For much of our lives, our parents are our caregivers. Even when we get older and move out of the house, we may still see them as the ones to turn to when life does what it does and simply falls apart. No wonder, then, that we feel disoriented when our parents become elderly and the relationship changes. When dementia, medical conditions, or just a decline in mobility hits, they need us, the former children, to do everything they can’t do for themselves. Who do you turn to? Option 1: a social services agency, which could be helpful but means allowing a stranger into your parents’ home. Did you know there is a second option? New Yorkers on Medicaid can actually choose their own caregiver, including a family member, through the empowering program CDPAP (Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program). Read on for an explanation of CDPAP by Home Care Advisory Group, which will help you determine if selecting your personal assistant is a wise move for you.
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The basics of New York’s CDPAP
What is the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program in a nutshell?
CDPAP helps people who are on Medicaid and need long-term home care. Anyone who is eligible, or who they designate as their representative, can hire, train, and supervise the personal assistant of their choosing.
What are the eligibility requirements for CDPAP?
The program’s guidelines stipulate that any person who qualifies for CDPAP will:
- Be on Medicaid
- Have a stable health condition
- Need help with daily tasks or skilled care
- Be able to make decisions for themselves and/or have a representative who can follow the program’s rules
Where can CDPAP’s home care services be accessed?
As long as the participant is on Medicaid, they can access CDPAP anywhere in the state of New York.
Does CDPAP allow family members, including those who are not licensed, to be personal assistants?
Most family members qualify to be a caregiver, though there are some notable exceptions:
- Spouses cannot provide care for each other.
- If a child is under 21, their parents cannot be their personal assistant.
Regarding certifications or specialized training, so long as the person is legally able to work in the state of New York, they do not require any.
Are there any limits on what CDPAP personal assistants can do? Are they paid?
A directed caregiver can perform both basic and specialized services, including wound care, insulin shots, and other tasks. And, yes, the person will be paid for their work. Exactly how much varies from person to person, depending on how many hours they will be working each day or week.
What to consider before enrolling in CDPAP
Without a doubt, CDPAP is a good option for those who need a home caregiver – so long as you first consider its advantages and drawbacks. The more aware you are of its potential limitations, the more you will be able to decide if it is, indeed, the right move for you and your loved one. As you read about them, keep in mind that any possible obstacle can be overcome with proactive planning.
- No strangers in the person’s home. That alone can be a big relief for many people.
- No specialized training required. While this could make some individuals hesitate, remember that many tasks become routine within a few days or weeks of performing them.
- More privacy. The person may feel more comfortable allowing a family member or loved one to take care of them vs. a stranger.
- When a caregiver cannot come, the consumer or their representative will need to find their replacement.
- Any background checks will need to be handled by the consumer or their representative.
Is CDPAP right for you? Some questions to ask yourself
At this point in the process, take some time to compare the pros and cons of CDPAP with people who might become your personal assistant. No matter how important your relationship with them might be or how limited your options, ask yourself the below questions and see if you can clarify your choice.
- For the person who needs care:
- How often do I need someone to come to my home?
- What do I need help doing? At what time of the day or night?
- Will I be more comfortable with a man or woman in my home?
- How will I locate a temporary caregiver if the other person is sick, must travel, etc.?
- Do I have good communication with the person I am considering as my caregiver?
- For the caregiver:
- How often does the person travel?
- Do they have access to reliable transportation?
- How far away do they live?
The answers to those questions will give you a more realistic view of the potential caregiver and help you to choose the right one.
Other practical, effective options in addition to CDPAP
CDPAP is not, as you know, your only home care option. Your loved one may simply live too far away for the program to be feasible. If that’s the case, reach out to Home Care For Adults. New Yorkers on Medicaid can still access high-quality, non-medical home care help, including:
- Live-in care
- Personal hygiene
- Dementia care
- Companion care at home
- Personal care
- Respite care
- Mobility assistance
- Senior care advocacy
Home Care For Adults takes pride in providing empathetic, timely service to people who are struggling with overwhelming decisions about how to take care of their loved ones. Feel free to ask their Senior Care Specialists about how to get reliable home care so that life can get back to normal again.
The next steps to take to enroll in CDPAP
If you would like more information about CDPAP, check out our program page, which answers the most common questions. Remember: what is overwhelming today will be easier tomorrow. It all starts with accurate information about your options, and Home Care Advisory Group will be happy to give it to you. From there, we will help you to navigate the confusing world of senior home care and make the best decision for your loved one.
About Home Care Advisory Group
Home Care Advisory Group streamlines the home care process, ensuring patients will never have to leave their homes or visit the doctor to complete the requirements. Throughout every step, its certified Senior Care Specialists make everything smooth and easy. Whether gathering necessary documentation, completing applications, or troubleshooting issues, team members minimize delays and ensure a hassle-free experience. Home Care Advisory Group’s suite of services include CDPAP, Medicaid applications, the exploration of home care options for patients with Medicare or Medicaid, the management of long-term care insurance claims, assistance with Veterans’ benefits, and more.For more information about Home Care Advisory Group and CDPAP, please visit https://homecareadvisory.org/cdpap-program/.