The CDPAP, Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, is a Medicaid program that gives elderly or disabled the ability to choose their own caregiver, based on personal needs and preferences. In most cases, a family member or close friend is chosen to assist and provide care. Traditional home care programs involve hiring a caregiver that is unacquainted with the patient. The CDPAP gives the patient control of their life by allowing them to manage their own comfort levels and helping ensure they trust the individual who will be coming into their home to manage their care plan.

Under this program, the patient (or the person acting on the patient’s behalf) is responsible for hiring, training and supervising the new caregiver. The caregiver is not required to have special licensing or certification. While it may seem that any loved one would make an excellent caregiver, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right person. Also, under the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, spouses are not eligible to serve as a personal assistant.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Caregiver

When choosing a home aide, the most important thing to consider is the patient’s needs. While a daughter may be a perfect caregiver for her disabled mother, she might not be an adequate caregiver for a chronically ill grandparent who needs constant tracheotomy suctioning or injections. Think about what special services the patient will need and go from there.

Patient’s Daily Activities And Schedule

It may be helpful to write down a list of the patient’s daily activities. If the patient needs regular help standing up or walking, you will want to make sure the potential caregiver is strong enough to assist in the patient’s mobility. A person who experiences balance issues or struggles when lifting heavy objects would likely jeopardize the patient’s safety, as well as their own safety, and would not make an adequate aide. Recording the patient’s daily schedule is also an excellent way to come up with a timeline that outlines things like meals, naps, doctor’s appointments and times specific medications should be taken. This will make it easy to determine things like: Do we need a caregiver who can cook? Do we need a caregiver who can drive? Does the caregiver need to have a great memory?


Considering the age of a potential personal assistant is also important. Someone who is too young may not have the ability to remain calm in high-pressure situations, or they may lack the maturity to make informed decisions regarding the patient’s care plan. On the contrary, a person who is too old may lack the strength and stamina to properly carry out the demanding duties of the job.

Patient-Caregiver Relationship

If you are thinking about hiring a family member or friend as a future home aide, it’s likely that the patient loves and feels comfortable with the list of candidates. That being said, take a very close look at patient-caregiver relationship. Think back to family events or holidays? Did the duo always get along, or did they tend to bicker shamelessly over whether the birthday cake was regular chocolate or German chocolate? We all love our friends and family members immensely, but sometimes we are so close to a loved one that conversations can get overly passionate, quickly. Talk with the patient about their past interactions with family members just to see if anything interesting comes up.

Perhaps you have already decided on the perfect caregiver, or you, yourself, have been caring for a loved one and are ready to enroll in the LifeCare Advantage Personal Assistant CDPAP program. Great! We are excited to begin working with you. Our enrollment process is easy and convenient.

Requirements To Join The Program:

  1. Patient must be insured by Medicaid to receive these services.
  2. Patient must live in the state of New York.
  3. Both the patient and the caregiver must be at least 18 years old.
  4. The caregiver must be a legal resident of the United States.

If you are ready to enroll or would like more information about the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, the LifeCare Advantage team is here to help. Contact us with any questions you may have, and one of our coordinators will reach out to you shortly.