By: Dawn Sheldon, Best Care RN/QP
What are PCA services?
In Minnesota, PCA services are in-home services provided by a Personal Care Assistant (PCA). The purpose of the PCA role is to enable people who may not otherwise be able to continue living independently in their homes. Some services that may be provided include:
- Activities of daily living (ADLs): dressing, eating, toileting, grooming, bathing, transfers, positioning, and mobility.
- Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs): shopping, paying bills, and meal prep
- Some health-related tasks, such as range of motion exercises and medication reminders
- Redirection or observation of behaviors.
Qualifying for PCA services
You must meet a few requirements to be eligible to receive these services in Minnesota.
Enrolled in a Minnesota healthcare plan
You must be enrolled in a Minnesota healthcare plan. This would include waiver programs, medical assistance, and sometimes those on Minnesota Care.
Live in the community
To be eligible, you can’t live in a facility such as a hospital or long-term care facility. You must live in your own home. When you are in your own home, you will be eligible. It doesn’t mean that you are never eligible if you are in the hospital or long-term care facility.
Have an eligibility assessment
Though you may live in the community and be enrolled in a Minnesota healthcare plan, you must still be assessed for eligibility. You will request an assessment from the county in which you live. One will be scheduled, and if you are found eligible, you can begin the process of starting PCA services.
I’m eligible. Now what?
You know that you are eligible to receive PCA services. Now, what do you do?
Select a lead agency from the list available here or contact Best Care. The lead agency will help you continue the process. They will want to know if you have someone you want to be your PCA or if you need staff found for you. Once you have a lead agency, your PCA services will begin after staff has been secured, and all the necessary documents are completed.
Tips for Securing PCA Services
- Before scheduling your assessment appointment, see your physician. Get a copy of your health history and a letter from your physician ordering PCA services with a diagnosis.
- If you have someone in mind, know they must complete a background check successfully. If you think they may not pass, have a backup person in mind.
- Prepare for the assessment. Share about what your worst day looks like, and be honest. Have your medical records on hand, along with your insurance information.
The staff at Best Care are always ready and willing to help answer your questions.
Your county is another good resource. After jumping through all the hoops and your PCA services begin, you will be happy you did all that work.
Living independently is essential to a happy life. PCA services can create that for you!