This is one of the most common questions we get. Can I REALLY hire my own adult children to be my caregiver? The simple answer is YES! Before we get into the how, let’s look at the why. Caregiving is not for the faint of heart, yet there are more than 14 million people in the world providing caregiving services at no cost. Many actually live with the one they care for, and most are family. For several reasons, this is becoming more and more common. People have lost their jobs due to the economy, some have made the decision to take themselves out of the marketplace in order to be the caregiver their loved one so desperately needs, and there are more people in need of care every year. And these numbers will only increase with the aging baby boomer population. So, what are your options, you ask? Well, here are the most common funding sources used today, not including savings:
- Long-Term Care insurance – sadly, less than 14% of the entire population has this type of coverage. When they finally decide they could use it, they cannot qualify due to health and/or premium rates being too high.
- In-Home Supportive Services – In California, we have this through Medi-Cal. In other states, there are similar programs at the state and county level under Medicaid. Typically, they provide funding to assist with the cost of caregivers in the home.
- Nursing Facility Waiver – Again, this is a California program, under the In-Home Operations Division of Medi-Cal. This can provide up to 12 hours of care per day.
- VA benefits – There is a very good tax-free benefit, called Aid & Attendance, that seems to have escaped most veterans, as the VA does a poor job of letting vets know what’s out there. The VA even put out a memo back in 2009 stating that they were aware of this problem, and were putting efforts in motion to get the word out. In all of my seminars and consultations with vets, I have yet to have even one tell me they were informed by the VA of any potential benefits.
Some of the biggest mistakes we see being made are folks not taking advantage of the many resources available to them. Examples include support groups, respite care opportunities, caregiver training and support, and keeping to themselves. Caregiving is physically and mentally stressful, and we all need some type of respite in order to be refreshed and rested. Remember, the best lumberjacks stop every once and awhile to resharpen the blades. Most caregivers become so overwhelmed with the task, that they become closed in, almost hermits, and as a result, cannot or do not take the time to research their options. Don’t let this happen to you. Get the facts now, and prepare for this day. It is coming for the majority of us, and nobody wants to be a burden to their loved ones. Watch for our upcoming TV program, titled “Plan Now or Be a Burden Later”. Truth4SeniorsTV is found at www.centralvalleytalk.com every Wednesday at 2pm PST. Truth4Seniors Radio can be heard every Saturday at 2pm PST at KGED1680AM, or you can watch the show on-demand at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/truth4seniors.
In closing, my experience has been that those being cared for are eternally grateful to those caring for them, and wish they could do something to show their complete appreciation. Maybe paying them is one way?
Gregory A. Steen is the CEO & Founder of Steen & Company, a full-service estate planning firm. Steen is also the host of the popular Truth4Seniors TV and Truth4Seniors radio programs, as well as the author of several industry pamphlets and white papers. He was recently interviewed on Let’s Talk Business, a nationwide financial radio program. To hear that interview, you can go to www.protectyourlifesavings.com/free-cd, and order his newest FREE CD entitled,“What the Nursing Home Won’t Tell You – How to Get the Best Care Without Losing Your Life Savings”.