How to Become a Caregiver For a Family Member in California

Family members who will need long-term care will often require round-the-clock surveillance and assistance. Those with mental or physical disabilities or ailments that necessitate such care will need a dedicated caregiver. These aids can many times be family members if the care required does not involve specific medical expertise or training. 
Can a Family Member Get Paid to Be a Caregiver – Yes, because this endeavor is no easy task. Being a caregiver is a full-time job in every sense of the word. It demands focus and time at full capacity, not to mention the costs of caring for the family member. As such, the caregiver will often not be able to carry a job—or a steady one at least—and will not have a stable income as they provide for their loved one. But there are ways to approach this worthy endeavor that can help support everyone involved, though they make take some time to initiate. 
California Caregiver Resource Centers mention the benefits of the In-Home Supportive Services program in California. This program enables someone using Medicaid to employ a family member as their caregiver, including compensation. Paying for Senior Care outlines the variety of relations that can assume this role, from direct family members such as spouses, children who are adults, and siblings, to more distant relations such as nieces and nephews.  
Another option that Paying for Senior Care offers is that of long-term care insurance. While this is not always a viable option as not every insurance plan allows it—when it can be applied it is helpful. When allowed, those who require long-term care can have their family members paid to offer this care. Although, this method can get tricky when it comes to the specifics of compensation. 
A third option comes in the form of paid leave from work. When this is offered, the caregiver may not receive their full paycheck, but will still be compensated by their work during their leave to care for the family member. A downside comes with the fact that this option only lasts a limited amount of time and so is not a good long-term solution.  
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Caregiver California Resource Centers also mentions a list of locations to search for programs to meet your specific needs when it comes to becoming a paid caregiver. The “Caregiver Compensation” under FCA’s Family Care Navigator has several options for hiring family members. As well, the VA suggests several benefits available to veterans when it comes to hiring family members for care. Certain medical conditions also offer their own funding that can be used to secure an ongoing caregiver. 
What Next?
Once you have determined how to go about becoming your family member’s caregiver, it is time to consider the next steps to prepare for this job. And yes, it is a job, with as many responsibilities and requirements as any other career. Take the time to research how you can be trained to provide the best possible care for your family member. What kinds of services will they require and are you able to provide them? Will specific training be necessary? Are you able to do this by yourself, or will you need help? 
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California Mobility outlines some things to keep in mind when taking on this monumental but worthy endeavor. They implore the caregiver to keep a record of everything, what you did and what you were paid. Keep everything organized so that anyone else involved will have a clear picture of what is going on. They also encourage finding support throughout this process. Do not do this on your own. While you may be offering care for a loved one, your needs must be met if you are to do your job well. Know that there are people out there ready and willing to help and offer assistance in many different areas from mental health to training. 
A Noble Endeavor
Becoming a family member’s caregiver is a full-time commitment and an honorable one. In doing so, you are offering personalized care to a loved one who requires specific needs to be met and tasks accomplished that they can no longer do on their own. This pursuit helps ensure the family member will not need to be housed in a facility but can spend their time under their own roof and surrounded by familiar and loving faces. As aforementioned, this is no easy task, but one that reaps its own rewards.
Written by Sharayah Hooper
Photo by RODNAE Productions

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