Posted on Feb 09, 2015
In recent findings, Caring.com discovered that 46% of family caregivers spend more that $5,000 a year on related expenses such as medications, medical bills, and in-home care. And of the total respondents, one third said they spend thirty or more hours a week providing care for their loved one often rearranging their work schedule to make room for those responsibilities. While this may seem like a huge money saver at the time, many experts argue that it does more harm than good because families should be saving for their own retirement during the time in their lives when they are usually caring and spending that money on their parent. Senior Helpers along with caring.com would like to offer some tips on how to pinch your pennies and buy yourself some more free time with the extra change.
Leverage community help: Joining with others in your community will help not only you but the other families who participate. Take turns caring for each others’ parents caring for yours at the same time as theirs cutting your time in half already. Look into other community outreach programs that aim to help senior citizens in the area such as local meal programs or adult day care services might be available at little to no cost.
Hire help for yourself: While hiring help for your senior at all times may not seem like a necessary option, you will thank yourself twelve times over if you spend a little extra money paying someone else to run your errands for you freeing up time for caregiving or some probably much-needed alone-time. Many caregivers find it very hard to make time for themselves, and consider it an expense not worth making, however, taking a break is necessary in order to avoid a burnout.
Try to avoid quitting your job: Many times, a family member will quit his or her job to care for your senior to free up some extra money not being spent, however, it may cost more for you in the long run if you follow this logic. While it may seem as if you are saving so much more by providing care yourself, in quitting a job, you would lose your progress in your career as well as health insurance and other benefits. One in ten family caregivers quits a job to provide full-time care, which on average costs the person $300,000 in lifetime wages, social security, and income, thus hiring help, even at a seemingly steep price, still benefits more from attempting to do it all solo.
Check up on public benefits. Veterans (and spouses) and other government programs are available to those over the age of 65 or under the federal poverty line.
Investigate long term care options.
Senior helpers of Moraga works to maintain the affordability for families as it provides seniors in the East Bay specialized care and companionship in Danville, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and Alameda. For a list of all of the services Senior Helpers provides visit our website, or call our office with any questions at 925-376-8000.