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How to Get Paid as a Live-In Caregiver


“I have moved in with my elderly mom to take care of her, and it is more expensive than I thought. Is there any way to get paid as a live-in caretaker?”


Mary's Answer:

There are some resources available to caregivers in this situation, varying somewhat by state. Some states have a very robust Personal Care program for their residents, a program that allows family members to receive compensation while caring for a parent.

One important thing you need to know is that this Personal Care program is a Medicaid benefit. That means your mother must qualify for and receive Medicaid to be eligible. Medicaid, Title XIX, is a health coverage program for individuals who have very limited financial resources. Unlike Medicare, which is available to US citizens that are 65 years of age or older, Medicaid is for individuals with low income.

If your mother qualifies for or has Medicaid, check out the Personal Care program in your state. As a Personal Care Aide, you would be paid to care for her. I recommend going to your state’s website and search for “Personal Care.” You could also contact personal care agencies in your area. They will be familiar with how it works in your state.

Now, if your mother has assets, she may not be eligible for Medicaid. The Personal Care program for Medicaid recipients is the only program I am aware of that will pay family members to care for a parent. When and if her assets are depleted, she may become eligible. States also have rules about how assets are depleted, so do your research.

Now, as for being a fulltime caregiver, it is a significant undertaking. If her needs are great, you will tire quickly. Please seek family or outside support so that you stay healthy, as you will be of little assistance to your mother if your health becomes compromised. Start planning now if you have not already done so for breaks and vacations. There are resources available and you are wise to be looking for solutions.

I wish you the best.

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