Cost of Caregiving to Working Caregivers
by Samantha Stein
Many people like to say that being busy is a myth. No one is truly too busy, and it is all a matter of time management. However, I wonder if any of these people know what it is like to manage the cost of caregiving, holding down a paying job, and keeping a family together. All while fighting to maintain your own well-being in the process.
Achieving the fabled work-life balance becomes even more challenging if you put caregiving into the mix. Becoming a caregiver to a loved takes time, energy, and money. After all, not everyone can quit their jobs and dedicate their time to caregiving because the costs can quickly drain bank accounts.
This brings in a question that many ask: how can I manage the cost of caregiving, secure our nest egg, and maintain my health? All without leaving my job?
Invest in Your Care Coverage Now
High-hour caregivers often face various health problems during or after caregiving. Some have even shared that their illnesses and conditions were developed or aggravated because of the demands of care.
As care costs in America continue to increase rapidly, it would be a wise financial move to purchase long term care coverage now while caregivers still have more room in their finances. To avoid confusion on what policies cover and how it works, refer to the Long Term Care Insurance Buyer’s Guide to determine if this type of coverage works best for you.
Bear in mind that it is always good to be prepared especially when the risks are too high. Long term care services are too expensive to leave to chance.
Research on Community Services
Communities and organizations offer various services that help working caregivers manage their tasks effectively. As these services are often free or offered at a low cost, caregivers and their care recipients can minimize the cost of caregiving substantially.
The problem comes when these public programs do not reach the notice of caregivers. This is why you should be vigilant in researching for possible benefits in your area. You or your loved one may fit the qualifications for benefits. You can also look into the National Council on Aging’s BenefitsCheckUp.org. This website helps older adults find benefits that match their needs.
Learn about the Benefits Offered by Employers
Some employers have made special adjustments to allow caregivers to manage work and their caregiving duties more easily. These programs and benefits depend on the company, so would have to check with your HR or your manager. However, the usual accommodations are working on flexible time, working from home, or additional paid leave of absences.
Final Thoughts on the Cost of Caregiving
It will be difficult to stay on top of your game, especially when you are dealing with the financial, emotional, physical, mental, and social costs of caregiving while keeping a steady source of income. In fact, studies show that three out of five working caregivers say that they have experienced at least one impact in their employment situation.
On more than one occasion, it will get overwhelming and stressful.
No one wants to experience caregiver stress and burnout. Keep in mind that in order to care for your loved ones effectively, you have to care for yourself too. Spending a day at a spa, or choosing to not hang out with friends in order to enjoy some much-deserved alone time might benefit you. Whatever you do, make sure to dedicate resources and time to keeping your well-being in place.