University of Southern California Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Caregivers and helpers

The Hard Parts of Being a Caregiver The Good Parts of Being a Caregiver What Makes a Good Caregiver or Helper? Helpers Who Don't Help Danger Signs of the Wrong Helper Abuse and Neglect How to Hire a Helper Advice from Alma If You Use the Internet... Show All Read in more detail about this subject

Caregivers and helpers

Caregiver pushing wheelchair

It's important to have a good helper or caregiver

Lots of people have disabilities. Lots of them have a caregiver. Lots of them have a paid helper. More people than ever have a helper. A caregiver can help you do what you need to do every day. A caregiver or helper can help you to be independent. People who are independent make important choices for themselves. A caregiver can be:

Less than half of people with disabilities have a helper who is paid. A helper you pay might be a professional worker. Sometimes people pay a friend or loved one to help them. When people have a paid helper, it can cost a lot. It might cost almost half of all you spend each month. Some people have a paid helper for a few hours each day or week. Then a caregiver helps them the rest of the time.

Almost half the people who get help have two helpers. The helpers take turns caring for them.

Check book

But it can be expensive to pay a helper

Women with a spinal cord injury tend to pay for a helper. Men with a spinal cord injury tend to have a loved one taking care of them.

Dave didn't hire a helper because he didn't want a "stranger" helping him. Dave's mother was his caregiver.

Some helpers earn minimum wage. Some earn over $10 an hour. About half of the people without a helper said they couldn't pay one. They also said they didn't want a "stranger" in their home.

Do you need special medicine? Do you need special treatment? Medicare, Medicaid, MediCal and private insurance will pay for a nurse or trained helper.