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5 Tips to Help You Plan for Caregiving

May 08, 2019

Key Takeaways

  • Caregiving starts with having a conversation with your loved one.
  • Preparing today can make life a lot easier later.
  • To minimize stress, get a handle on your—and your parents’— finances early on.

 

Being a caregiver for a loved one can be a challenge, both emotionally and financially. That’s why it’s never too soon to start planning for how you will take care of them as they get older. So, when the time does come to take over as caregiver, you can ease into the role.

 

 

1. Have an open conversation

It’s important to talk with your loved one about caregiving and create a plan with them. Find out what documents they have, such as insurance policies, wills and trusts. By having a conversation beforehand, you can be prepared for caregiving and make your life a little less stressful.

 

2. Review finances

It’s important to review your loved one’s assets and income sources including benefits like Social Security and Medicare. It’s also necessary to take a look at your own assets, so you can understand what you can and can’t afford. That way you can avoid dipping into your own savings.

 

3. Find the right facility

You may want your loved one to move in with you or your family. However, in some situations, that isn’t an option. That’s when a caregiving facility will be a necessity. Referral services offer families free assistance and reduce the number of possible facilities to be toured, saving both time and money.

 

4. Get help with the kids

When you find yourself sandwiched between caring for a loved one and young children at the same time, it may seem like an insurmountable challenge. That’s why it’s wise to line up extra paid care or a network of friends willing to pitch in at a moment’s notice to help with babysitting.

 

5. Talk with your employer

Many caregivers find themselves balancing a career and caregiving duties. But many employers now offer caregiving benefits that you can take advantage of to help make life easier. Find out what’s available at your workplace.

 

What you can do next

Imagine what steps you would need to take if you suddenly had to take care of a loved one. What are the challenges you need to address: logistics, timing, funding? Start doing the homework now so you can be prepared no matter what happens later.

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