Your care plan details the type and frequency of assistance you need.
Who writes the care plan?
Your care plan must follow the PCA Assessment and Service Plan DHS-3244 (PDF) you get from the assessor.
Under traditional PCA, you and your qualified professional develop the care plan together. Under PCA Choice, you develop your care plan, with help from your qualified professional if needed. You must use your PCA provider agency's care plan template. The following information summarizes what PCAs can and cannot do for you. These are called covered and non-covered services.
What can a PCA do for me?
PCAs can help you with covered services including:
- Health-related procedures and tasks
- Observing and redirecting behaviors
For adults, PCA may also help with instrumental activities of daily living such as:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Basic assistance with paying bills
- Shopping for food, clothing and other essential items
- Performing household tasks integral to PCA services
- Communication by telephone and other media
- Traveling to medical appointments and community events
PCAs can assist children with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) ONLY under the following conditions:
- Light housekeeping and laundry for health and hygiene reasons integral to PCA services
- Sole benefit of the child
- Listed on the PCA assessment and service plan
Can a PCA help with my medications?
Under the direction of you or your responsible party, your PCA can:
- Remind you to take your medications
- Bring you your medication
- Assist with opening medication
- Decide your need for medication
- up your medication
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your medication
- Inject medications
What is a PCA unable to do for me?
- Assist with sterile procedures
- Inject fluids and medications into veins, muscles or skin
- Complete home maintenance or chore services
- Complete homemaker services that are not an integral part of assessed needs
- Apply restraints
- Assist with most instrumental activities of daily living for children under 18
- Provide services in lieu of other staffing options in a residential or childcare setting
- Cannot work solely as a childcare or babysitting service
- Provide services in the PCA's home
- Sleep on the job
Can I use my PCA at work?
PCAs may assist you at work. They may provide any assistance you need in your care plan. You have the following choices for getting personal care assistance at work:
- You may schedule a PCA to come in to your workplace at the times you need help.
- You may find someone employed at your workplace who is willing to work as a PCA for you.
Please check with your employer before hiring a co-worker to be a PCA in the workplace.
Sometimes you may need help with things specific to your job, such as typing or filing. Talk with your employer about the options you have for getting this help. Perhaps someone else at the workplace can help arrange assistance or assist with tasks. These are often considered reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Where can a PCA provide services to me?
Most PCA services are delivered in your home. You can use your PCA services at work, shopping, medical appointments, worship services, school or any place you would normally go in the community.
The PCA cannot provide services in the PCA's home, unless the PCA lives with you.
If the location of services includes a fee or other costs, discuss this with your PCA prior to event. PCAs are not required to pay for expenses related to providing services.
What can PCAs do for children under age 18?
There are some differences between what PCAs can do for adults and children. Details are available at PCA services for children under age 18.
How do I find a provider?
As part of choosing a PCA provider agency, you must first decide between:
- PCA Choice option
- Traditional PCA services
Traditional agencies hire, train, schedule and fire your staff. With the PCA Choice option, you have greater control over your staffing and an agency handles the financial matters. Once you decide on the type of agency, you must select a specific agency. If you have not chosen an agency by the date listed on your service authorization, DHS will stop your service authorization.
You can choose a provider agency from a list you may get at your PCA assessment. Lists are also available at MinnesotaHelp.info or from the Disability Hub MN, 866-333-2466, or the Senior LinkAge Line, 800-333-2433.
How do I choose a provider?
When hiring any type of company to provide services to you, you may want to learn about the company's:
- Availability of service
- Commitment to staff training
- Customer service ratings and reviews, for example the Better Business Bureau
- Professional accreditations and affiliations
- Quality of service and quality plans
- Responsiveness to customers
- Unique features that meet your needs
- Years of service
Many people interview two or three providers before making a final selection. You may want to ask a potential provider:
- How do you communicate with your clients?
- What is your grievance policy?
- What kind of training do you provide for your staff?
- What references can you
- Who would be my contact at your agency?
What are additional questions for a traditional PCA provider?
- How can you meet my staffing needs?
- How do you provide backup staff for emergencies?
- How much do PCAs and qualified professionals get paid?
- May I help set my schedule?
- May I meet or interview PCAs before they work for me?
- What benefits do you offer staff?
What are additional questions for a PCA Choice provider?
- How much can I pay my PCAs and qualified professionals?
- What is your fee for using the PCA Choice option?
Can I use more than one agency?
If you use traditional PCA you can have more than one agency provide your staffing. If you use PCA Choice, you can have only one agency. You cannot use both traditional PCA and PCA Choice at the same time.
What if I change my mind?
You can choose to join or leave PCA Choice or change PCA providers anytime. Contact your local county agency or tribe (PDF) or health plan member services to change from traditional PCA to PCA Choice. Your new and former PCA provider must contact DHS to change your provider.
Hiring A PCA
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