Caring for your elderly parent at home can be a rewarding experience. While spending quality time with them, you can make sure they receive the care they need. However, being a caregiver might cost you more than expected. You have to reduce your working hours or quit your job to assist your parents with their daily tasks, from cooking, bathing, and providing companionship to taking them to appointments.
According to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons 1 in 5 caregivers have reported financial strain in response to caregiving at home, 1 in 4 caregivers have taken more debt, and 3 in 10 caregivers have stopped saving. The association also reports that family caregivers spend 20% of their income on caregiving expenses. However, there are options for caregivers to get paid for taking care of their family members.
Here are the steps that can help you get paid for caregiving at home.
Many elders are eligible for HCBS programs that deliver care and support to help caregivers while providing them a tax-free daily stipend to reduce their financial burden. These programs are available to:
If your parents are eligible for these programs, you can get paid for caregiving at home.
Some long-term care insurance policies pay for a family member caring for the elderly at home. You can check with your insurance provider or agency to determine whether your loved one’s long-term care insurance policy covers caregiving costs.
These programs (vary from state to state) offer financial assistance to caregivers and are offered under the state plan and waiver programs. They provide disabled people an option to manage their budget and determine how to use their money effectively. By enrolling in these programs, participants may use their allotted budget to hire and pay for caregivers. Contact your Medicaid office to check your elderly parents’ eligibility for such programs.
Some companies may provide paid leaves to those caring for the elderly at home or offer an elderly care program or benefits. You can get some financial assistance if your company provides such benefits.
Some veterans can join Veteran Directed Care Program (previously known as Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services programs). This program helps veterans to manage their caregiving needs, including hiring and paying for in-home caregivers. Also, it provides a benefit called aid and attendance, which covers nursing homes, assisted living, and in-home care costs, including paying for caregivers.
Contact your local veteran's service organization or Veterans Affairs Office to determine the eligibility of your elderly parents for these benefits.
Ask your loved one or other family members if they are willing to pay you for your caregiving time. You can hire an attorney to draft a contract to state your work and payment schedule, as this would be helpful in the future if your loved one needs to enter an assisted living facility or nursing home or apply for Medicaid.
Medicare does not pay for in-home care and adult day services, although they are provided by a professional caregiver or a family member.