AGING
It can also be beneficial to reach out to your local county’s Department of Aging. To find your local department, go to your local county’s webpage, and go to the Departments webpage. If there isn’t one, you can call the county’s main phone line and ask to be connected.
Here is a page from the Department of Health and Human Services that links to each State’s equivalent “department of aging”: https://www.hhs.gov/aging/state-resources/index.html
That is our resource of choice. There are people there who know the system and can help you and your family navigate it. The Department of Social Services has case workers/social workers who can help your loved one apply for Medicaid (if you haven’t already) and see just exactly what your family qualifies for.
Here is another resource should you need it: https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/find_aging_agencies_adrc_aaa
We also recommend our friends at the National Alliance for Caregiving for great resources that can help give you the knowledge and confidence to proceed.
THE VALUE OF A SOCIAL WORKER
Rightathome.net says it well…
“Check with your county or city Area Agency on Aging or your state board of social workers. You can also ask your doctor or other care providers. If you use hospice services, they have their own social workers. You can call the intake line of a county social worker, as well, and ask, “Do I qualify for any services that the social worker can bring me?” A lot of county agencies provide very minimal, basic-needs services as an entry point to get the oversight of a social worker in the home.
For example, with Meals on Wheels, your meals are delivered, but they also provide a social worker who does an assessment to see if there are other needs to be taken care of, as well as reassessments by a social worker to see if there has been any change. That’s the holistic picture the social worker looks at, as opposed to a silo approach.” (https://www.rightathome.net/blog/geriatric-social-workers-faqs)
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
Like the Department of Aging, these people know the system and can help you. To connect with your local department, search for it the same way as you’d look for the Department of Aging; search for your local government webpage, and navigate to their Social Services Department.
OTHER RESOURCES (revisited)
The following websites can also connect you with the resources you need:
PATIENTS RISING CONCIERGE IS HERE TO HELP
The resources above should be a good first step in figuring out your caregiving needs. Still struggling to find answers? Patients Rising Concierge has patient advocates who can help you.
Call us: 800-685-2654
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit: https://patientsrisingconcierge.org/ to search
Samantha is an advocate, health & wellness coach, and the President of G-PACT, a nonprofit patient support group for gastroparesis. She lives with a handful of chronic illnesses while working to help others with theirs. Advocating has become part of her passion and purpose in life. She lives in upstate New York, where she enjoys running in the warmer weather and complains when she has to run in the cold. She’s organized fundraisers, lobbied congress, spoken at conferences, and been a part of many awareness campaigns for chronic illnesses.