While many people want to care for their loved ones when they need it, financial concerns often get in the way. Depending on a loved one's required levels of care, it can quickly become a full-time job that limits a caregiver’s ability to work and care for their other family members. According to AARP, there are more than 40 million unpaid family caregivers in the country, all of whom dedicate a significant portion of their time, energy, effort, and personal resources to caring for their ill or ailing loved ones. In fact, each caregiver spends an average of $6,954 each year on the out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving. This represents 20% of the average caregiver’s annual income. Long-distance caregivers spend even more: $11,923. It goes without saying that this is a huge portion of a caregiver’s income and that dedicating that much unpaid care to family members can easily create lots of hardship in a caregiver’s life. Fortunately, things are beginning to change. Thanks to a recent push by the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, it’s now possible for caregivers to get paid for taking care of their loved ones. While there will undoubtedly still be thousands of unpaid caregivers working tirelessly to care for their family members, CDPAP represents a ray of hope that can make this noble effort easier and more accessible for thousands more.
What is CDPAP? CDPAP is a New York-based care program that allows Medicaid-eligible patients to take control of their in-home care. Under CDPAP, qualifying patients have the power to hire, monitor, and let go of their home caregivers, rather than trusting an outside agency to manage the effort for them. This allows elderly or ill patients to select a caregiver with whom they’re comfortable, and make their own decisions about their in-home care.
How CDAP Allows Family Members to Be Paid for In-Home Care One of the most unique aspects of CDPAP is that it allows home care patients to hire people who already care for them, such as a loved one, sibling, child, friend, relative, previous aide, or neighbor. This is critical on two levels. On the one hand, this flexibility allows the patient to take a real stand in his or her care, and select the person he or she feels most comfortable and at ease with. This is worlds different than traditional care programs, which match patients with caregivers without much thought to the patient’s preferences or comfort. Beyond that, however, CDPAP is also a virtual miracle for the thousands of unpaid family caregivers who provide a collective $470 billion in unpaid care annually. When these caregivers work out arrangements with their loved ones, they can be paid under CDPAP, thus limiting the financial burden they must take on to provide care, and making caregiving more realistic and feasible for caregivers who also have family or other dependents.
How the CDPAP Process Works For families who want to access paid, in-home care, under New York’s CDPAP, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:
1. Check With Your Medicaid Provider The first step is to ask your Medicaid provider about your eligibility for CDPAP. Different plans cover different numbers of paid care hours each week and knowing where your program stands will give you the foundational information you need to arrange your in-home care accordingly. You can also reach out to agencies like CDPAdirect which provide services ranging from free consultations all the way to getting both the caregiver and patient signed up.
2. Select Your In-Home Care Provider Next comes the portion of CDPAP where you appoint your in-home care assistant. Again, because CDPAP allows this person to be a friend, family member, or neighbor, you can designate a family caregiver if that’s who’s already been providing your care, or if that’s who you would feel most comfortable receiving care from. If you’re interested in hiring someone who doesn’t have any previous experience with in-home care, CDPAP will work with you to design a plan to train, monitor, and retain quality in-home care with the person of your choice. Remember that you’re always in control of your care under CDPAP, so you can make changes to your aide, shift schedules, and alter your care as you see fit.
3. Enjoy Quality Care Once you’ve designated your in-home care assistant, CDPAP will set you up with the tools, systems, and functions you need to create a symbiotic home care relationship. From helping you manage payroll (and enrolling the caregiver in the CDPAP payroll system) to helping you provide training when and where it’s necessary, CDPAP works with your Medicaid provider to create a caring environment that’s financially stable for your care assistant, and comfortable for you.
Finding Out More About CDPAP If you’d like to learn more about CDPAP, visit www.cdpapdirect.com. They will assist you with any questions you may have about your specific case, and whether or not you qualify for CDPAP. By calling the number or filling out the form you'll be able to speak to a CDPAP specialist to help you get started. Whatever you choose to do, learning more about CDPAP is the first step in receiving quality care, and ensuring your hardworking family caregiver is compensated properly for it.
CDPAP: A Ray of Hope for Family Caregivers and Their Loved Ones Family caregivers are some of the hardest-working individuals under the sun. Frequently saddled with the stressors of financial hardship, the pain of watching a loved one become ill, and the time and resource constraints of caring for their own families as well, these compassionate people do their share (and then some) to care for the people around them. Fortunately, the Consumer Directed Personal Care Assistance Program is out to change that. By providing payment for people who care for Medicaid-eligible seniors in their homes, CDPAP makes in-home care easier and more accessible for family caregivers, and safer, more enjoyable, and more comfortable for patients from all walks of life. Learn more about CDPAP today, and find out if it can make your in-home caregiving more sustainable for everyone involved.