Caring for an aging parent is an important and sometimes expensive responsibility. It is possible for a family member to receive compensation through Medicaid for caring for a parent through the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). The CDPAP permits a patient with a chronic disabling condition or her family to hire a compensated caregiver. This person can be a family member.
The caregiver does not require prior training in medicine or nursing. She can be a friend, a neighbor or even a family member, but not a spouse. She can perform all the tasks of a home health aide. This includes assisting the patient with such activities as bathing, eating, dressing, and toileting. CDPAP also allows the caregiver to perform tasks that nurses usually perform such as administering medication, cleaning wounds, suctioning tracheostomies, giving insulin injections and administering oxygen to a patient on a ventilator.
The state pays the caregiver’s wages. Because of this program more individuals are able to stay in the comfort of their own homes. The patient must be a New York state resident, must qualify for Medicaid, must be elderly or disabled and must require assistance with basic activities of daily living or need skilled care. To start the application process, the patient’s doctor must complete a Physician’s Order for Services and send it to the local social service department.
There are a few drawbacks to the program. The first is that the patient cannot determine for herself the number of compensated hours of care. A visiting nurse determines the necessary number of hours. The second downside is that the pay is usually around minimum wage. However, in a situation where a family member is already providing care the extra compensation can be is beneficial.
If you would like assistance with Medicaid planning, consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.