California seniors can pay family members for caregiving via financial programs available to eligible residents. Medicare does not typically cover the cost of basic home care services. However, Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, offers some options for seniors who require personal care support and help with housekeeping, laundry or cooking.

Seniors can hire an approved home care service provider or have their care provided by a loved one. Family caregivers can be paid for the time they spend looking after loved ones and can also access other support, including respite care services, training and emotional support.

Medi-Cal Waivers Help Low-Income, Homebound Seniors

The Medi-Cal In Home Support Services (IHSS) program provides eligible seniors with support to cover the cost of help with the activities of daily living, shopping, housekeeping and transportation to medical appointments. The program is self-directed, so seniors can choose their own service providers, including paying family members to provide in-home care. In addition to this program, there are many other options for seniors who are looking for support to remain in their own homes, such as the Home And Community-Based Alternatives Waiver.

Spouses as Caregivers in California

While spouses are excluded from some Medicaid waivers for family caregivers, there may be some support available for them. The Paid Family Leave program offers eligible family members, including spouses, the opportunity to take up to 8 weeks of paid time off work to care for a loved one.