Get Paid to Care for Your Loved One

Consumer Directed ServicesWhether it’s your parents, a sibling, a child or a friend, helping someone you love is a wonderful thing you can do. You invest precious time into their life, helping them do things they may not be able to do themselves. While this is honorable, caring for someone who is disabled or needs extra assistance can quickly become a time-consuming and expensive process—especially if you have to quit your job or reduce work hours to do it.

Many people don’t realize there are programs available that may reimburse you for caring for your loved one. One of the best ways to access these resources is to talk with an experienced home care agency who knows how these types of services and community resources work, and can help pinpoint which services will be the most beneficial for you or your loved one.

Here are a few options that might be available to you:

State Programs

Missouri has a Medicaid-funded program called Consumer Directed Services. Through this program, the person you are caring for may qualify for services that will allow you to be paid, at no cost to them. This service is for those who are elderly or disabled and Medicaid eligible. Some of these services include: light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, shopping, personal care assistance and companionship.

 Veterans’ Benefits

According to AARP, in 2010 Congress passed a law providing a monthly stipend to primary caregivers of veterans injured in military conflict after 9/11. This can include paying for access to health care insurance, mental health services and travel expenses for caregivers. Caregivers of veterans may also be eligible for the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit.1

Long-term Care Insurance

There are some long-term care insurance policies that cover home care expenses and will pay for a family member or friend to provide the care. Your loved one will need to talk with their insurance agent to determine if their policy will allow you to be paid to provide care for them.1

Caregiver Contracts

If the other options are not available for your loved one, they can set up a caregiver contract. A caregiver contract allows them to pay you for your services. They will need to talk with an elder care lawyer to set up the contract to ensure it meets tax requirements, inheritance issues and is approved by all interested parties.1

Other reliable options that may be available include: Medicare, Medicaid, Missouri Children’s Waiver and Workers’ Compensation.

If you are a caregiver, Oxford HealthCare can help connect you to the right program, along with helping you process any paperwork or billing information, so you can focus on caring for the one you love.

Levine, Carol; 19 June, 2012; Can I Get Paid for Taking Care of my Mother; www.aarp.com

Describing Pain To Your Doctor

By Elizabeth M. Lee, RN, BA, CHPN
Hospice and Palliative Specialist for Oxford HealthCare

Describing PainWe all experience pain of some sort in our life.  The American Pain Society states: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.”  I believe an easier definition is from a nurse clinician named Margo McCaffery.  She states, “Pain is whatever the person says it is and exists when that person says it does,” (McCaffery, 1968). This has become the accepted definition among health care staff.  All pain has an origin, meaning there is a reason for pain.  Describing pain can be “tricky”.

Did you know there are several different types of pain?

  • Acute Pain: This pain is brief and usually associated with trauma or surgery.  When the healing process takes place, the pain usually stops.
  • Chronic Pain: This pain is prolonged.  It will always return if medication is stopped.  An example is arthritis.
  • Nociceptive (no-se-sep-tiv): This is a nerve for receiving and transmitting painful stimuli and is a pathway to the brain to tell us where our pain is located.  There are two types of nociceptive pain classifications Somatic and Visceral.
    • Somatic: This is a well-localized, dull ache and is usually in the bone, muscle, and skin.
    • Visceral: This is not well localized and is more deep, pressure, cramping, squeezing and is usually in the internal organs and stomach.
  • Neuropathic Pain: This type of pain is totally different.  You feel a sense of burning, tingling, pins and needles, numbness and this is caused by nerve damage.  Examples include: tumor, diabetes and even sunburn.

When talking with your doctor, it is important to explain your symptoms in a way the doctor will be able to help you.

  • Describe pain physically not emotionally.
  • What makes the pain worse?
  • What relieves the pain?
  • What other symptoms do you have with the pain?
  • Are you able to sleep, eat or carry on daily activities?
  • What would you be doing if you did not have pain?
  • Use words like stabbing, burning, pressure, sharp, pounding, cramping.

Help is available. The vast majority of people have their pain controlled with the current treatments that are available. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing pain, it’s important to talk to your doctor immediately. You can also get assistance by calling one of our Care Coordinators for help in southwest and central Missouri at (800) 749-6555.