Personal Assistant Careers Can Start Among Family and Friends

By Jennifer Redding

Jennifer Redding is the vice president of Liberty Home Care, a New York state- licensed home care agency that provides services and durable medical equipment to Western New Yorkers with a variety of health care needs.
Jennifer Redding is the vice president of Liberty Home Care, a New York state- licensed home care agency that provides services and durable medical equipment to Western New Yorkers with a variety of health care needs.

Do you know someone or have a relative whose health care and household needs are not being met? Are you currently caring for a friend or family member in your free time or on a full-time basis, but you are not being paid to provide this work?

There is a solution. New York state offers a program for residents who are on Medicaid that empowers individuals to manage their home health care by hiring a family member or friend to work as their personal assistant. This initiative, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Services (CDPAS), is growing across Western New York. CDPAS is a unique service that allows members to retain more control of their lives by choosing a person they trust to assist them in addressing their needs, routines and tasks (the hired assistant cannot be a spouse or financially responsible for the individual).

New York state offers a program for residents who are on Medicaid that empowers individuals to manage their home health care by hiring a family member or friend to work as their personal assistant.

CDPAS is a benefit that offers long-term value for Medicaid members to rely on someone they know and love at no cost to them. The program is delivered through health care agencies that assist members with enrollment and coordination of their personal assistant plan. The agency oversees the payroll and administrative functions after the member selects a relative, friend or neighbor as his or her employee to fulfill a variety of responsibilities.

The goal of CDPAS is to give people who are chronically ill or disabled additional support with daily activities or skilled nursing services. Individuals with a stable medical condition who are authorized for home care services are eligible to take an active role in hiring and supervising their personal assistants.

After members hire their assistants, their lives become easier to manage, and they begin to see the rewards through overall health, comfort and happiness. Under a member’s direction, the assistant commits to a schedule and takes on numerous household and health management duties, including laundry, dressing, bathing, providing medicine, giving insulin shots, transportation, grocery shopping and meal preparation.

The situations between member and assistant may vary, but the working relationship is designed to create similar mutually-beneficial satisfaction and productive outcomes. Scenarios could involve an adult caring for their parent full time or a semi-retired neighbor who is willing to help a friend for a specific amount of time each week while earning extra income.

Personal assistant programs inspire members to actively lead the decision-making in managing their home health care. Instead of living with an “ask for help as things come up” approach, the CDPAS benefit provides the reliability of a schedule and expectations that members prepare for their assistants. Members enjoy increased independence and more consistent care from someone who knows them well, and this valued partnership goes a long way to keeping them happy at home.

For more information about CDPAS , call716-274-5000.

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