Over 30 million Baby Boomers provide countless hours of assistance to elderly parents at no cost. It is estimated that, with average hourly salary, the whole amount of this uncompensated care is comparable to the entire Medicare budget. For the estimated 7 million Boomers who provide long distance care, actual out of pocket expenses amount to nearly $5,000 a month.
This stark economic reality shows just 1 dimension of the cost caregiver pay for this act of love.
Caregivers Pay with losses which extend well beyond their bank account. They frequently forego the actions that bring joy and richness to their lives, like meeting friends for dinner, or going out to the movies or taking family vacations. They pay with their time, the loss of professional opportunities and the erosion of personal relationships that result in isolation.
Sometimes, otherwise healthy loved ones require a brief Dose of maintenance as they recover from an acute medical episode like a broken leg. Usually loved ones are on a path of steady decline with cascading assistance requirements. Some caregivers sacrifice large chunks of their lives as they help their parents and other relatives and friends peacefully make their transitions. In fact, we have evidence that a number of caregivers pay for their acts of care with their own lives.
You can decrease The personal and financial costs of caregiving. This means proactive planning instead of reactive responding. Planning saves money. You know this as you reflect upon your experiences of going to the grocery store with and without a shopping list. Planning also minimizes personal wear and tear and reduces stress. You will feel a lot better when you know your options and develop backup plans before you jump into a challenging project.
5 Tips to Reduce the Cost of Caregiving:
1. Begin the conversation today. We’ve got tremendous cultural resistance to the recognition of aging, disability and death. Just as the first couple of steps uphill are the toughest, so, also, you may meet the greatest resistance simply starting the dialogue about their possible need for care.
2. Talk to your parents about their perfect plan if they’re not able to care for themselves. Then, start to work toward that . Investigate long-term care insurance. Draw up the appropriate legal documents. Find out who would make medical choices if they were not able to create them independently, along with a few guiding principles for the choices. I have asked Mitch to make my medical choices if I am unable to make them myself. Just so that you know, if I were in vegetative state, I would not want to be kept on a machine. You probably already planned beforehand too, right?”
3. Use private and community resources. Make caregiving a family job to which each member contributes. Even Identify services that make your job as a caregiver easier. If you and Your parents reside in exactly the same community, check with friends and Neighbors and neighborhood organizations to learn about services and resources You say,”Mom has just moved in with us, And she wants to’find a card game with the women.’ Are you aware of any Senior centers which have social events? How about transportation?”