Being a Family Caregiver Is the Toughest Job
Family caregivers already know how difficult it is for you and your family. There are ways to ease the pressure. Don’t place the responsibility of your future caregiving on your family.
Yes, taking care of an elderly family member, especially a sick one, is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever do. Heck, your boss sounds like a saint by comparison. Your kid isn’t that much of a brat after all, huh? In many cases today, a younger family member often finds himself/herself having to care for a parent, grandparent, auntie, etc. In fact, in many families, the duties are often rotated so several family members can provide care. We know this is a tough job but here are a few tips to consider to make your life easier if you face the daunting challenge of elderly care.
Tips for Caregivers
- Get support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
- Make sure you take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
- Don’t let your pride get in the way! Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
- Learn how to communicate well with doctors so they can help you help your elderly family member.
- Caregiving is hard work so please do take “respite breaks” often.
- Keep on the lookout for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
- Be open-minded about new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
- Make sure you organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
- Make sure any required legal documents are in order.
- Give yourself plenty of credit, including a GOLD STAR, for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
Okay, at this point you’re either fine with these tips, or you’re thinking, “maybe I need a professional caregiver?” Yes, you don’t have to take on the burden of being the sole family caregiver or even having to share the burden with your family members. Perhaps, rather than sharing the time of caring for that special old folk, maybe you should share the cost of a professional caregiver. There are a growing number of options today and it’s worth checking them out. Whatever you decide, you always will be loved by your older family member, because that’s simply what our parents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles do, right?
About the Author
Andrew Mastrandonas, Co-founder & CEO of Pillar (www.pillarcare.com), Asia’s leading home care company. He is also Director of JPE Group, Asia's Most Comprehensive Care, Recovery & Senior Living Solutions organization. For more information please visit www.jpecare.com. This article was reviewed by Dr Lim Geng Yan (M.D).
Contributor since June 16th, 2019
Most people, unfortunately, avoid unpleasant things until you are forced to. Planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging is one of those things we would rather ignore. Yet, the impact of long-term care on you, your family, your savings & income, and your lifestyle is extensive. Have you prepared your family and finances for the impact of longevity?
You probably don’t want to place the full responsibility of your future caregiving on your adult children. Being a caregiver changes their life. They have careers and their own families. It is very difficult to balance these needs with that of being a caregiver.
Access to Your Choice of Quality Care
Give your family time to be family. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you access to your choice of quality care in the setting you desire. Be able to stay in your own home or go to a quality facility, including assisted living. You stay in control and your family will have the time to be loving and supporting.
Protecting Savings and Income is Essential to a Future Retirement
Don’t forget the asset protection the policy will provide. You will have tax-free resources to pay for your care. This means your income and savings will not be impacted. The cost of long-term care services continues to increase year after year. The cost of care is not cheap.
Find the Current and Future Costs of Long-Term Health Care
The cost of care varies depending on your location and the type of care you are receiving. You can find the current and future cost of long-term care services by using the LTC NEWS calculator. Find your location by clicking here.
Get a Specialist
Despite what you might think, Long-Term Care Insurance is very affordable. These policies are custom designed. Premiums can vary over 100% between companies for the exact same coverage. This is why you seek the assistance of a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Find a specialist by clicking here.
Be sure to ask the specialist about several important items:
- Partnership – Most states offer special policies that provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program might be one of the best-kept secrets in retirement planning. Make sure the specialist explains this program and how it might help you.
- Tax incentives – There are federal tax incentives available for some people. If you own your own business be sure to ask.
- Health Savings Accounts – If you have an HSA you can use the pre-tax money in your account to pay for the premium.
- Asset-Based or Hybrid policies – These are life insurance or annuities with a rider for long-term care. Careful, only a handful are actually a long-term care benefit. However, one of these policies can provide you with the flexibility of both a long-term care benefit or a death benefit. They are expensive but can be paid with a single premium.
Make sure the specialist asks you detailed questions about your health, family history, and retirement plans. Underwriting criteria varies with each insurance company. If they are not asking you detailed questions then find another specialist.
It is always best to start planning before you retire. Once you have your plan in place you will enjoy peace-of-mind and your family will thank you decades from now.