Do Caregivers Get Paid?September 22, 2022
At first, taking care of an elderly loved one might not seem too much of an undertaking. It may begin with simple tasks like picking up prescriptions or ingredients for a meal. As your loved one ages, however, the responsibilities pile up. The occasional errand turns into meal preparation, housekeeping, and personal care. Suddenly, it seems you have two full-time jobs.
As this occurs, you may begin to wonder: do caregivers get paid for their work? Certainly, some professionals work for an agency and build a career. But what about those who spend their evenings and weekends caring for a loved one? Can they receive compensation for caring for a grandparent, a parent, or a spouse?
The answer is a resounding “yes!” Those who provide long-term care services to an older family member can receive compensation for the work they already do.
How do I get paid to care for a loved one?
If you currently reside in the state of Illinois, you can begin the process of becoming a paid caregiver through the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program. Established in 1979, the Community Care Program helps senior citizens who need assistance with activities of daily living remain in their homes.
The program works with qualified home care agencies to provide training to caregivers who meet the proper qualifications, which include:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Having a high school diploma, GED, or one year of comparable experience
- Residing in the state of Illinois and having the authorization to work in the United States
- Passing background checks
- Completing orientation and training
While you undergo the process of becoming a trained caregiver, your care recipient should simultaneously apply for the Community Care Program. Then, by the time you have completed training, they can select you to act as their paid caregiver.
Remember: caregivers can only assist with non-medical activities of daily living. These categories are personal care services, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, errands, brain activities, and companionship.
Caregiver Support Program
Additionally, the Illinois Department on Aging (or IDoA) offers a Caregiver Support Program designed to help family caregivers perform their duties. These services include:
- Providing information and assistance to family caregivers
- Extending further training to family caregivers
- Offering family caregivers individual counseling and support groups
- Providing respite care to temporarily relieve caregivers of their duties
These caregiver resources may seem broad, but it is because they encompass a wide array of potential services. From assistance with home modification to information on elderly care during the day, to help with meal delivery, the Family Caregiver Support Program does best with what its name implies: providing all forms of support.
What does compensation for a family caregiver look like?
Home Care Powered by AUAF is contracted with the IDoA to provide training to unpaid caregivers. Our staff works closely with our family caregivers to ensure they receive the most up-to-date training. This allows them to provide superior care to their loved ones.
Our caregiver pay rate begins at $16 an hour, as well as compensation for travel time and mileage. This rate stands higher than the average rate of pay across the country because we believe quality home care begins with satisfied caregivers. As previously unpaid care workers, our family caregivers find a great positive impact on their lives thanks to this pay.
Your elderly loved one will not have to pay for these services if they qualify for coverage under Medicaid. To qualify, they must be 60 years of age or older, hold Illinois citizenship, have non-exempt assets of $17,500 or less, and have been assessed for need of long-term care. If they are unsure about whether or not they would make the cut, contact our office for a referral to a case manager.
Prepare yourself for the responsibilities of being a paid caregiver
When taking on the role of caregiver for your elderly loved one, you may experience slightly awkward changes in your relationship. There are specific steps you can take to make this transition easier for all parties involved.
First and foremost, you need to openly discuss your loved one’s needs as well as your needs. You must inform them that, as an employee, you must clock in for work at specific times of the day. Of course, spend time with them outside our hours of care, but your caregiving services should stay reserved for the hours you work.
Making the distinction between “employee” and “relative” might be hard to do at first, but it will be highly beneficial in your overall relationship. Establish this change as soon as possible.
Don’t forget: even though you are now a paid caregiver, it is still perfectly natural to experience burnout from time to time. You can still call upon the aid of a family member or a respite caregiver when you need a break. It will simply have to be organized through your home care agency ahead of time.
Become a paid caregiver through a trusted agency
Home Care Powered by AUAF has supported seniors in Cook and Lake County for nearly 30 years. With such a long history of service, we have amassed a name for ourselves as a leading provider of non-medical home care. Seniors and their families know that, if they need support, they can trust us.
If you are ready to receive payment for your familial caregiving responsibilities, call us at 773-274-9262. We can help you through the training process, as well as sign your elderly loved one up for the program as well. If you don’t have a loved one who needs care, but you are interested in a caregiver career, contact us.
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