Family caregivers have a lot on their plate; whether it’s running to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions for their loved one, or trying to plan their family’s schedule for the week, there is a lot to balance. On top of that, financial stressors are often a big concern for caregivers. While everyone is different, the following are general pointers for caregivers to feel more in control of their finances. Please consult your family or personal support system for personalized recommendations on finance management.
Our Behavioral Health Specialist Shares Some Advice for Caregivers to Feel More In Control
- Focus on your own financial future – while your loved one’s care and well-being are often at the forefront of your mind, it’s equally important that you feel financially stable and prepared for your future. Consult with a financial advisor if you are concerned about your own retirement or to understand potential challenges in the future, especially if your finances are intertwined with your loved one’s. Don’t know where to look for a financial advisor? Community Banks often can point you to trusted professionals in the neighborhood who will have your best interests in mind.
- Ask your employer if they offer benefits that could help – with caregiving becoming one of the most important topics in healthcare and the American economy, many employers offer financial benefits for family caregivers such as flex time or paid medical leave. Additionally, you could qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act which covers unpaid caregivers who are caring for a family member. Bottom line is: ask your employer how they can help!
- Discuss end of life planning/wishes with your loved one – I like to think of having this type of conversation with a loved one as a gift in which you both can communicate your wishes for the end of life transition. It’s critical to chat about the financial implications of the decisions you may need to make regarding your loved one’s care and will be able to plan more efficiently after having that conversation. A resource for these conversations that I can recommend is The Conversation Project – check it out!
- Ask for assistance and resources from your loved one’s doctor’s office – their doctor’s office may offer assistance and resources that you’re unaware of
How Your Loved One’s Doctor’s Office Can Help with Caregiving
- Video conference/phone appointments when it’s inconvenient for you to attend
- Reliable, coordinated transportation to prevent family caregivers from taking time off work
- Onsite labs to keep you from running all over town
- 24/7 access to an on-call doctor in case you have urgent questions
Does your loved one’s doctor offer these features? If not, find a doctor who does. You and your loved one deserve as much support as possible.