Playing the vital role of a caregiver to someone you love is definitely a tough task, something that many of us have already done or might have to do in the near future. Anyone who has played this role can share his experience of how overwhelmingly emotional it can be, how overburdened with information you can feel, as the keeper of the person's information, medications, doctor's appointments, advocate and also as their financial advisor. The last task mentioned is most often the most overlooked periphery of your loved one. You should know when and how you should help your loved one with their finances and understand what may happen to his finances once he starts getting older and started needing better care.
As we said earlier, caring for an aging parent can definitely be the highest calling of your entire life but it can rob you of money, time and your personal experiences. In fact there are cases when these personal sacrifices can become reasons of regret & bitterness. The Mature Market Institute (MMI) of MetLife recently measured the financial sacrifices and costs of family care-giving.
Financial consequences of being a caregiver - Some tips for you
As per recent reports, the total number of people taking care of their aged parent has surged since the last decade. Estimates suggest that over 10 million adult children above the age of 50 currently care for an aging parent. In the year 2009, nearly 18% men and 29% women provided care which was defined as offering help with bathing, dressing, feeding and with other personal needs. While this can indeed be stressful, here is a list that puts together some of the financial consequences of care-giving.
- Think twice before quitting your job for your parent: If you think of surrendering your day job for the sake of gaining time to look after your parents, you will not only suffer from loss of income but this will adversely impact your retirement savings as well. When you give up your job, what are the odds and chances of finding work again in the near future? Would your skills still look tempting to the prospective employers? Think twice before making a decision.
- Create a budget for care giving: Before you make a noteworthy decision that has lots of financial consequences, give a close and comprehensive look at the total amount that you're spending on care-giving to your parents. Also jot down the resources of your parents and note how they can be used to support all your care-giving activities. This is a harmless way of spreading the financial pressure.
- Explore some cost effective public programs: There are a number of websites that can offer you help in recognizing different care-giving tasks. You can even take a look at the federal eldercare locator. A benefits checklist service is operated by the National Council of Aging and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging has profound information on help regarding care-giving.
- Try to know on Medicaid and Medicare: If you're of the opinion that Medicare covers your parent's stays at nursing home, you're wrong. Only those who have exhausted majority of their assets can qualify for nursing-home stays sponsored through Medicaid. Try to know what kind of Medicare coverage your parents have. What are the out-of-pocket limits and co-pays?
- Consider seeking expert help: If what your parents need is challenging and extensive, consider seeking help of a geriatric-care manager who can create a plan for you and help you recognize some community resources to save your dollars. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers can offer you professional services and standards.
- Stay aware of fiscal scams: The elders are often vulnerable to financial abuse and this is gradually growing with the tough economic situation of the country. Ensure that your parents are protected from making poor and hasty monetary decisions.
Hence, before you start sacrificing your personal needs for playing the ultimate role of a care-giver, take into account the above mentioned points so that you can stay on top of your finances.