Family members can get paid for caregiving in Minnesota under the Personal Care Assistance program. Family members and personal care recipients must meet certain qualifications. This in-home care option is designed for seniors who want to remain in their own homes but need some extra help. Seniors who live in a senior living community may also qualify for personal care assistance.

Services Provided by the Personal Care Assistance Program

Family members who serve as personal care assistants help seniors with their activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, grooming, eating and mobility. They may also assist with preparing meals, shopping, transportation and bill paying so that seniors can remain as independent as possible in their own homes. PCAs can set up medications and provide medication reminders and observation. They monitor behavior and guide seniors in positive, healthy directions.

To become a PCA, family members of qualified recipients must take standardized training and pass an exam. They must also pass a background check and enroll with the Minnesota Department of Human Services. A PCA must be physically able to perform required tasks and communicate well with the recipient and the monitoring agency. A spouse, parent, legal guardian or stepparent can’t qualify as a paid PCA, but other family members can.

Eligibility for the Personal Care Assistance Program

Seniors who want to hire a family member as a personal care assistant through the state of Minnesota must show eligibility. The process begins on the county or tribal level. A representative meets with the senior to determine whether they qualify for a PCA. The individual must live at home and not in a nursing home or hospital facility. A personal assessment determines further eligibility. The senior must be enrolled in a Minnesota health care program and also be able to direct their own care or do so through a representative.

Seniors who are eligible for a PCA may choose to work through an authorized agency that takes care of hiring and training a PCA. The PCA Choice program allows seniors to select and hire their own PCA, including a qualifying family member. In this case, seniors must also be willing to train, supervise and schedule their PCA’s duties and set their hours. A family member PCA can, of course, assist in this process.