Managing Your CDPAP Caregiver

Not everyone will agree with being paid for taking care of a family member, but it isn’t about money…it’s about so much more.

There’s nothing better than being able to take care of our family members ourselves.

Nursing homes are not at all bad but if we only had the time and resources to, we would stay at home and make sure that our loved ones get all the care they need and are comfortable living in their golden years. Having to get out there, work and earn, taking care of family members 24/7 all at once is unrealistic to many.

But with the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), you can now take care of your family members while being compensated for your time. And this is not just for you: a close friend, another family member, or a person you trust to do the job can also take on the role of a CDPAP caregiver. This arrangement might not sound fair to some, for whatever personal reason or apprehension they may have, but if we take a closer look at what your objectives are, you have nothing to prove to anyone.

A Closer Look at CDPAP

CDPAP is a Medicaid funded program in New York for self-directing ill or physically disabled individuals who need assistance with daily activities of everyday life to stay safe and well cared for within the comfort of their own home. It was created to make the patient AKA the “consumer” feel more comfortable through receiving care from a person they already know and trust.

It is NOT a program aimed solely to create jobs.

To qualify for CDPAP, the consumer should be enrolled in (or eligible for) the Medicaid program and also qualify for “long-term” in-home care. For additional context, “long term” in the in-home care world is considered to be 120 days or longer. And to “qualify” for services through Medicaid, on top of enrollment paperwork, applications, etc. a nursing assessment is completed first by the State/Medicaid, and then by the individual plan that has been selected by the Consumer.

The CDPAP caregiver or “personal assistant” should be able to perform the tasks as laid out by the Consumer or their Designated Representative (an individual hand selected by the Consumer, to take on the Consumer’s role of managing the their CDPAP caregivers).

Developing Personal Assistant Skills

When the person that you are taking care of is a family member or a close friend, we suggest that you learn the basic paraprofessional skills of a home health aide certified caregiver. Some of the tasks that you may perform as a cdpap caregiver are wound care, giving insulin injections, and everyday tasks such as preparing meals and bathing. Having a solid foundation of knowledge will be best prepare you for many of these tasks.

To provide service that truly benefits your Consumer, you may want to consider developing your “soft skills” and temperament to be on par with a certified Home Health Aide (HHA), after all, CDPAP is an alternative to traditional home health aide services and if your loved one has hand selected you to be their caregiver, they deserve for that responsibility to be taken seriously.

Some examples of soft skills are being patient when it comes to understanding the Consumer, and waiting for them to express themselves rather than getting frustrated and impatient. It is also essential to allow them to be independent when the opportunity presents itself, and not make them fully dependent on you. To avoid your loved one feeling like they are being treated as a child would be, it is important than when an opportunity to do something for themselves arises, that you let them do it on their own.

Overcoming Objections

As mentioned above, being paid while doing what you’re “supposed to do” isn’t warmly welcomed by everyone. Some parents, grandparents, etc. may not be eligible due to not being medicaid eligible, their health, etc. and there may be some that qualify but simply opt not to participate. There are also paraprofessional caregivers who might feel as if you took possible jobs from them, especially when you have not received any kind of formal training. You might have an urge to defend yourself and put out all the hard facts on why this arrangement is okay but we suggest not to give-in or be baited into this fruitless argument. Because really, it’s a decision that the outside party has no say in, and is very personal/not to be made public.

Remember one of the skills that a personal assistant should have is patience and understanding. Empathy is the key. You do not have to disagree with everyone that may have an opposing view. As a personal assistant, you should be able to simply translate what the goal of the CDPAP program is, which is to help our communities most vulnerable…the ill, frail, and people with disabilities to live more comfortably, plain and simple. You are part of a cohesive caregiving community whose sole mission is to help a loved one live safely and independently…that is a tremendously noble cause.

Truth to be told, the payment or salary that you will receive would not make up for all the services that you perform as a personal assistant. It is but a small compensation for the help you give a person who means the world to you. Learn more about the program, by filling out the form below.

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