You may have noticed your parent is having trouble keeping up with day-to-day house chores, such as mail or laundry piling up, or that they've lost interest in normal activities or hobbies. Or perhaps they've had difficulty walking or balancing, or are exhibiting extreme mood swings, or forgetting when they last took their medication. Forgetfulness, a loss of hearing or vision, may have triggered accidents, or caused depression. These signs, among others, may have you thinking they need outside care.
Bringing an outsider into your home is never an easy decision, and should be weighed carefully. If you're concerned for your loved one's safety, and don't want to bring a stranger into your family home, you may want to consider participation in Medicaid's Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP).
The New York State Medicaid program allows patients who qualify (or their DR, Designated Representative) to select their own Personal Assistant (PA) to administer care needed to maintain daily living routines safely. PAs can be a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance the patient (consumer) or DR designates. PAs are paid to administer daily care, and may even receive other benefits, such as paid vacation time, sick time and overtime. No special license is required for the designated Caregiver, although there are eligibility requirements that must be met by the patient prior to acceptance into the program.
CDPAP works best for families who want to retain greater control of their own care, and who have the ability to participate in the selection, supervision, evaluation and dismissal of the PA. Families who don't fit this description often find that they prefer the reliability, convenience and professionalism of the traditional home health care route.