Caregiver FAQ

Have any questions about what it means to be a caregiver? This section addresses the most common queries about the services available to people caring for a loved one in New Jersey.

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How do I know if I am a caregiver?

Do you take care of household responsibilities for a loved one? Do you help your loved one get ready for the day or ready for bed at the end of the day? Do you bring your loved one to doctor's appointments? Do you talk with doctors and nurses to make sure your loved one is being properly cared for? Do you handle your loved one's finances or legal matters? Do you take time out of your day to make sure your loved one is not isolated and alone? If you answered yes to any of the above, you are likely a caregiver! Caregivers have a wide range of responsibilities but ultimately ensure services and safety while caring for their loved ones. More information on being a caregiver can be found here.

Can I get paid to care for a family member?

Very few programs pay family members or friends on a regular basis to provide care. Sometimes caregiving families may obtain financial relief for specific purposes, such as for respite care or to purchase goods and services, and in some cases, pay for caregiving. These options may be available through your Managed Care Organization (MCO) if your care recipient is on Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS)

How can I find someone to care for my family member at home?

There are many options for in-home care that range from housekeeping and chore services to skilled nursing care. Options for in-home care depend on the specific needs of the care recipient and caregiver. Your local AAA/ADRC may be able to help you determine what type of care will work for you. Information on specific providers can be found here.

How can I help my family member if I don’t live nearby?

Caregivers come in all shapes, sizes and distances! Long-distance caregivers can assist their loved ones with coordination of care, they can find their loved one a care manager, they can research and stay informed about services for their care recipient. Long distance caregivers help with money management, arrange in-home care, plan for emergencies, and much more. One of the most important things a long-distance caregiver can do is stay in touch with the care recipient and support their social and emotional needs.

How can I take time off work to care for a family member?

New Jersey Family Leave Insurance Program provides New Jersey workers cash benefits for up to 12 weeks to bond with a newborn or newly placed adoptive, or foster child. This benefit is also available for those caring for a seriously ill (including with COVID-19) or injured loved one.

The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave law ensures that employers of all sizes must provide full-time, part-time, and temporary employees with up to 40 hours of earned sick leave per year to care for themselves or a loved one.

I need a break! How can I find respite care?

In New Jersey, respite is available to caregivers in different ways that depend on the clinical and financial eligibility of the care recipient.

How do I handle the daily stress of being a caregiver?

Care2Caregivers is a free, confidential help line for anyone concerned about or caring for someone with memory issues. The hotline can be reached at 1-800-424-2494.

The Self-Help Group Clearing House helps people find and form all types of self-help support groups in order to provide hope, strength and experience to those in need in order to not feel alone.

How can I make a complaint about a family member’s care?

If you are concerned about your family member's care in a facility, you can reach out to the facility or organization directly or contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate for residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

If your family member lives in the community, you can contact Adult Protective Services if you suspect abuse, neglect exploitation. Every county has an Adult Protective Services provider.

How do I get my family member’s legal and financial affairs in order?

Assistance with legal and financial issues relating to caregivers may be available through Legal Services of New Jersey which provides free legal assistance to low-income New Jerseyans for their civil legal problems through the coordination of the statewide Legal Services System. They have offices throughout the state:

Community Health Law Project is a statewide not-for-profit advocacy and legal service organization which provides legal representation and advocacy services to low-income individuals with disabilities and the frail elderly. 

Still have questions? Your local AAA/ADRC can help you find answers!

Call the ADRC hotline at 1-877-222-3737 to get started.