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. Their lack of training also places the care recipient in danger, not to mention the stress and anxiety the caregiver must face themselves.
The role of being a family caregiver is physically and emotionally draining. These family members must juggle their careers, families, and caregiving responsibilities. However, unpaid caregivers are performing 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. Professionals will often have problems making sure the proper medications are administered at the right times. Those with little or no training place the care recipient at significant health risk.
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.
The Sandwich Generation are those caregivers who have a spouse, children, a job and provide caregiving services for a parent or other family member. These caregivers face tremendous stress and pressure filling all those roles.
New research reveals that the number of unpaid caregivers in the United States in 2020 grew by 9.5 million over the past five years to a total of 53 million. These unpaid caregivers 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
Most family caregivers are untrained and unprepared for the role of being a caregiver. 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 health 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 the 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.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
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.
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