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For my mom (who did not need anything medical, just get her out of house, light housekeeping, etc) we tried a couple agenices, and neither worked out well, even though they were all insured and backgrounds checked etc. Then we went private and found a friend of a friend from church, and they were awesome. But I interviewed quite a few private ones who were not at all what I wanted for mom. In our area, near a major metro, the agencies charge almost $30/hour with 3 hr minimum, and driving is additional. They also could not accommodate last minute requests --which was less than a week notice. The amount of pay that trickled down to their caregivers was about $10/hr.
Compare that to private pay caregivers $20/hr, no mileage, and they were often available same day if my erratic schedule went bonkers. Of course we tipped.extra for those.days.
Hope this is helpful info. There are good carers thru either route.
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Maybe it depends on what you are hired to do. I know of some ladies in NC who worked just sitting with a senior in their home from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.. The patient was mobile, but just needed someone to be there just in case of an emergency. There was no dementia. The care giver would prepare the meals and clean up the kitchen. They would play cards with the patient, take her to doctor's appointments, do shopping, etc. The ones I know were paid really well. They did not work for any agency and I don't know the details of their insurance coverage. I do know they had no medical, nursing or CNA training, though I think they knew CPR.

When I was looking for someone to help come in and do some care for my loved one when she broke her foot, I called quite a few private home care providers off of a list I got from the local county Senior Center and almost all were booked up and they charged a lot, IMO. She could not afford it. This list must have had over 50 names on it. Most of them did have nursing or CNA training though. The agencies were even more expensive.
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Mallory is right, anyone can become a caregiver--but to be on the safe side, (esp if this is not a family member) you should be bonded, have some kind of insurance, a written contract--training--so many things could happen to the person in your care and the burden of proof that you are not responsible will be on you. I'm of the "better safe than sorry" train of thought. I cared for both my Father and FIL as they aged, and no contract, written or otherwise, as it was done out of love, but my clients, I had contracts. And yes, there were times that I am was REALLY grateful for those. My company had my back--that is important. (One example: I showed up for a 6 hr shift. Nobody is home. I can't find my client anywhere!! Started calling all the family, eventually found out that she had decided to go with friends that day. So I still got paid for 6 hours altho all I spent was one hour (frantic, on the phone!) but contractually, they had to pay me.) If you are "on your own" this kind of thing can happen. It happened several times to me, even tho my hours and shifts were clearly marked on the family's calendar and I NEVER missed a single shift.
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Anyone can become a caregiver, anywhere, and get paid to do so. I wonder if there is another question behind your question, as in, getting Medi-Cal to pay you for work you're already providing to your family member?
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I worked in ElderCare in Utah. I worked for a company. They had me bonded and insured and ran the background checks, all the stuff you'd have to do/pay for yourself if you were to work "alone". I wasn't paid much, but I also didn't have to worry about the bonding, insurance, etc. I would check with an attorney who specializes in ElderCare and see what needs to be done in your state. I also worked privately for a woman whose daughter I knew well. There was a written contract, and I was paid a great deal more than the agency paid--but I knew the family for 20 years before I worked for them. It lasted a short time, but I did check with my insurance provider (auto and home) to make sure I was covered.
And yes, I also received regular training in care from my company. Sadly, as I have stated before, the pay in Elder Care is really low--usually just a dollar or two above minimum wage. The turnover is super high.
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Check with the California Department of Health website. You will need training and certification. Your best bet is to work for an agency at first, since they will have the licensing and insurance needed to provide service through Medi-Cal. Once you have some experience, you can decide whether you want to make this a career.
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Do you want to work for yourself or for a company?
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