Unpaid Caregivers Impact Quality Long Term Care

Read Time: 3:52
Published: Dec 29th, 2016
Unpaid Caregivers Impact  Quality Long Term Care
Article Updated:August 29th, 2020

Too many caregivers providing help for a person requiring Long Term Health Care are not qualified to provide that help. Many of these caregivers are unpaid family members. Taking on a caregiver's role creates an additional burden on that person as it impacts their lifestyle and family, finances, and health. Unpaid caregivers perform about 80 percent of the care provided at home. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, long-term care services includes an array of emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking, and other services.

Helping a person with their medications can be challenging. Sometimes an untrained caregiver will mix up medicines, which could cause significant health issues. Mixing up pills are hard on those trained to provide such services much less a person who has little or no training. 

The AARP says more than three-quarters of caregivers help loved ones to fill and manage medications that often require juggling varying dosages for pills that can appear identical. Many untrained caregivers are family members, usually a daughter or daughter-in-law. For them, it is more demanding as they are part of the sandwich generation. 

Sandwich Generation

The Sandwich Generation are those caregivers who have a spouse, children, a job, and provide caregiving services for a parent or other family member. In other words, they are mentally and physically drained as they juggle work, family, career, and caregiving.

There are an estimated 43.5 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., many are taking care of older adults with multiple chronic conditions. Traditionally, caregiving involved helping a person with basic daily activities. But the work has grown more demanding. They perform routine nursing work such as draining catheters. Caregivers also help loved ones navigate the healthcare system. 

The skills required to help a person bathe and perform other daily living activities require experience and expertise. Otherwise, they could hurt themselves or the person they are trying to help. 

Caregiving Places Stress and Burden on The Caregiver and their Family

Many family members are not prepared for this work. The role of a caregiver creates a significant burden on everyone. A recent article in Modern Healthcare says the economic value of caregiving, which ranges from short-term post-acute assistance to long-term care, was estimated at $470 billion in 2013. In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated, family members provided 55% of the value of long-term elderly care services, or $234 billion a year. 

"Despite the value of their work, these unpaid caregivers often lack the skills and support needed to properly care for their loved ones. And as the medical complexity of patient cases escalates, so do concerns about safety," wrote Elizabeth Whitman in her this article. 

LTC Insurance is a Solution

An answer for many is to plan before any caregiving is required. First, understand the risk of needing Long-Term Care is high. As medical science gets better, we live longer. The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact your savings and create physical, emotional, and financial burdens on loved ones. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide the resources for quality caregivers and reduce the burden placed on family. 

Experts say the best time to plan is well before retirement. As you are saving money in your 401k and IRA finding a way to protect the money and have a plan to reduce the family burden is perhaps common sense ... but the main fail to plan until it is too late. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says there is a significant risk of needing some form of long-term care before once you reach age 65. The fact is it can and may happen to you. A plan to address this risk should be part of your overall retirement planning.

Preparing for the financial costs and burdens of aging is an essential part of a retirement plan. For many Americans, an affordable LTC Insurance policy will provide the tax-free resources to pay for your care choice at home or in a facility. 

Choice of Quality Care and Asset Protection

The policy will safeguard your income and assets as it reduces the stress and burdens otherwise placed on the people you love. Will you need long-term care in the future? Nobody can be certain, but think about how your health and body has changed in the past 20 years. Now, think about how your health, body, and mind will change in the 20+ years.

You should see the wisdom in addressing extended care. Since these policies are medically underwritten be sure to start your research in your 40s or 50s when you still enjoy good health and premiums are low.

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

Editor's Note

There are several resources available on LTC NEWS that will help you learn about your options to plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging. Your body, health, and mind will change in the next 20+ years. Consider the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that are placed on you and your loved ones as you get older.

LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator 

Use the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator and find both the current and future cost of care services where you live. Click here and see the financial impact. 

Caregiving is hard on family members and paid care is expensive. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides the tax-free resources to pay for your choice of quality care in your home or in a facility.

Be sure to seek the right type of professional help. Experts say to avoid using a financial advisor or general insurance agent. They often lack the experience and knowledge in policy features, underwriting, tax advantages, and other factors. Since premiums can vary by over 100% between insurance companies, you need a skilled and trusted professional.

A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will help you navigate the options and find the best coverage at the best value. Discover your trusted pro by clicking here.

Write for LTC NEWS

Do you have news to share related to the long-term care industry or financial planning, caregiving, and other related topics? Share the information with LTC NEWS.

Email press releases to LTC NEWS at newsroom@ltcnews.com or click here.

You can also write a story to share with the world on LTC NEWS. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.

Topics can include stories on:

  • Aging
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  • Retirement Planning

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LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
August 21st, 2017

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

About the Author

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

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