by Joy Loverde
I received so many emails from people who are seeking ways to be paid for family caregiving that I felt it was important to offer some of the strategies from my book, The Complete Eldercare Planner.
To begin, first review your own financial situation. This is an important step in the process. Shelling out money for parent care does not do any good if in the process we are jeopardizing our own future financial stability. Discuss money-management strategies with a financial planner. With your own longevity in mind, calculate your net worth and outline plans to provide for your retirement needs.
The next step is to investigate the following family caregiver payment strategies:
- Hospitals, social service organizations and adult education centers offer training programs for caregivers who, upon completion of the program, may qualify to be paid for their services. Call your local Area Agency on Aging to see if such a program exists near you.
- If you haven’t done so already, investigate long-term care insurance – for you and your aging parents. Ask about a policy that will pay for family and friends to provide the care after they have completed a caregiving-training program.
- The "Cash and Counseling" program for Medicaid enrollees allows participants to pay family members for their services. Contact your local agency on aging or department of social services for more information on government funding.
- Seek the assistance of an elder law attorney and begin the process of putting estate plans in writing. If your mother owns property and has assets, your getting paid for family caregiving may have to wait until your mother’s estate is settled.
- There are several programs that allow low-income family caregivers to care for their elderly relatives, most notably the Personal Care Attendant Program and the Adult Foster Care Program, which pays family members and others to provide care for elders who are Medicaid eligible and need help with their activities of daily living. Call the Medicare office for details or visit the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.