Today, people who require in-home care commonly get it from their friends or family members. The caring individuals are typically not full-time caregivers and do not get paid for these responsibilities. In many cases, they have full-time jobs outside the home, and dependents of their own to care for, once they finish providing care to their aging or ill loved one.
According to the 2015 Caregiving in the United States report, more than 43.5 million U.S. adults have provided unpaid care to friends or family members within the last year. Most of these caregivers (60%) are female, and 10% are 75 years old or older. What’s more, these caregivers spend an average of $6,954 each year in out-of-pocket costs related to their caregiving activities.
While these caregivers are typically passionate about providing care for their loved ones, there’s no doubt that the responsibility can be considerable, and the lack of pay crippling. Unfortunately, there have historically been few options for seniors who want to hire family caregivers and pay them to work in the home.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: now you can hire your own caregiver and secure regular pay for them, even if they’re a family member.
Thanks to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, seniors and others in need of in-home care can hire their loved ones to act as their caregivers, and the program will provide financial compensation for their time and services.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, or CDPAP, is a New York State institution that allows patients eligible for Medicaid to hire, manage, and terminate caregivers of their choice. While third-parties, like vendors and agencies, have historically handled locating, training, and terminating caregivers on behalf of these patients, CDPAP pushes to place control back where it belongs: in the hands of the individual seeking care.
Under CDPAP, patients can:
CDPAP allows consumers to select who they want as a caregiver. As long as this person is over the age of 18, and not the patient’s assigned representative, the individual can be a friend, family member, child, former caregiver, neighbor, or spouse. This alleviates the stress of bringing a stranger into the home and ensures that patients have the freedom to work with the people they love and trust.
It’s no secret that home care has a high turnover rate, which typically leaves patients vulnerable to working with strangers they don’t trust or know. Under CDPAP, however, consumers can hire someone they trust, which offers more stability, comfort, and predictability to permeate the home care environment.
Not only have consumers seldom had the right to choose their caregivers, but they’ve virtually never been allowed to choose to terminate them. Under CDPAP, consumers accessing in-home care can choose to fire a home care aide if the partnership isn’t a good fit. This restores power to the consumer and makes finding an agreeable match easier.
One of the most painful things on earth is wanting to care for a family member or friend, but not being able to due to lack of pay. CDPAP seeks to solve this. By securing predictable pay for chosen caregivers, CDPAP allows patients and their caregivers to abandon some of the financial burden typically associated with the arrangement and enjoy a less stressful partnership.
When you know the aide working with you, communication flows easier and more efficiently. This, in turn, spells better health outcomes for patients and fewer disagreements between patient and caregiver.
If you’re interested in hiring a caregiver through CDPAP, here are the steps you’ll need to take:
The first step to accessing CDPAP is to be sure you’re eligible for the program. To do this, you’ll have to talk to your Medicaid provider. CDPAP has regulations that state how many hours of care patients with various plans can access each week, and checking with your provider will give you an idea of where you stand and how much care you can reasonably access.
As a general rule, people who are eligible for CDPAP meet the following criteria:
If you’re confused about the process of securing CDPAP, start by working with a free service like CDPAPdirect (visit their website or call them at (844) 574-1171), which will provide free, informative CDPAP consultations as well as supportive services, like helping both the patient and the caregiver get signed up for the program.
If you already have an unpaid friend or family member providing your care, this person will likely be the obvious choice. If you don’t currently have a caregiver, now is the time to consider who you’d like to fill the role.
Remember, CDPAP allows you to select friends, family members, a spouse, a neighbor, or a former caregiver you’ve worked with and liked. The person you choose does not need to have any formal caregiving training.
The third and final step in the process is to start receiving care from your chosen caregiver. Once you and the caregiver have signed up and been cleared through CDPAP, the program will provide you with the tools and platforms you need to manage and pay your caregiver.
For the sake of simplicity, your caregiver will be enrolled directly in the CDPAP’s payroll system, which means you don’t need to handle any of the hands-on payroll responsibilities on your own. CDPAP will do it all for you and, by ensuring predictable, quality pay for your chosen caregiver will make both their life and your life easier.
If you’re interested in finding out more about CDPAP, you have a few options. First, you can visit the CDPAP website to get care, read testimonials, learn more about CDPAP as an organization, and access FAQ pages. You can also call the organization directly at (718) 404-9359.
CDPAPdirect also offers a whole host of CDPAP resources, including a complete guide, which provides answers to many of the most common questions people have about the program and contains information about general work rules, personal safety, hiring, securing back-up assistants, and more.
While many seniors don’t realize CDPAP exists, or that it’s an option for them, the fact is that CDPAP is easily one of the most important programs available right now. By allowing you to choose a caregiver you feel comfortable with, and secure quality pay and training for that person, CDPAP takes proactive steps to make the patient-caregiver relationship more symbiotic and positive, across the board.