Caregiving can be costly.
Many try to avoid hiring a professional caregiver for their family members and become caregivers themselves. However, this option also has additional costs which you don’t always think of. Once they start taking care of loved ones, people have less time to work, which results in reduced working hours, and possibly even quitting their job.
Therefore, family caregivers are often lost somewhere between caregiving and earning money. This article will show you what the true caregiving costs are, and what the financial options for them are.
AARP Study About Homecare Costs
AARP conducted two surveys, one in 2013 and the other three years later. The results and conclusions are jaw-dropping.
They estimated that caregivers dedicated the amount of time to caring for their loved ones equivalent to $470 billion. There are countries whose annual gross domestic product is way below this figure. The amount of time family caregivers give to their loved ones is incredible.
Studies show that family caregivers spend an average of almost $7,000 every year on caregiving. This is equivalent to 20% of their annual income. According to other surveys, the average is even higher and goes up to 33% of the annual income. This means they need to reduce their everyday spending and retirement savings, can’t go on vacations as often, and make other restrictions.
Studies have shown that one in six family caregivers needs to either give up on or at least reduce their retirement savings to some extent. Approximately, one in ten caregivers had to quit their full-time jobs. Working full time and caregiving don’t go together well and can cause a lot of stress.
Half of the number of caregivers in the US don’t dine out as often as they used to. Also, they have significant reductions in vacation costs. More than half had to change shifts, reduce their number of working hours, or take time off due to caregiving responsibilities.
So the question is how do you financially support caregiving?
Ways to Finance Caregiving Costs
Family caregivers have several options.
Medicaid – Check out what Medicaid offers to seniors with low income. Different states offer different programs, so make sure you do thorough research. Find out what you need to do to qualify for a certain program. For more information, you can always contact a local Medicaid office and ask them all the details you need to know.
Care Insurance – In certain cases, long-term care insurance can be one of the options of additional financial support for caregivers. There are some policies that allow such payments, but not many. The best would be to contact an insurance agent and ask whether the insurance program your loved one has allows caregiver payments.
VD-HCBS – The abbreviation stands for Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services. This program allows veterans to stay in their homes and receive support to some extent.
Also, you might check whether you can be subject to any tax incentives. Tax incentives are not immediate financial aid, but they can help you in decreasing the costs. Also, paid leave for caregiving employees is a great option, but only four states have it. We can only hope this program will spread throughout the US, since it allows people to be off from work for several weeks.
We sincerely recommend hiring an experienced caregiver. This way your loved one will have professional help, and the costs generally will not be much higher. You don’t need to abandon your current job and reduce working hours, and the stress you feel will be much lower.
Images Source: http://unsplash.com