December 21, 2021
When we see aging family members begin having difficulty living alone, we start to think about the future, from in-home care to traditional care. This includes thinking about the harder questions, such as,
- What care options are the best for them?
- Do we have to look into nursing homes?
- Should I take care of my loved one?
COVID’s taught us that nursing homes and traditional care facilities might not be the safest options any longer. So, it often comes down to this burning question:
My loved one doesn’t qualify for Medicaid, but they can’t afford private care—what do I do?
When it comes down to it, we all really have two main options for getting (paid) in-home care for aging family.
1. Get in-home care for aging family with self-direction
Self-direction gives you the ability to get care in your own home. There’re many different names for this care, from self-determination in California to participant-directed option (PDO) in Florida. In Florida, PDO is a Medicaid program that allows your aging family to get care right in their own home, choose caregivers they trust (including friends or family), and keep their independence. But even if you don’t live in Florida, there are self-direction programs in every state.
My loved one isn’t eligible for the Medicaid. What do I do now?
If you’re not eligible for Medicaid but you can’t afford private care—don’t give up! There are ways to become eligible for Medicaid services. Your best option is to talk to an attorney who specializes in elder law. They know the ins-and-outs of Medicaid, long-term care, estate planning, and so much more.
To find an elder attorney, you can check out NAELA, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. If you’re in Florida, you can also look into Elder Needs Law. They are a law firm in Florida who specialize in helping people become eligible for PDO services.
My loved one is eligible for Medicaid. What do I do now?
We’ve simplified getting started with the participant-directed program into 5 steps. Check out the link below to get started.
Learn More About PDO in Florida
5 Steps to Get You Started With Controlling Your Own Care in Florida
2. Get In-home care for aging family with private pay
If you’re able to financially provide in-home care with private pay, this can be the most flexible option. With private pay, you or your loved one can set up a simple agreement with a caregiver (friend, family, or otherwise) to provide care.
The best part? There are countless free time tracking apps to make this easy. If you work with GT Independence, you can use the Caregiver app. This app helps you track the hours worked and submit timesheets with a tap of a button.
A Few Tips for Private Pay for In-Home Care
Work with someone you trust. This is a crucial point and will ensure that you or your loved one receives the best possible care and maintains full independence.
Write up a contract. Even if it’s a close friend or family member, a contract is always a good way to set rules and boundaries. You can always come back to it if there’s a concern. The contract can also be very simple. For example, first page can set up the basic agreement and rules, and the second page can outline pay.
Set money aside in a separate fund. While you or your loved one can pay for care right out of your checking account, putting money in a separate fund can keep things more financially responsible. You can easily track money and report it to the IRS. This can help you or your loved ones get tax breaks. If you’re the caregiver, it also helps to report the money for taxes. This helps everything stay legal.
Risks of Paying Caregivers Under-the-Table
Deciding on Next Steps for In-Home Care
Finding the best in-home care option for our aging loved ones is always a big decision. But we’re not alone. Here at GT, we started working with self-direction programs because we wanted the best care for our family. And this hasn’t changed, despite how large we’ve grown.
As you decide your next steps, we’re here for you. If you need advice on how to move forward, you can contact us at any time.