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Qualifications to be a PCA- info needed please help

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  • Qualifications to be a PCA- info needed please help

    Hello everyone, I need some info on what exactly do I need to do to become 'qualified' as Shawn's caregiver in the State of MN? He is a c4 quad and will need assistance with bowel program, hygiene, dressing, eating etc. He's working on feeding himself etc but doesn't have arm movement - basically shoulder at this point for evry day function. Does anyone know if it is required for me to learn these things (even though I have already been doing most) through a agency so that MA will pay for the help? We will probally need to have a few lined up as HHA or PCA and now the clock's ticking since we are working on getting him d/c from Rehab. We're 14 months post injury. Any help appreciated! If you know of sites to check out, numbers whatever - our social worker hasn't (surprise) been very helpful in getting this info to us but at the same time is trying to get us ready for d/c in Oct 2002. Again thanks for any info!

  • #2
    Michelle, Each state's regs are different regarding family members being reimbursed for PCA/HHA services.

    Try here and click under 'county resources' for info on your local Medicaid office:

    Most long term disability issues are handled under the state's Dept. on Aging; also check Independent Living Center resources for the state, as they may be able to give you some guidance.

    Yes, you should have other HHA/PCA care lined up! Even if you qualify and can get reimbursed (and especially if you can't!), you cannot provide care 24/7, or you'll burn out in a very short time! Even if you get respite care for yourself. Caring for YOU is as important as caring for Shawn. If you're not in good shape both physically and emotionally, you won't be able to give Shawn the care he needs.

    Tough times don't last - tough people do.


    • #3
      Thanks Marmalady!


      • #4

        We live in Pennsylvania . My husband is on a MA Waiver program family cannot get payed to be A PCA here. I am able to get a job as a PCA for somebody else my experience with my husband as taught me well


        • #5

          The best source of accurate information about government funded PCA care in most states is your local ILC. Regulations vary not only by state (but in my area), by county as well.

          Here, while family members can be hired to be a PCA through IHSS, the program has a social worker who determines how many hours of care you "need" and you are only funded for that. In addition, the program assumes that adult family members living in the same household will provide 8 hours of care daily.

          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


          • #6
            PCA req's in MN

            Just an update.

            In MN at least from what I have been told so far - you interview with whatever agency or agencies your planning to use, sit through some video's, complete a test and take a Home Health Aide certification. The agency we're using has been very helpful in getting myself and relatives qualified initally, as well as the other ones that we have surveyed. Basically can have as many hours that you want since he is allowed to request who he wants to work with- I think part of this is due to the overall shortage of help out there. We ended up having 24 hour care (16 lpn hrs, 8 pca per day as the goal)- so far- the county will probally downgrade that after their quarterly eval. Apparently there is a small circle of SO's that are the primary for their boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses etc. The ones I have spoken with actually work a lot more than I or Shawn would want me to at this point (I have a fulltime job in addition to the cares). Upside is that you could make a nice income with the overtime benefits, downside is burnout.
            We just moved in to our own place 2 weeks ago, after 1 year, 6 months and 11 days of Shawn being in some sort of hospital or nursing home!! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] Very excited and exhausted but its working and it helps a tremendous amount to have the extra help now from the agency so that we can focus on being a couple and not confuse roles too much at least in the beginning. Down the road quite possible I will be doing the majority of cares - we have been quite lucky in that Shawn doesn't need to be on a vent as we were originally told and that he is going to begin outpatient rehab soon. Ok I'm rambling, the point is that at least in MN there is at this time some flexibility with arranging PCA's and the like. Hope that helps anyone interested.


            • #7
              .............."you interview with whatever agency or agencies your planning to use, sit through some video's, complete a test and take a Home Health Aide certification. "

              Isn't that scary? To think they're certifying people (I'm not talking about the family caregivers here who get some knowledge and training while family member is in rehab) who will go into homes and provide caregiving with that little training?

              I'd suggest, Michelle, that you and Shawn start now, to make a booklet for the agency PCA's, and list very specifically what tasks they will be responsible for, including how to perform those tasks. I can remember one of our agency aides not knowing how to switch off the night drainage bag to the leg bag! Don't even ask about taking a blood pressure!

              Tough times don't last - tough people do.


              • #8
                PCA Quali's

                Oh YES is it ever scary! Talking with various PCAs/Home Health Aides the shortage is so bad and demand so high that they are hiring whoever applies - people walking in from the street... For the agency I am not sure if the training is more (GOD I HOPE SO!) than what myself and Shawn's parents went through - we did benefit from rehab helping teach us some of what we need to know. We're still learning day in and day out as we go.
                Just this last month we have gone through a few who didn't know basic cares, proper body alignment when doing range, etc etc...

                Thanks for the tip on keeping a book on what should be done and how. Will definately be keeping one.