The Finances: Caregiving

Yesterday was National Financial Awareness Day 2018 – August 14. National Financial Awareness Day has inspired me to share information regarding the financial side of being a caregiver.

Caregiving is not free.  Even if your family is providing all the care and doing all the work – it still has an economic cost. 

Some resources are available to caregivers, some include:

VA Aid & Attendance Benefits – Veterans are often eligible for additional senior services and for a VA pension. Spouses of veterans should also inquire about VA benefits

Long-Term Care Insurance – Most long-term care insurance policies can be used for home care services. Read your policy, or call about the policy, because some policies require that the policy holder have 3 or 4 needs/assistance in bathing, dressing, and other activities

Medicare – Covers limited items – sometimes exceptions can be made if Medicare is called and your providers help get things covered

Medicaid – Medicaid provides state-based assistance; like Medicare it covers limited items, but it is worth looking into the Community Long Term Care portion of Medicaid if your loved one requires assistance in the home

Private Insurance coverage – If you are a caregiver who still works, your insurance may provide some support, call and ask, with recent legislation and attention drawn to caregivers, many insurance providers have updated their benefits

Vouchers – Some organizations that support caregivers and organizations that care for specific conditions (like the Alzheimer’s Association) has vouchers for respite (break) care

Family support – Some families have multiple family members who have different responsibilities in caring for your loved one, some may be able to provide time or money; as a caregiver it is okay to express to family members that you need support of the financial type, sometimes they want to offer, but do not want to offend, any amount helps

SNAP/Food Stamps – Cost of living is expensive and being on a fixed income is hard too; applying for SNAP and getting funds for groceries can help to offset costs; even if it is $20 a month, that money can be then transferred to medication costs, copays for doctor visits, or even hiring a person to come sit with your loved one for an hour, while you get a haircut – small bits add up

Some approaches to look into, that will require a professional in the area include:

Estate replacement plans
Advanced inheritance plans
Shared inheritance plans
Family contracts
Reverse mortgages
Lifetime estates
Charitable remainder trusts
Lifetime property interests
Supplemental needs trusts

In caregiving, no one should become bankrupt. However, without careful planning and financial management bankruptcy can occur.

Planning for caregiving is best done as early as possible.  We plan for the possibility of an untimely passing and purchase life insurance, we should plan for caregiving.

Remember if you do not ask – you will not know, then you do not receive.

This post was inspired by - National Financial Awareness Day 2018 – August 14.

Now that you have read, please share your thoughts, comments, and concerns.

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Thank you for reading, the official Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC blog by Danielle Harris, MSN, BSN, RN, CMC, CDP also known as A RN: Disclosed!

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