caregiver standing next to bed with older man laying down

Being a caregiver for a loved one is no easy task. Not only is it a time-consuming and physically demanding job, but it is an emotionally draining job, as well. Caring for the elderly at home may be—and often is—a full-time job. Because caregivers are often unable to work another job, they need to be compensated for their labor.

Luckily, there are multiple ways for people providing senior home care for their loved ones to get paid. These options vary depending on the specific circumstances of your loved one, but all are designed to ease the heavy burden that caregivers shoulder in order to fulfill their duties.

How to Become a Paid Caregiver for a Family Member in Alabama

Below are some of the options for caregivers to get paid in Alabama:

  • Medicaid Waiver Programs: If the person you are caring for receives Medicaid, they may be able to have you named as an official caregiver. Medicaid offers several waiver programs that are designed to prevent older people from being placed in nursing homes and allow you to continue caring for the elderly at home.

    The Alabama Medicaid Waiver for the Elderly and Disabled (E&D Waiver) assigns elderly people and people with disabilities a case manager, who helps them design a person-centered model of care which may include a provision for an at-home caregiver. Another option is the Personal Choices program, which allows elderly or disabled Alabamians more choice and flexibility in the type of care they receive. Other waivers are designed to benefit people with specific disabilities, such as the Technology Assisted Waiver for Adults (TAW), which covers people who are ventilator dependent, or who have a tracheotomy.

  • Veteran Directed Care Program: The Veteran Directed Care Program (VDC) allows eligible veterans to determine the course of their own care. They are given a flexible budget, which allows them to hire and supervise their own caregivers. They also have access to additional resources, including care planning assistance, financial management services, and ongoing counseling support.
  • Alabama Cares Program: The Alabama Cares Program offers caregivers a variety of resources that can help ease the burden of caring for the elderly at home. These services include training, access to information and advice, and support services such as personal care, adult day care, and limited homemaker services. Caregivers providing services for people over the age of 60 qualify for the program, as do caregivers helping patients with dementia, and caregivers who are over the age of 60 themselves, and who are caring for children aged 18 or younger.
  • Sign a Caregiver Agreement: If you are providing caregiving services, you can get paid for those services.  We recommend that you sign an actual caregiver agreement or contract.  In the agreement, you set up the number of hours per week you will provide care and the hourly rate you will charge for that care.  You do not want to get paid “cash” or under the table so to speak.  Caregiving expenses are a proper Medicaid spend down but you must do it the right way.  Otherwise, your loved one risks getting penalized by Medicaid if they ever have to file a Medicaid application for nursing home care.

Hiring an Elder Law Attorney

Registering as a primary caregiver can be a complicated process and is difficult to navigate alone. Hiring an experienced elder law attorney can make the process much easier and can ensure that you are getting qualified for all of the services available to you and your loved ones. We want to make sure your aging parent receives the senior home care they deserve.

At Miller Estate and Elder Law, we are experts in understanding how to become a paid caregiver for a family member in Alabama. Contact us today using the brief form below to find out more about our services for caregivers.

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