Are you a caregiver for a family member? Is caregiving affecting your job attendance and/or performance?
Sometimes our loved ones are very uncomfortable having strangers come into their home to care for them and will only accept help from someone they know. It usually starts at an hour or so a week, and the commitment grows until it affects other commitments.
When the caregiving needs make it difficult to keep your job, or affects your ability to do your job well, it may be time to consider how to be compensated for being a family caregiver. Especially if you need to quit your job to be available to care for your loved one.
There are programs in some states that allow family members to be paid caregivers. They usually do not allow a spouse, or anyone living in the same household. You can learn about some of these programs here.
One such program is the VA Aid and Attendance for qualifying veterans. They will pay a family caregiver if the loved one qualifies for the program.
Qualifying & Other Options
The reality is that most programs have many restrictions, and most people won’t qualify. There are other options. If your loved one can afford care at home, you can investigate the possibility of getting hired by an agency that provides care. This option gives all parties some safety and supervision in the event your motives or methods are questioned. It also provides a backup plan if you are ill or unable to get to your loved one’s home. The agency will have other caregivers available to help your loved one.
Sometimes you can meet with other family members and your loved one to discuss the feasibility of becoming a paid caregiver. For your peace of mind and protection, there should be other family members, the doctor, or an advocate aware of this program, especially if your loved one has memory loss or is vulnerable in any way. You are probably saving your loved one a great deal of money by providing them care, and if you need to quit your job, or cut back on your hours, your family and loved one may be agreeable to an arrangement that helps everyone.
Make a Plan
You will want to draft a simple plan of care like this one and agree together on how many hours will be worked, and the rate of pay. Many in-home care agencies charge 15-20 dollars an hour, with a 3-4 hour minimum. You can find your area rates by calling two or three agencies for information.
Good communication is essential for families to coordinate caregiving efforts for a loved one. It is always best to plan for the day when you will need more help, and how you will make decisions when the needs of your loved one change.
Help for Navigating Senior Care
Do you need someone to help guide you through your senior care decisions with your family? Or help you determine the best living situation for you or your loved one? Schedule a free evaluation with me today, and I’ll help you determine the best path forward.