Do you find yourself needing help throughout the day? Maybe you need help with cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, or bathing because it’s becoming a bit of a struggle. If you need help, but think caregivers are just for older people, you might be surprised to learn that people of all ages have caregivers. Caregiving is a service based on need, not age. Many older people need help, but caregivers are for anyone who needs assistance.

What do caregivers do?

Caregivers are people who support other individuals with needs that vary greatly. Some of the most common things caregivers help with includes:

  • Self-care, like bathing and going to the toilet
  • Dishes, laundry, and cleaning
  • Grocery shopping
  • Managing and paying bills
  • Transportation to appointments and social activities
  • Administering medication
  • And more

Basically, caregivers can help with just about anything you need help with whether it’s personal, social, or medical.

Do you need a caregiver?

If you’re struggling to manage your daily life, you might benefit from hiring a caregiver. If you’re struggling now, things may only get harder in the future, so the sooner you get help, the easier life will be for you.

Some signs that you need a caregiver include:

  • You struggle to get in and out of the bathtub or shower
  • You have balance issues that cause you to fall
  • You have a disability that makes bathing hard
  • You have in-home medical needs that you can’t handle alone
  • You don’t drive and can’t get to the grocery store easily
  • You struggle to cook or prepare healthy meals

These are just some of the indications that you might need a caregiver. If you’re struggling to take care of yourself in any way, consider hiring a caregiver to help alleviate that struggle.

How to find a caregiver

When you’re ready to get assistance, there are several ways to find a caregiver. The best place to start is with friends and family. If you have someone already supporting you, look into getting them paid for their caregiving work through the state. For example, if you’re in Pennsylvania, your helper can sign up to become a paid caregiver through FreedomCare. Most states have similar programs, so no matter where you’re located, you should check it out.

Another way to get a caregiver is to hire someone and pay them out of pocket. You might only need someone to run your errands once a week or help you prepare meals for the week. You can find private caregivers who will work just a few hours a week if that’s all you need.

Your final option is to see if you qualify for state-sponsored care. If you already receive SSI and have Medicaid, you’ll have an easier time qualifying for state-sponsored help. If so, you’ll be qualified and assessed. If approved, you’ll be allocated a certain number of hours per week for care.

Who qualifies for caregiving?

To qualify for home care paid for by the state, you generally need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. You’re under the care of a doctor (medical doctor or psychiatrist) for an illness or injury that requires the support of a caregiver.
  2. Your doctor has certified that you need physical therapy, intermittent skilled nursing care, speech-language pathology services, or occupational therapy.
  3. You’re homebound supported by certification from a doctor.

There are a variety of disabilities, injuries, and illnesses that can qualify for home care when your needs meet a certain threshold. For example, if you have a spinal injury and need help bathing, that’s usually enough to get services. If you suffer from edema and struggle to stand long enough to cook, you might be able to get services. Psychiatric disorders can also qualify you for care. It all depends on your individual circumstances.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to hire a caregiver

You don’t have to be old to get in-home help. When you need help at home or running errands, don’t hesitate to hire a caregiver. Whether you qualify for help from the state or you pay out of pocket, a caregiver will make your life easier.