Senior Caregivers Take Notice
Over the next 10 years, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 EVERY DAY! Experts say anticipate that 7 out of 10 folks in this generation will require assistance from one or more caregivers.
If you are caring for a loved-one, or expect to be called upon to do so, this article will give you a “heads-up” on what to plan for in services and anticipated financial impacts. Likewise, you’ll learn what to consider in advance of your own needs for caregiving.
How Long Will Caregiving Be Required
Fact! People are living longer than any time in human history. That said, a place to start considering potential caregiving needs is expected life expectancy. Click here for the Social Security Administration Life Expectancy Calculator. Then enter the gender and date of birth of the individual you seek to determine the average number of additional years that person can expect to live.
Yes, we are talking averages, but it does serve as a frame of reference for what may be anticipated as longevity. The answer does not submit that caregiving will be a requirement for the entire remaining life of the subject person. It does, however, suggest that there may be a significant number of years where that may be the case.
The Financial Implications of Caregiving
An AARP Report indicates that family caregivers spent an average of nearly $7,000 on caregiving expenses such as transportation and home modifications in 2016. Of course, costs will vary depending on the type of care required and the locale.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the cost of in-home care is generally in the range of $4,100 to $4,400 per month. Add to those estimates when nursing homes and assisted living are involved … both may significantly increase monthly outlays.
To get more specific as to how costs may affect you in your area (right down to your Zip Code!), click here for an easy-to-use calculator.
In many instances the costs of caregiving are satisfied by the seniors receiving the care from their nest egg, pension or Social Security. Alternatively, all or part of the expense is borne by the caregiver.
That said, there are many resources to help you explore long term care options for you or a family member. Click here to learn about adult day care, geriatric assessment, home health care, money management palliative/hospice care, and more.
Another option is long-term care insurance … private insurance to cover the costs associated with assistance you may need. Benefits may include in home care, assisted living, or nursing home care. Senior Navigator offers several resources (articles and links) on long-term care insurance.
Emotional Considerations & Assistance
Over 1 million Virginians care for older parents, spouses or other loved ones, helping them to live independently at home. These family caregivers have a huge responsibility and often endure difficult consequences. In the absence of adequate support, they remain vulnerable to financial and job-related hardships as well as emotional stress. Research indicates that family caregivers report higher rates of loneliness than their non-caregiving peers in midlife and beyond.
One development that will make life a bit easier for Virginia caregivers is a relatively new law, The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act. The Act helps family caregivers when their loved ones are admitted to the hospital along with their transition home.
The CARE Act requires hospitals to:
• Provide you the opportunity to designate a family caregiver.
• Inform your caregiver when you are to be discharged to another facility or back home.
• Provide an explanation and a demonstration of any medical tasks your caregiver will need to perform at home.
Use Senior Navigator to search for “caregiver support” in your community. Not only will you find resources to help with the emotional burdens of caregiving, but there are listings for programs that offer such things as low-cost or free respite care, caregiver relief (when a trained volunteer comes to your home so the caregiver can get a break), even respite care scholarships.
A big new initiative is the Caregiver Tech Tool Finder. It helps caregivers and older adults find tech that has been judged worthwhile by our reviewers … tech to help coordinate care, manage medications, check on a loved one, etc. Using technology like this can be a very effective way to reduce the costs and emotional burdens of caregiving.
So, plan ahead for your loved ones and yourself if there is time. In any event, know there are answers and assistance available as indicated in this month’s article.