As your senior family members begin to require assistance with daily tasks, you may feel a strong desire to care for them yourself. Being a family caregiver can be incredibly rewarding, and it’s a good way to ensure your loved ones receive high-quality care. However, many individuals can’t work and provide full-time care at the same time, leading to concerns about financial resources.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania residents have a number of options when it comes to being paid to care for an aging family member. There are several programs you can apply to for financial resources, or you can choose to become a caregiver yourself. The guide below details your options so you can choose the best one for your situation.
If you want to know how to become a paid caregiver for a family member in Pennsylvania, LightSpring can help. Through the PA Family Caregiver Support Program, you may qualify to work for LightSpring. You’ll be paid weekly and receive access to all the benefits and resources we offer our full-time caregivers. To learn more about this program, contact LightSpring today.
Reasons to Become a Paid Family Caregiver for Your Loved One
There are many benefits to becoming a paid caregiver for your family member, from guaranteed high-quality care to financial assistance.
Guarantee of High-Quality Care
While qualified professional caregivers like those at LightSpring are trained to provide comprehensive care, you’ve known your family member your whole life. You know many of their likes and dislikes, how to interact with them to keep them calm, and—most importantly—you and your family member likely have a strong comfort level with each other.
Having a caregiver from their own family ensures your loved one not only receives high-quality care but feels comfortable while receiving it. You know your family member and how to care for them from the start vs. a caregiver from an agency who may feel like a stranger at the beginning of care.
Alleviates Financial Stress
Family members that choose to care for their senior loved ones often have to give up working full-time to do so. Your family member may live too far from your job for a reasonable commute, or maybe they need continuous care, and you can’t take time away to work.
However, living with and caring for your family member means you’ll need more groceries and personal care supplies on a weekly basis. Your family member’s home may also require upgrades—such as shower grab bars or ramps—to make their home safer.
Being a paid family caregiver provides the financial support you need to focus on your family member’s care.
Ensures Your Family Member Can Age in Place
For many seniors, leaving home for an assisted living community or nursing home can be a truly devastating experience. Acclimating to new surroundings becomes more challenging as a person ages. Additionally, there are many benefits to aging in place, from slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s and Dementia to retaining a sense of purpose and independence.
Being a paid family caregiver allows your family member the opportunity to stay where they most want to be—home.
Ways to Get Paid to Care for Your Family Member in PA
In the state of Pennsylvania, there are many options you can explore to become a paid family caregiver. Below is a detailed list of each option and how to apply for them.
Pennsylvania Family Caregiver Waivers
In Pennsylvania, Medicaid participates in the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), which not only pays family caregivers to care for their loved ones but also provides medical aid to those receiving care.
To qualify to receive CDPAP assistance, family caregivers must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a Pennsylvania resident
- Have completed caregiver training
- Have obtained the necessary certifications
After you’ve completed the necessary steps to meet these requirements, you become eligible to apply for the following PA caregiver waivers.
Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waivers
The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver empowers Medicaid recipients to appoint and pay the caregiver of their choice—including family members. Qualifying patients can also use the waiver to cover expenses related to their care—within certain limitations.
However, applicants should note that the Medicaid waiver program has a limited number of available waivers. If you’re considering applying for one, be sure to do so in a timely fashion.
PDA 60+ Waiver
Medicaid recipients 60 years or older who have dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or any other cognitive condition may qualify for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging 60+ (PDA 60+) waiver.
This waiver allows you to be paid to care for your family member so they can remain in familiar surroundings. Each Pennsylvania county has different eligibility requirements, so be sure to check your county’s guidelines before applying.
Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Program
The Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Program provides financial reimbursement to family caregivers for costs related to caring for their loved one, including services and supplies. This program also provides access to caregiver resources like respite care to help family caregivers avoid burnout.
When you apply for this program, you’ll be assigned a care manager who will complete a home assessment to evaluate you and your loved one’s needs. They’ll then help you create a care plan for your family member.
To be eligible for this program, your family member must be 60 years or older, and you must be at least 18. Both of you must be Pennsylvania residents, and you must meet certain financial eligibility requirements to receive support.
PCAFC for Veteran Family Members
To qualify for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), your family member must be a veteran who sustained a serious injury or experienced a critical illness in the line of duty. They must also need assistance with at least one activity of daily living, such as getting dressed or bathing.
PCAFC provides family caregivers with a monthly stipend of up to $2,750 to help with costs related to their loved one’s care. The caregiver also receives access to training services, counseling, and respite care.
Work for a Home Care Agency
Working for a home care agency may be one of the simplest ways to get paid while caring for your family member. You’ll be assessed to determine your eligibility. If you’re eligible, you’ll also need to complete the proper training and certifications.
However, Pennsylvania requires that all caregivers—professional or not—complete caregiver training. Getting certified with an agency like LightSpring not only qualifies you to care for your loved one, it allows you to draw a salary while doing so.
Pennsylvania Paid Caregiver Eligibility and Pay
According to the Professional Association of Caregivers, family members who want to become professional caregivers for their loved ones must be 18 or older, be a Pennsylvania resident, and successfully complete an eight-hour certification course.
This course covers:
- Caregiver responsibilities
- Communication skills
- Care procedures
Once you’ve completed the course you’ll be able to earn about $14 per hour, or $616 for a standard 44-hour week.
Become a Paid Family Caregiver With LightSpring Today
LightSpring is dedicated to helping your loved one age in place while simultaneously alleviating some of your stress when it comes to providing care. We can provide additional information about the payment programs above or help you obtain the certifications necessary to work for us while you care for your loved one.
As a LightSpring caregiver, you’d get paid to care for your family member and have access to the same resources and support all of our caregivers receive. To learn more about our caregiving services and caregiver qualifications, contact us today.