Caregiving can take an enormous financial toll.
For example, a recent AARP survey found that three-quarters of the family caregivers surveyed spent an average of $7,242 annually on out-of-pocket caregiving costs.
AARP offers some tips for getting over some of the major hurdles, including:
- Organize finances. Know your loved one’s costs like mortgage, rent, and utilities. Locate and safely store crucial documents, including wills, marriage certificates, and insurance policies.
- Money management. Manage money carefully and create budgets by tracking your income and expenses and those of your loved one, as well as your costs and cash flow.
- Plan ahead. Understand your loved one’s health and their end-of-life care wishes. Write down crucial information like insurance numbers, co-pays, prescriptions, and contact information for health, hospital, pharmacy, vision, and dental care providers. Make and keep a copy of the document in a safe place.
- Plan B. Have a backup plan and people who can step in to help with routine and emergency care.
Also, consider sitting down with your loved one to work through AARP’s Financial Workbook for Family Caregivers (https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/caregiving/pdf/2021/aarp-caregiving-financial-workbook-fillable.pdf).
The workbook covers all the details needed to create and manage a caregiving plan, with sections that include health care plans, housing, transportation, diets, allergies, budgets and investments, powers of attorney, and burial plans.
Contact an SRES® Designee for advice on thinking through housing costs while caregiving.