The Cost of Caregiving to Working Family Caregivers

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?

caregiver cost

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.

The Unrecognized Toll of Caregiving on the Caregiver

Family Caregivers Put Their Own Health at Risk

tollWhat Don’t Know CAN Hurt You (or Someone You Love)

When Pedro received a cancer diagnosis, I automatically jumped in and took over the role of primary caregiver.  I had no idea that people called what I did ‘caregiving.’ Before his diagnosis, I blythly assumed that when someone gets seriously ill, the doctors and nurses take care of everything. Wrong.

I soon learned that Pedro not only needed the kind of care that doctors and nurses and hospitals provided, he needed companionship in the hospital, help organizing his meds, and eventually, help walking, sitting, and standing. But of course, I kept right on helping, wihout any thought of what might happen to ME (who thinks of that in the middle of a crisis, anyway?).

Weight gain (mine) during his illness and depression (mine) during his recovery helped me realize that caregiving takes a toll. Since we hadn’t yet reached 40 when he received his diagnosis, we hadn’t had any of those important conversations that involve the unthinkable questions that start with ‘What if?’

The Toll of Caregiving on the Caregiver

Guest contributor Samantha Stein cautions caregivers to think ahead of time about things like long-term care insurance:

Society has dubbed family caregivers as the unsung heroes of long-term care. And if we think about it, the given moniker is rightfully so. After all, they have done enough and beyond to earn it. These individuals dedicate themselves to provide the support and care that their loved ones and family members need. When the dust settles, they are often left to face their own health issues and financial challenges with limited resources.”

According to Stein, “Caregivers are among those who should get long-term care insurance. The costs of care in the United States can deliver a devastating blow, and these individuals need all the help and protection they can get.” She graciously provided this infographic for you to read, think about, and share. We need to educate others about the true costs of caregiving.

We need to educate others about the true toll of #caregiving. Click To Tweet

The toll of #caregiving is higher than you think.

Guest Contributor

Samantha Stein, an online content manager for ALTCP.org. Her works focus on key information on long term care insurance, financial planning, elder care, and retirement. In line with the organization’s goal, Samantha’s work highlights the importance of having a good long term care plan, which includes requesting a long term care insurance quote to securing comprehensive coverage.

 

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Oh, Snap! Point of View Guest Post

I'll explore the mysteries of mug shots and sunrises.

I’ll explore the mysteries of mug shots and sunrises.

I’m guest blogging over at Grace Tells Another Story for a series on photography.  I’ll be discussing using point of view to get the shots you’ve dreamed about, but can’t seem to snag.  Spoiler alert!  The post includes some truly horrible photos of me (I’ll do anything to make a point….).  You can find the post here: Oh, Snap!

The series is a great one, with lots of excellent advice, so if you’d like to learn more about your digital camera, drop on by!