The reason why so many people are choosing the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program is because by definition, the program widens the scope of who can be deemed as a Consumer’s caregiver.  It may be tempting to hire a close friend or family member to be your Personal Assistant (PA), but before signing those agreements, Premier – a Fiscal Intermediary with over 25 years of home care experience across 7 states- urges you to consider these top factors, to make sure that you have chosen the best fit for your unique, personalized needs.

Top 5 Factors for Choosing Your PA

  1. Does your PA candidate have reliable means of transportation? In CDPAP, it is the Consumer’s responsibility to have back-up in place if the Personal Assistant is unable to make it to work.  To prevent any headaches down the road, Premier recommends taking into account whether the candidate has a car or access to public transportation in your area.  Is the closest bus stop more than a half mile walk?  Experience shows that more than a half mile walk is a deterrence.
  2. Has your candidate exhibited punctuality and consideration for your time? This question relates directly to the first point, above.  For instance, you may be considering hiring your friend from Bingo at the community center, but do you both share the inside joke that she’s notoriously late? Consistently reliable, dependable people are those who are ideal candidates for the Personal Assistant role.  It will be quite an inconvenience to you if your PA’s lateness causes you to be tardy to your doctor’s appointment, or is late arriving to your home to make you lunch.  These are issues that will become burdensome down the line if not reflected upon right at the beginning.  Remember to keep in mind specifically what hours you’ll need assistance throughout the week, and if your PA is able to work those particular shifts.
  3. Does your candidate respect your privacy? One of the most important responsibilities of a PA is to maintain your privacy and dignity.  If your candidate exhibits difficulty keeping friends’ and family’s personal matters to themselves, then this is probably not the best caregiver for you to hire.
  4. Does your candidate exude professionalism? The Personal Assistant you hire is a direct reflection on you.  Your role in the CDPAP program is to hire, train, supervise, and if necessary, terminate your PA’s.  To avoid uncomfortable conversations down the line, Premier recommends choosing a candidate who exhibits professionalism, compassion, and who is willing to accept constructive criticism.  Besides following your directives, the PA will have to abide by Department of Health regulations and policies set forth by the Fiscal Intermediary, such as the utilization of the Electronic Visit Verification system, and the completion of annual mandatory compliance items to continue their employment.  Premier encourages you to choose a PA who will willingly abide by all rules and regulations.
  5. Is your candidate physically able to meet your needs? Every Consumer has a distinct set of needs- some require assistance with house-keeping and medication administration, while others require total assistance in the form of transferring, the use of a hoyer lift, and assistance with activities of daily living.  Maybe the candidate you have in mind is meticulous, and would be great at organizing your medications throughout the day, but not likely to be able to transfer you using a slide board.  The purpose of the CDPAP program is to allow the Consumer to employ his or her ideal caregiver as the Personal Assistant.  Your decision should be well contemplated and reflective of all factors to ensure that you are choosing the best caregiver to fill your open position.