Barbara Fradkin – Hometown News
Q: Is there any financial help for family caregivers?
A: This is a common question, as more adult children become caregivers to their parents. Caregiving can create very real hardships for those who find themselves forced to give up paying jobs– while often caring for their own children. The loss of income can be devastating for some families, but there are some options to regain financial stability.
In Florida, limited programs will pay us to be caregivers to our family members. If your loved one is a Medicaid recipient on the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program, the caregiver can apply to be paid through the Consumer Directed Care option. Then, family members (including adult children and even spouses) can be hired and receive compensation as personal assistance providers. Fair market value is used for the salary, between $9-13 per hour. For information, check Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration at www.ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid.
Wartime veterans and their surviving spouses, 65 years and older, may be entitled to a tax-free benefit called Aid and Attendance, provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. This benefit provides financial aid to help offset the cost of long-term care for those who need assistance with common daily activities. For information and eligibility requirements, contact the Brevard County Veteran’s Service Team at http://www.brevardcounty.us/HumanServices/VeteransServices.
Elder law attorneys can also be very helpful if you are looking to pay your family caregiver. A care management contract written by an attorney can allow a loved one to provide continued care. This is a Medicaid-friendly way to help the senior prepare for Medicaid eligibility.
Roughly 48 million Americans provide care without pay to an adult family member or friend — and they do this for an average of nearly 24 hours per week, according to the report, “Caregiving in the US.” If you are one of these heroes, contact the resources listed in this column to see if there is some help for you. Thank you for your tireless support for our most vulnerable citizens.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com. Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director of One Senior Place, Viera.