Caregiving impacts a number of areas in the caregiver’s life, but planning ahead is a way to reduce stress and any negative impact. Genworth released an executive summary that describes the culture of caregiving and, most importantly, how to take steps ahead of time to mitigate some of the issues the most caregivers report. Their survey focuses on five main areas: the changing face of long term care, the negative impacts on the health and well-being of the caregiver, the risk on the caregiver’s savings and retirement accounts, the impact on the career and livelihood of the caregiver, and how planning can reduce stress and negative impacts.
The Genworth study reveals the “true costs” of caregiving. A full summary of the statistics can be found at https://pro.genworth.com/riiproweb/productinfo/pdf/157453C.pdf. Genworth also created an infographic that highlights some of the major findings; https://pro.genworth.com/riiproweb/productinfo/pdf/164565.pdf.
Did you know that caregivers miss an average of 7 hours of work per week, thus losing an average of 33% in income each year? Caregivers also tend to dip into their retirement funds and savings, making their own financial situation even worse off. Work and finances are not the only major area impacted by caregiving either. 54% of caregivers surveyed indicated that they experience negative feelings as a result of caregiving, including guilt and resentment. They are also more likely to experience a negative impact on their own health and well-being, and have less time to devote to their partners, their children, and themselves. Additionally, the face of long term care is also changing. Both caregivers and care recipients are younger than they were five years ago. Care recipients today are also inflicted less by illness and more by accidents. As we know, accidents can happen at any time to any person so planning ahead for any possibility is critical. It is estimated that $8,000 in out-of-pocket expenses can be saved annually if action had been taken sooner.
If you simply do not know where to begin with planning, Genworth goes even further to simplify this process. On page 14 of their guide you will find a check-list for planning: https://pro.genworth.com/riiproweb/productinfo/pdf/157453C.pdf. The checklist includes five categories with specific steps for each. Categories include where/how to have care provided, how to pay for care, consulting professionals, discussing with family, and putting it all in writing.
At Tully Law, P.C. we are here to assist with all of your planning needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 631-424-2800.