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Where to seek PCA in Boston?

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  • Where to seek PCA in Boston?

    Trying to find a PCA in Metro Boston willing to accept MassHealth's $10.84 hour. Tried some local agencies, and posting on Craigs List... all to no avail. There must be some other places to find someone experienced. Any help appreciated. I'm new to the area and don't know the ropes, yet.

    As I understand the program, I cannot supplement the pay or provide any additional benefits. Wanting to keep everything above the table, besides providing some meals is there anything I can do to "sweeten" the deal that I'm not aware of?

  • #2
    Have you tried posting at any of the multiple colleges and universities in the area? Our local schools of nursing have bulletin boards where they allow such posts, and some will even annouce jobs in class. Already employed CNAs and HHAs who are looking to supplement their income are another source, and you can often find them at hosptials and nursing homes (although they won't let you post ads inside the building, I know several who have handed out flyers outside at change of shift!).

    How you write your ad for Craig's List makes a difference too. Perhaps you can post your text here and we can critique it for you?

    Can you offer transportation costs? Do you have room for a live in? You can provide both board and room in most states without it being a violation of the regulations (at least you can in CA which has similar rules).

    Word of mouth from others who have attendants is also a good method. Let others you know who use attendants in your area know you are looking. I assume you have already contacted your local ILC to see if they have a referral list.

    (KLD)
    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.

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    • #3
      I see that you just joined CC, and that you did not fill out any part of your profile. If you were to give us some further information we might be able to help more as a group.

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      • #4
        As the mother of college students living in Boston, I know that rent eats up almost as much as tuition. If you have a spare room, providing that, and posting at colleges should help. There are dozens of schools in Boston with Nursing, PT, or similar programs where you might find suitable help. Good luck. (and sorry, mine are engineers, not an option)
        T7-8 since Feb 2005

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        • #5
          Not necessarily. Not all the PCAs I know who are students are in health care professions. In our PCA training program, one of the best PCAs we ever had was a man who had just retired from the Navy after 25 years as a mechanic!

          (KLD)
          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.

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          • #6
            Have you called the Boston Chapter of NSCIA? You can find their info at www.spinalcord.org Talk to Mike Ferriter or Dave Estrada. Kevin is great as well, they should be able to help you out with suggestions, programs, etc.

            I have attached MA state resources which should help you some. In MA, the SCI portion of VR will assist with some PCA. When I lived in Boston and my son had nursing care, we used an agency. He had 38 hours a week of care and needed invasive interventions/care so we used a nurse. We had previously used a PCA, 7 days a week for 1-2 hrs a day. She came from Visiting Nurses and was very reliable and great.

            Are you right in Boston or a surrounding city? We used Tri-City VNA at first but as his care became more complicated, we used a Boston/Waltham company. Our respite care came from an agency in Lowell.
            Every day I wake up is a good one

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            • #7
              That ADR link is great! Thank you, and everyone else.

              I'm in Brookline in a small apartment that's ideal... but not with a roommate.

              It's incredibly hard to find someone willing to accept the $10.84 plus a few fringes like meals that I can offer without violating the rules. I hear that many break the rules with pay under the table, but don't want to do that and risk loosing my benefits. I guess it's like speeding; some get away with it and others are heavily penalized.

              There's a real friendly neighbor in an apartment on my floor with Altzheimers and disability from a stroke. That person's PCA is going back to Africa, and I offered to help find a replacement as well. The PCA has a friend who may be taking the job. I think that person's care is a lot harder than it looks.

              What nursing schools would you recommend I contact?

              Thank you again.

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              • #8
                If you are in Brookline you are right down the street from Boston University, specifically Sargent school of physical and occupational therapy, which is part of BU. I would definintely go over there and see if you can post for help, along with some of the other major BU areas such as the George Sherman Union building, which is a large food court, campus store, and various other things, including bulletin boards, lots of bulletin boards.

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                • #9
                  Northeastern is nearby as well. Mass Pharmacy. Simmons. And as KLD pointed out to me, it isn;t just medical type students. so add Wentworth to the list.
                  Last edited by sjean423; 01-06-2008, 11:21 PM.
                  T7-8 since Feb 2005

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                  • #10
                    I'm making some good progress, but a pay issue has come up.

                    Am led to beleive that most everyone is paying their PCA something additional, often times cash. I'm naieve on this, and don't want to do anything illegal or get myself or anyone in trouble.

                    Is it common practice to supplement the $10.84 the State pays, and, if so, is it legal?

                    Have searched online, and don't see anything specific about additional payments on the MassHealth program.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by postit
                      I'm making some good progress, but a pay issue has come up.

                      Am led to beleive that most everyone is paying their PCA something additional, often times cash. I'm naieve on this, and don't want to do anything illegal or get myself or anyone in trouble.

                      Is it common practice to supplement the $10.84 the State pays, and, if so, is it legal?

                      Have searched online, and don't see anything specific about additional payments on the MassHealth program.
                      I would call Boston Legal Aide or the Disability Law Center and get a free legal opinion. You can also try the legal clinic at New England School of Law on Stewart Street across from the MA Transportation Building. They have a health care clinic, or at least they used to. Better safe than sorry
                      Every day I wake up is a good one

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                      • #12
                        I know that KLD had posted about it being a legal problem in California, so I would be certain to check in to it if I were you.
                        T7-8 since Feb 2005

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                        • #13
                          I haven't been able to tell for sure if I'm allowed to supplement pay to what MassHealth already pays. I know I can provide a 1099-MISC form, but don't know if I also have to deduct taxes etc but more importantly if it's even legal to supplement the pay in the first place. I also can't tell if what I'm adding is considered pay or a tip.

                          Asking the caseworker is synomomous to asking a State Police officer if I can continue speeding... I've already supplemented pay but don't know if I should have and the last thing I want to do is risk breaking rules and getting myself disqualified.

                          Anyone here on MassHealth that can help guide?

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                          • #14
                            MA pays better then NH does, PCA care here is only 10.00 an hour and thankfully they allow family, or friends to do the care. I have 20 hours of care a week which my significant other does, we started looking for someone to do other then him and found no one wanted the job, so jake ended up cutting his hours at his job and having Fridays off so he could do the PCA care. so, we do all our appointments, etc..on Fridays and he helps with everything esle at night or on the weekends. It's worked out really well, we get to spend more time together and he is reliable. I hope you find someone--definately post at colleges in the Boston area, local hospital bulletin boards, talk to your local pharmacists --sometimes they have pharmacy techs looking to have another flexible job, etc..

                            Hope you find someone

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                            • #15
                              the Massachusetts pay $10.84 hasn't gone up in years, but it is still respectable compared to some other states as someone mentioned. Recently Pca' s have become unionized, so I would imagine a pay bump should be coming. Still I have survived 23 years living on my own in the community of as a c4 quad utilizing the system. Back in 1986 I believe it was 5 something a hour. I live in the suburbs, so little different than the city. I personally have never paid anyone more than the allotted pay, simply because if you do it for one person, everyone will expect the same treatment. I don't know how many evaluations you have had, but you have to account for literally every minute of you're care. That said, I do know several people that would say pay a employee for 5 hours of work, and if they finished in 4 hours than their salary would obviously be higher. You have to do what you have to do to survive. I know of another person that takes the train to Boston every day for work. He has to get at 4 a.m., nobody is doing that for 10.84 a hour. So I believe he compensates them more.

                              Good luck

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