Many 50-year-old daughters are called upon to become caregivers for their parents. She might be a little older or even a little younger, and it may be her husband’s parent, not her own. But if happens every day.
While it is a privilege to help a loved one cope with their growing incapacities, it is also a job, sometimes becoming a full-time job.
The new job of being a caregiver is in addition to being a wife and mother and for many, being someone else’s employee too.
Being a caregiver has its costs too. Time away from one’s own family and time away from work. The stress created between siblings when one is involved and the others not so involved. Trying to make a fixed income work in a variable-expense world. Money, or the lack of money, also adds to the stress.
While many jobs come with a training manual, a supervisor, a mentor and specific job descriptions, not to mention a 40-hour work-week, a paycheck and benefits, being a caregiver comes with none of these perks. Each person struggles through it alone, often making expensive mistakes. It doesn’t have to be this way, but we all suffer from the same weakness that “we don’t know what we don’t know”.
If you could protect your loved one’s life-savings from the devastating costs of nursing-home care, wouldn’t you want to?
If you could allow your parents the freedom to remain in their home for years longer than otherwise, wouldn’t you want to?
If you could remain in charge of their care and finances and keep the government out of their business, wouldn’t you want to?
There are three components to caregiving. One is of course the healthcare component- making sure that the senior is receiving proper care, taking their medications and observing healthy living habits. This is the one most people consider, but the other two are just as important.
The second component is financial management. It is vitally important that caregivers gain a firm understanding of the senior’s income and assets because elder financial abuse is real and affects 6% of the senior population every year. As a senior ages, they sometimes lose interest in or the ability to manage their bills, so the caregiver needs to become involved in this task as soon as possible.
The third component is legal. This is the area that is most often neglected by both caregivers and the seniors. From the basics, such as having a comprehensive Power of Attorney and Healthcare documents, to having estate-planning in place, possibly using trusts, to qualifying for important government benefits such as Veteran’s Benefits and Medicaid– these are often neglected until too late to act. It doesn’t have to be this way, and yet, many caregivers don’t know where to turn for help.
Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC is a niche law firm that focuses on seniors. We don’t handle the vast majority of legal issues like bankruptcy, criminal defense, divorce or personal injury. All we do is work with seniors and their families to create a comprehensive plan, a life-plan, for the client. This life-plan analyzes their income and their life-savings and takes into account their current and projected living expenses. We then make specific recommendations, all of which are designed to give you peace of mind.
Call us to learn how to get your free consultation!