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How to Become a Paid Caregiver for a Family Member in 4 Steps

August 7, 2020

Deciding if care giving is the right path for you will depend on a number of factors. For many families, becoming a formally paid caregiver creates the ideal long-term care scenario for an aging loved one. According to the National Alliance on Caregiving, the number of Americans as caregivers has increased from 18% to 21% in the span of five years. And, nearly one in five (19%) Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult with health or functional needs. Considering 61% of these unpaid caregivers have another job, paid formal caregivers are a vital part of creating sustainable and equally accessible long-term care practices.

Hence the reason Illinois Department on Aging created the community care program. This program allows for both Medicaid and non-Medicaid eligible seniors to be enrolled in long-term care services.

Becoming a Paid Caregiver with Home Care Powered by AUAF

If you have decided that you want to become a formally paid caregiver for a family member in Illinois with Home Care Powered by AUAF, the eligibility requirements and steps to follow are listed below. If you have any general questions about the steps, be sure to contact us at 847.996.9579.

Step 1: Help Enroll your Aged Loved one into the Community Care Program.

The community care program was created by the Illinois Department on Aging to help aid seniors who would otherwise need to be in nursing homes. The eligibility requirements to be enrolled in the program are that you are over 60 years old, are a U.S citizen, have non-exempt assets of $17,500 or less, and have a determined need for care (which will be assessed by an outside agency). 

Elderly care recipients enrolled in this program will be able to elect their preferred home care aide.

Step 2: Apply to be a Caregiver Through Home Care Powered by AUAF (18+).

This can be done at the same time that you apply to have your family member enrolled in the community care program. To apply, please contact Fred Mishow at 877-947-2685 or at [email protected]. Please have certain documentation ready when you are applying. This includes:

  • Copy of Social Security Card
  • Valid Driver’s License or State ID
  • Proof of citizenship or legal status and employment authorization, if applicable
  • Copy of high school or college diploma

You can always ask any further questions on how to become a paid caregiver for a family member if you are still unsure about anything in the process.

Step 3: Undergo Hiring and Training.

Caregivers are required to undergo training after hiring. You will meet the required minimum of 8 hours of training required by the state along with any Home Care Powered by AUAF additional training. Moreover, we will provide you will all the necessary training.

Step 4: Provide Care as a Formal Caregiver

After you complete the certificate that shows you have met the basic training, you will be able to begin providing care to your loved one as a formal caregiver.

Caregiver Employment

Home Care Powered by AUAF offers a competitive hourly rate of $15 an hour to our caregivers. This rate is dependent upon performance. Successful performance is completion and submission of monthly task sheets and timely punch in and out. We also offer additional compensation for traveling time and mileage. This amount is higher than the average pay rate for caregivers around the country.

The Care Giving Options You Have

Ultimately, you may decide care giving may not be for you. If you find that you may not be the right fit for your parent, you have options. We have trained caregivers for you.

Many people looking to be caregivers often do so because of a family member that may have a disability. We can provide caregivers for a parent with a disability in the case that you cannot. More commonly, this will be with elderly individuals that have dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you have any questions about your specific situation, be sure to reach out to us.

The Benefits of Becoming a Formal Caregiver

The introduction of family caregivers provides financial assistance and respite care to those who may have already started or who want to care for their parents full time. Thus, it provides a great way for parents to remain at home while having care recipients from someone they are already familiar with.

Oftentimes as our loved ones grow older, we naturally begin to take on tasks for them. This can include helping them with laundry, basic grooming, meal preparation, or even transportation to and from places.

These are the exact types of tasks that family members take on when becoming a caregiver. These tasks can often be time consuming. Thus, that’s why opting into a full-time or part-time job as a caregiver for your loved one is an option that may be necessary for you.

Additionally, the AARP found that one in five (unpaid) caregivers reported financial strain due to care giving. That’s why the introduction of formal family care giving was incredibly important. Care giving is no easy task and requires dedication and time.

Caring for Underrepresented Communities

With findings from CLESE, the Coalition on Limited English Speaking Elderly, certain minority and immigrant groups were identified as being less represented in elderly care.

This is, in part, due to taboos and cultural norms about having members outside the family care for you as you age. It forced many seniors to go without necessary care or be forced into nursing homes. It also meant family members that did forego their jobs could have significant financial strain put on them due to the necessity of caring for their elderly parents. Moreover, the AARP even found that one of four unpaid caregivers take on debt, while three in ten have stopped saving altogether because of unpaid family care giving.

That’s why the introduction of the community care program was so vital to meeting the needs of underrepresented communities as well as creating better long-term care options for families around Illinois. Choosing to care for a family member shouldn’t have to come at the cost of your own livelihood.

Home Care Powered by AUAF is Here to Help

Home Care Powered by AUAF has been a premier homecare agency in Chicago for over 25 years. As members of CLESE, which is the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly, we have served underrepresented communities from our beginnings. Above all, this means that our service meets the needs not recognized by other agencies. If you aren’t able to come in to our agency for any reason, we can send a representative to you.

To learn more give us a call at 773.274.9262 or contact us.

In-Home Care Precautions During COVID-19

We provide care to vulnerable senior populations. That is why we are taking extra precautions when continuing to provide service and care. Staff is receiving additional guidance when they are providing home care or any other face-to-face visits. This comes in the form of a COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire. There are also a variety of other precautions we are taking for our staff and home care recipients during this time.

We take the safety and care of all those we reach very seriously and are doing all that we can to stay informed about best practices during this time.

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