It is no longer unusual to either be a caregiver for a family member or to know someone who is a caregiver. A recent AARP report says more than 1 in 5 Americans provide caregiving services for a family member in the past twelve months. An estimated 53.0 million adults are caregivers in the United States. This number is increasing as an estimated 43.5 million were caregivers in 2015.
When you are in the role of a caregiver you often are unprepared and untrained, not to mention unpaid. Studies show that caregivers face many challenges, including their own physical and mental health problems from the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that caregiving places on the caregiver and their families.
Few people have prepared for the costs and burdens that come with longevity. When a person requires long-term care services due to an illness, an accident, or the impact of aging, the family faces a crisis. The family quickly discovers that health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, won't pay for most long-term care services. The family must step in, or the care recipient must pay for care services from income and savings. Sometimes a combination of paid services and family caregivers will be used. This is a crisis that creates numerous problems.
Anger is Common
One of the problems caregivers face is anger. These face their own anger for being placed in a tough position. The caregiver also often faces anger from the care recipient. You can imagine how you might feel if you lost your independence and now face the future of dependency. You might feel embarrassed. You might become angry that your family must provide care, and your savings get depleted to pay for care services.
Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW is the author of Role Reversal How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents, writes that anger is challenging as your role as a caregiver is not often acknowledged by the care recipient or they are agitated or even aggressive toward you. The stress and emotions can be overwhelming.
She writes that fatigue sets in from the physical and emotional exhaustion of being a caregiver. When you are providing care for a parent the emotions are even more significant. You feel an obligation to your Mom or Dad. Yet, you still have a duty to your spouse, children, and your career. It is challenging to balance the roles that the caregiver must juggle. Add to be that your parent may not be acting themselves, perhaps because of a cognitive decline, it can east you on the inside and cause a high level of anxiety and depression.
Caregivers Face Strain
The AARP report says caregivers indicate physical, emotional, and financial strain. Sometimes their spouse or children help in the role of caregiver. While the care recipient probably didn't intend to upend their family's lives, this is exactly what happens when the long-term care crisis occurs without any plan in place.
Six in ten caregivers are still working in addition to their role as a caregiver. Most caregivers experienced at least one work-related impact because of their role as a caregiver. Caregiving's adverse impact includes going to work late, leaving early, or taking time off to accommodate care. Some employers are less forgiving than others.
The caregiver's family unit is also negatively impacted. A spouse and children lose time with the caregiver. As the caregiver feels stress and anxiety that stress and anxiety comes home with them. The rest of the family feels that pressure.
Thinking About the Future?
Interestingly enough, the caregiver and their family are not thinking about their future needs. You might think that planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging would be essential as they see firsthand the negative impact of having no plan. Yet, that is not the case.
The AARP study says that most caregivers are not prepared. Just 45 percent of caregivers report that they have their own future care plans in place. Perhaps the pressure is too much to consider their own future need for long-term health care. Perhaps they are in denial.
In either case, the fact is a majority of people will, at some point, need help with activities-of-daily living or supervision due to memory loss. Planning for longevity needs to be done before your health changes so you can avoid the crisis these caregivers are currently facing.
Even if you are not a caregiver, planning for long-term care will protect your savings and income and ease this stress otherwise placed on your family. Many times people think their children could easily be their caregivers. This isn't the case. Caregiving is demanding both physically and emotionally. There is also a financial impact the family faces.
Will You Need Care in the Future?
Don't think you will ever need care in the future? Look back on your body and health. How has your health and body changed in the last twenty or thirty years? Think about how your health, body, and mind will change in the next twenty years. Thinking realistically will help you safeguard your hard-earned savings and give your family the time to be family.
For many American families, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is the solution. An LTC policy will give you guaranteed tax-free resources for your choice of quality care in the setting you desire. Not only will you protect savings, lifestyle, and legacy, but you will give your family the time to be family instead of the role as your future caregiver.
There are several types of policies available. Traditional plans in 45 states offer additional benefits if you own a Partnership Long-Term Care policy that provides dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Some people are attracted to asset-based or "hybrid" plans that combine a life insurance policy with a death benefit with long-term care. Limited-duration or short-term plans are also available in many states.
Several LTC Plans Available
Which plan is best for you? This is where an experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can help. Be sure they represent the major companies and have substantial experience with long-term care. You can find a trusted and qualified specialist by clicking here.
Premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. How much benefit do you need? You can start by researching the current and future cost of care services you live using the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. Click here and find out exactly what the financial impact on your assets will be in the future.
Meanwhile, if you are a caregiver, be sure to seek help. Take care of your own physical and emotional health. Don't place the full burden on your shoulders. Remember, your loved one may not express their gratitude for the work you are doing, but you know they love you in their heart.
About the Author
Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.
Contributor since December 11th, 2017
The problem of long-term care is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. Preparing your family and finances for the financial costs and burdens associated with long-term health care is key to enjoying a successful future retirement.
Tools Help LTC Planning Research
There are many resources available on LTC NEWS that help educate you about the options available to you for safeguard savings and income and reduce the stress on your loved ones. As you prepare for your future retirement, better consider the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that get placed on you and your family.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.
You can compare the major Long-Term Care Insurance policies and get free and accurate quotes by clicking here.
Advertise on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS offers many marketing and advertising opportunities, including sponsored content and sponsorship of critical areas of the website. These marketing opportunities are ideal for businesses, including, but not limited to:
- financial advisors
- home health agencies
- assisted living facilities
- adult day care centers
- rehab facilities
- memory care facilities
- senior living centers
- nursing homes
- real estate professionals
If your business wants to reach the decision-makers who are researching care options for a parent or loved one, LTC NEWS is a great option.
You can also purchase sponsored content – a long-form article to express your insight experience and services.
Contact the advertising department at https://www.ltcnews.com/support/advertise