Over 70 million individuals in the United States are currently unpaid caregivers for their loved ones in their homes, according to Caring.com. Taking care of parents is both emotionally and physically draining, but it also affects your pocketbook. If you are taking care of your parents, you may qualify to be paid for providing caretaking services.
Need for Caretakers
Caring.com reports a projected 50 percent increase in caretakers before the year 2016 due to the aging baby-boomer population, as well as the financial and emotional expense of placing older adults in long-term care facilities. According to Care Pathways.com, at the time of publication, assisted-living facilities cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 a month, making it difficult for many families to afford. Some adult children find it to hard to move their parents into a facility with strangers and would rather take care of them personally. Adult children then become caretakers who help their parents with personal care.
A caretaker provides assistance and support to a person who needs help due to disability, age or illness. If your parents need assistance with bathing, grooming, hygiene, dressing, transfers, walking, laundry, cooking or shopping, they need a caretaker. As an adult child, you may be providing most of these duties for your parents. If your adult parents live in your home, or you in theirs, you are most likely scheduling medical appointments for them, reminding them to take medication, providing first aid and wound care and even feeding them.
Get Paid for Taking Care of Your Parents
As of 2011, the only way to get paid for taking care of a parent is by using your parent's Medicaid benefits or private pay. The U.S. Department of Human Services describes Medicaid as a form of state-funded health care coverage for people with low-income and little or no assets. Medicaid pays caretakers for personal care services (i.e., bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning and other duties), and will pay agencies or family members for the services. In some states, such as Washington and Minnesota, Medicaid runs a program called Cash and Counseling, which allow clients to choose their own caretakers. Caring.com provides a list of all states offering this type of program. If your parents do not qualify for Medicaid, they may be able to help pay bills or buy groceries as a way to pay you for your caretaking duties.
To become a paid caretaker through Medicaid, caretakers must pass criminal background checks, have legal authorization to work in the United States, sign a contract with the agency paying for the care and complete all required caregiver training. A Medicaid worker assigned to your case will assist you and your parents in setting hours, payment procedures, payment amounts and answer any other questions about the process. Caring.com states that the best way to get the paid caretaker process started is by contacting your local Aging Services or Human Services office.
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