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Can a Family Member Become a Caregiver?

An adult child cares for her elderly parents

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


January 17, 2020

Did you know that you can get paid to take care of family at home? Learn more about how you can become a paid, family caregiver.


Finding the best care for your elderly parents is a priority for any child. Consider how you can get paid to take care of family as a professional caregiver.

If you want loved ones to remain in the comfort of their own home, a professional caregiver might be the answer. What better way to guarantee your family member is being treated with compassion and love than you becoming that caregiver?

Keep reading to discover exactly how people can become a paid caregiver for family members and the steps you need to take.


Get Paid to Take Care of Family

Yes, you can get paid to take care of family members as a caregiver. With the proper training and certifications, you can become the certified caregiver to your parents or loved ones. All inside the comfort of their own home, so they can age in place.

A qualified and experienced company like Commonwise Home Care can hire, train, and oversee new caregivers. During this process, you will become an employee of the home care agency and receive all of the training and resources you need.

Aside from direct family care giving, even trusted housekeepers, custodians, and others can go through training to become a certified caregiver to an elderly parent. Having a caregiver that your aging parent knows and trusts helps you both feel comfortable and confident in the process.


Advantages of Taking Care of Elderly at Home

One of the biggest challenges when seeking quality care for your aging parent is finding affordable options. In many cases, families have to sacrifice quality for a reasonable price. But when you’re the caregiver, you can save both yourself and your parent’s money.

Some family members choose to care for their parents for free, out of obligation. While this is an honorable thing to do, it also causes extreme financial stress and emotional strain. 

Many people end up sacrificing their jobs when they offer to help care for their aging parents. Missed hours at work and calling out sick means reduced pay and less income.

Why not become a paid caregiver for family members instead? You’ll bring in a steady income and have no reason to take off work. After all, your job is to take care of aging adults, including your parents. 

If this seems like too big of a step to take, look at the qualities of a caregiver that we look for in our care providers at Commonwise. Caregiving is not for everyone, but our carers were born for it.


Financial Support Options

Aside from getting trained and paid through a home care agency like Commonwise, you should also explore medical support options and insurances. Find out which of these services your loved one qualifies for. 



Medicaid is a major source of income and financial support for many people over the age of 65. All 50 states offer some level of personal care assistance via Medicaid, but stipulations may vary.

States can grant waivers that allow aging adults to manage their own home-care services. This includes hiring a family member as their caregiver. Be sure to read the fine print – in some states, legal guardians and spouses don’t qualify. 

Other states require that the caregiver resides in the same house as the individual. 


Military Veterans

Is your parent a military vet? Veterans in 37 of the 50 states might qualify for services that help provide long-term care. 

Veterans receive a monthly budget to use toward their needs. This includes any foods, goods, medications, or caregiver fees related to their care. Veterans are able to hire a caregiver of their choosing, including a family member.

The Veteran’s Association (VA) will determine your loved one’s eligibility and refer you to outside services. At this point, you can explain your plans to become their paid caregiver.


Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Paid Family Caregiver

Now that you understand how to get paid to take care of family, let’s discuss a few other things to consider. Aside from finances, here are a few questions to ask yourself.


How Much Care Does My Loved One Need?

Being the primary caregiver to your loved one is a big responsibility. Before you commit yourself to the role, evaluate how much care your parent needs.

What is their current medical condition? Do they need you to administer daily medication? 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 individuals over the age of 65 have some form of dementia. If your parents are part of this statistic, it may be more difficult to care for them.

Dementia patients often experience memory loss and can become violent and combative. You’ll need resilience and plenty of patience to care for a parent with dementia. If you choose to accept the challenge, additional training can help prepare you.


What Assets Does Your Parent Have?

There’s no doubt that your parents would give you the shirt off their back – and you’d do the same for them. Sometimes, based on the budget they receive from Medicaid, care recipients can determine the rate they pay their caregivers. The home care agency you work for determines service rates and salary.

A lot depends on how much money and assets your parents have in savings. Some Medicaid home care benefits are only available if your income falls below a certain level. Research how much money your parents have to determine the level of elderly assistance they qualify for.


What State Do You Live In?

The state government controls many of the programs that pay family caregivers. In addition to other factors, your pay as a caregiver may fluctuate depending on the state in which you live.

Check your state regulations or the state in which your parent lives. This is especially important if you plan to reside with them. Take some time to research and learn more about Virginia Medicaid eligibility requirements.


Am I Emotionally Prepared for This?

Becoming a paid caregiver for your family member might seem like an easy choice, but with so many emotions involved, things can get complicated fast.

Make sure you consider the feelings of both yourself and your parents. You need to put any uncomfortable or awkward feelings aside. Have an open discussion about wages and expectations. 

You may also see your loved one in compromising and potentially embarrassing situations when it comes to their daily needs (i.e., dressing, bathing, helping them use the bathroom). Caregivers are training to provide professional, personal care services like these every day.

Bring in a third, unbiased party to help draft an agreement between you and your parent. They can offer unbiased advice and guidance. A therapist can help you sort out any worries or concerns about taking on the role of a paid caregiver.


Commonwise Home Care Supports Families and Caregivers

If you are a primary caregiver for a loved one who may just need a break, consider respite care for caregivers. It’s okay to take the load off and take time to process or simply rest. Weigh your options before deciding if professional, full-time caregiving is the best decision for you and your loved ones.

At Commonwise Home Care, we support families and caregivers alike. Whether you just need a break, want to become a paid caregiver for family, or are looking into home care for a loved one, call Commonwise Home Care at 434.202.8565.