Getting Paid to Care for a Loved One With Alzheimer’s

About 80 percent of people who have Alzheimer’s disease are cared for in their home by their own family members. Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience. But it may not always be easy. Especially when it comes to money.1

If you are dedicating a lot of your time to caring for another person, you have less time to work. There are also additional costs that come with caring for someone else. You have to support both yourself and the person you are caring for.

Luckily, there are a few programs that will pay a caregiver to take care of their loved one. A caregiver may include a family member, a professional caregiver, or a family friend. This can help ease the additional costs. Learn more about the different programs and which one your loved one may qualify for.2-4

What can a caregiver help out with?

A caregiver can assist your loved one with everyday activities. These are a few things your loved one may need assistance with:

  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Getting dressed
  • Grocery shopping
  • Grooming
  • Personal hygiene
  • Running errands
  • Using the bathroom

Caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s may require more services, depending on the stage of their Alzheimer’s.

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How to pay a caregiver to care for your loved one

There are a few different programs that your loved one may qualify for that pays for someone to take care of them. The steps and requirements will vary with each program and each state. You will need to find a program that your loved one is qualified for and then you can apply for benefits through that program.2-4

You can find resources in your state by using the Family Caregiver Alliance’s Services by State tool. This will help you locate programs within your state that your loved one may be eligible for.4

Types of programs

Long-term care services can help with different services based on each person and what they need. There are 3 types of programs available.5

Long-term care insurance

Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance that covers long-term services like personal care. This insurance will reimburse the policyholder for services that help with daily activities. This includes bathing, dressing, and eating. The cost of this insurance depends on:5

  • How old a person is
  • The maximum amount per day that the policy will pay for
  • The maximum number of days the policy will pay for
  • The lifetime maximum amount the policy will pay for
  • Optional benefits that you may include

Keep in mind that some programs have limits on how much and how long they will pay. Your loved one may not qualify for long-term care insurance if they are in poor health or are already receiving long-term care services.5

Veterans programs

Veterans may be eligible for services that pay a family member for daily activities. The Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services program provides a budget for services. You can work with a counselor to hire someone to help with the daily needs of your loved one.3,6

The Aid and Attendance Benefits program is another program that is available to veterans. This program provides monthly payments that are added to the amount of the monthly VA pension. To qualify, one of the following must be true for your loved one:3,7

  • They need someone else to help them with daily activities
  • They have to stay in bed
  • They spend a large portion of their day in bed because of their illness
  • They are in a nursing home because of a loss of mental or physical abilities
  • Their eyesight is limited

To apply for the Aid and Attendance Benefits program, you can send a completed VA form to your pension management center (PMC) or you can apply in person at a regional VA office.

State Medicaid programs

If your loved one has Medicaid, you may be able to receive payment through Medicaid. Medicaid offers different services for long-term care in every state. The specific programs vary with each state. This means that the benefits, coverage, and eligibility can vary.3

For example, in Pennsylvania, you can apply to receive payment for caring for a loved one using a website called COMPASS. You fill out an application to see if you qualify for benefits and they will tell you how much you qualify for. Your eligibility will depend on your income.8

Tips for paying a caregiver to take care of a loved one

Sometimes, paying a family member or friend to take care of a loved one can be uncomfortable. Here are a few tips that can help you navigate this new role:2

  • Communicate clearly with the caregiver regarding hours, payment, and scheduling. You may also want to discuss time off and sick days.
  • Create a contract or agreement between the caregiver and the person receiving care. The contract should include payment, specific services that will be provided, and how long the caregiver is expected to work.
  • If either the caregiver or person receiving care seems uncomfortable, consider meeting with a family therapist or mediator.

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