The Cost of Caregiving

About 40 million family caregivers in the United States provide unpaid care to another adult.1 Caregiving for a loved one is a noble endeavor, and considering the high cost of professional long-term care, it may be the only alternative for some families. But "free" caregiving often comes with financial, physical, and emotional costs. If you are a family caregiver, or know someone who is, here are some suggestions to consider.

Preserve your own assets. More than three out of four caregivers incur out-of-pocket expenses, with average spending approaching $7,000 annually. Expenses can be even higher when the person being cared for requires longer hours of care, needs help with more daily activities and/or medical/nursing tasks, is suffering from mental illness or dementia, or lives at a distance from the caregiver.2

IMAGE

Although it's generous to help an aging parent or other relative financially, be realistic about your own present and future financial needs. It might make more sense to spend down an older person's assets, which could reduce the taxable estate and/or qualify him or her for long-term care benefits under Medicaid.

Take advantage of available benefits. Make sure the person you are caring for has all the benefits to which he or she is entitled. The Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov), a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, and the Benefits CheckUp website (benefitscheckup.org) from the National Council on Aging are helpful places to start.

Talk to your employer. One out of three caregivers has changed work hours and 20% have reduced work hours; 22% have taken unpaid leave.3 Many companies include family care in their sick-leave policies, and you might be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Educate yourself. Make sure you fully understand your loved one's condition, medications, and appropriate methods of care. Ensure that you are authorized to speak to physicians and health providers regarding the patient's treatment plan. Don't hesitate to call with questions, and keep a running list of issues for the next office visit.

Take care of yourself. Many caregivers suffer from physical or mental conditions that are caused or exacerbated by the strain of providing care. Take regular breaks to rest or enjoy a favorite activity. Ask for help from other family members and friends. Consider support groups. Don't be afraid to seek professional help for yourself.

More information on family caregiving is available from the Family Caregiver Alliance (caregiver.org), the Caregiver Action Network (caregiveraction.org), the National Institute on Aging (nia.nih.gov), and AARP Caregiving (aarp.org/caregiving).

 
Financial Assets, Inc.
12600 Deerfield Parkway Suite 100 Alpharetta, GA 30004
Phone: (678) 566-3577 Fax: (678) 566-3916

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

12600 DEERFIELD PARKWAY SUITE 100 ALPHARETTA GA 30004

 

Financial Assets, Inc. and Cetera Advisors LLC are not affiliated.

 

This site is published for residents of the United States only. Registered Representatives of Cetera Advisors LLC may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions in which they are properly registered. Not all of the products and services referenced on this site may be available in every state and through every advisor listed. For additional information please contact the advisor(s) listed on the site, visit the Cetera Advisors LLC site at www.ceteraadvisors.com

The registered representative(s) and/or investment adviser representative(s) listed on this website are licensed and registered in the following states:

We are licensed to sell Insurance Products in GA.

[ Online Privacy Policy | Important Disclosures | Business Continuity | Privacy Promise | Order Routing Disclosure | Cetera Advisors ]