It takes a special kind of person to be a caregiver. Normally, a caregiver looks after a sick, elderly or disabled family member on a regular basis. Sometimes, the caregiver is a paid helper, but more often than not, the task falls to the person who is closest emotionally to the person who needs assistance.
How to become a caregiver for a family member without suffering burnout and by still maintaining your own life is a monumental achievement if you can manage it. Very few caregivers know that there are ways they can get paid for the very important role they play in the life of the family members they care for. Let’s look at these caregiving tips to see how this can be arranged.
How to Become a Caregiver for a Family Member and Get Paid
Accessing funds and resources to pay for family caregiving will depend on many factors surrounding the personal situation of the person who needs care and your relationship with them. Qualifying for help depends on:
- the severity of illness or disability of the person requiring care
- the age of the person, given that some benefits are only available at 65
- whether the person is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran
- the caregiver and the person being cared for being below a certain income level
- which state you live in
The disease or disability the person being cared for has may also have a bearing on what funds are available to cover caregiving expenses and make up for your lost income as a caregiver.
Available Government Resources
Medicaid offers a number of programs in different states aimed at helping informal family caregivers in different states. You need to make an application to receive financial compensation. One such program is the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) for seniors who need long-term care. LTSS is available throughout the country, but how the program works varies from state to state.
The Medicaid program goes by different names, too, depending on where you live. Other names for the same program include “Cash and Counseling,” “Consumer Directed Care,” or “Personal Choices.”
The Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefit for those who have served in the military and their home and community-based programs operating in some states can be of enormous help to those who need it.
Caregiver Learning and Appreciation
Looking after a family member who needs care is always a learning curve. Aside from their personal likes and dislikes, you need to be able to appreciate what they go through and how hard it is for them to cope with practical matters.
People who suffer from a condition called heart failure need that understanding from their caregivers as much as anyone else. Read on to discover how caregivers learned what it feels like to be a person living with heart failure in a creative but important participatory activity.
Don’t Despair — Help Is Here
There are some other tips on how to become a caregiver for a family member who manages well. Find out about the tax deductions available to caregivers for dental and medical costs, modifications to make your home more accessible, transportation costs to and from the doctor. Associations and voluntary organizations grouped around specific diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkison’s, and Multiple Sclerosis, to name a few) may also be able to provide updated information in this regard.
Becoming a caregiver is no easy matter, and getting help requires a special effort on your part. One thing is certain: if you ask for help in the right places, then you will get it. It will be worth your perseverance and patience since you will be able to care for your loved ones better.
We have other articles on health and fitness here on our site. Who knows, reading them might serve as inspiration to go that extra mile for that family member who needs your special care.