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Eight Ways Caregivers Can Save Money on Senior Care
Save money and reduce caregiver stress with these tips.
Find Balance When Caring for Elderly Parents or Loved Ones
Many people quit their job in order to provide full time care for a loved one. A difficulty that often arises from being unable to strike this balance between caregiving duties and work is increased stress. Experts estimate that the financial loss per caregiver who quits his/her job in order to provide full time care for a loved one is approximately $300,000. This includes lost wages, Social Security benefits, and retirement savings. This large of a financial burden is unrealistic for most. It is best to try to find balance between the two.
Options for finding a balance are:
- Splitting up the care with other loved ones
- Take advantage of local or online caregiver support groups
- Use government programs designed to help in these situations
- Explore telecommute options with your work
- Reserve time for self-care
- Continue to maintain relationships with friends and family
Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Deductions that Offer Financial Support
Tax deductions and credits are a common route for caregivers to save money. There are many tax options available. Some apply to the caregiver, who claims the senior as a dependent, while others are applied to the senior. Your tax preparer or financial advisor can guide you as to whether you can claim your loved one as a dependent and for what exemptions and deductions you may qualify.
Take a Break from Caregiver Duties; Use Adult Day Care When Possible
When comparing costs, adult day care is considerably less expensive than in-home care. An added benefit of adult day care is the opportunity for your loved one to socialize. Making friends, participating in group activities, and taking field trips is greatly therapeutic for all people, including the elderly. You don’t have to use the services of adult day care every day. Any type of schedule can be set up, to meet the needs of you and your loved ones. This type of care is very flexible, and it’s a great option for cutting your caregiving costs and reducing caregiver stress .
Hire Independent Caregivers as Opposed to Home Care Agencies
Even when you do your own background checks, take the time to interview, hire, and manage the caregiver - it still often is less expensive than going through an agency. Whether you are hiring for full time care or respite caregiver support, you can find help without paying a high fee.
Seek Out Options for Inexpensive or Free Respite Care
Subsidized or even free respite care is available through various nonprofit agencies, Alzheimer’s support groups, local churches, state programs, and many others. Check with the Council on Aging in your area to see what is available in your state, county, or town.
Hire a Sitter, Instead of a Home Health Aide
Home health aides have specialized training and skills that are necessary when providing help that require a nurse or healthcare professional. When you hire health home aides you will pay more - for that training and skill. If your loved one requires nursing care, then a home health aide is necessary. However, if your loved one only needs medical care on an intermittent basis, then you can hire a full time sitter and only pay for the home health aide to come when needed.
Search for the Best Value in Caregiver Support
Expensive is not always better. Take the time and compare prices for home health aides or sitters. Make sure that you check references and do background checks before hiring, and don’t take the first caregiver who comes along. Look at price, experience, and training – all the things that are important to you. You are putting your loved one into this person’s hands, so you want to make sure that they are the best option with the best value for caregiver support.
Utilize Technology with a Medical Alert System
If your loved one can only be alone for brief periods of time, but needs to be monitored due to cognitive issues or risk of fall, then a GreatCall Splash medical alert system may be a good fit. This monitoring system will allow you to be out of the home (working, shopping, or other necessities) yet still keep an eye on your loved one and be there if he/she needs your help. A medical alert device will signal you if your loved one falls or has a problem and needs you.
It is no surprise – most caregivers are looking to save money everywhere they can. By finding ways to reduce your caregiving costs you can relieve some of the financial stress that inevitably arises. It’s important to keep your loved one safe, but it is equally important to take care of yourself. Reduce caregiver stress and take time for yourself - enabling you to be a better caregiver for elderly parents or your loved one.