Taking care of your senior parents can be a big change and many of us cut down or quit work to do so. Here are seven things to consider before doing so.
1. Before quitting your work to help a parent, you should think of the ramifications of such a decision. On the one hand, you will have more time to tend to the needs of the aging loved one, but on the other such gains will be offset by the loss of an income that subsequently dents your retirement savings. Think of the odds of landing a new job in the future. Will you have the necessary skills that make you a prospective employee if you have not worked by several years?
2. Do you stand to lose some of your benefits when you quit work? Things such as long-term care insurance policies, employee disability covers, life, and health insurance are some of the perks of employment that would be costly to replace. Therefore, before handing in your resignation, check the employer’s family leave policies and flex-time to see if there is a wiggle room that also will see you keep your job.
3. Have a budget for what it will take to be a caregiver. Such a decision will impact your lifestyle and financial decisions. You should have a clear picture of what the caregiving will cost you. Come up with a companion list of resources that may come in handy regarding supporting the caregiving activities.
4. Check out low-cost public benefits; you may find something that proves helpful. Go online to see which websites offer assistance in identifying suitable help with caregiving. Also, explore the benefits checklist service availed by the National Council on Aging as you make plans to go over the data on caregiving assistance and services provided by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. You can also make use of the government’s senior care locator.
5. Know as much as you can about Medicaid and Medicare. For instance, you will better off with the knowledge that Medicaid is what covers nursing-home and not Medicare. Also, those that qualify for the Medicaid-paid nursing home benefits are the individuals who have exhausted much of their assets. You should find out what Medicare coverage you parent has, and if he or she has Medicare Advantage or Medigap policy. While at it, find out the co-pays and out-of-pocket limits, possible drug plan, and nature of their insurance coverage.
6. Appreciate the fact that keeping your parent at home will come at a cost suggest the experts at Senior Care Center. People loved aging while in the comforts of their home surrounded by family and enjoy every passing moment with them. Figure out whether you can meet the demands of such “aging in place” and if not, then where can you find help. You can find some answers in the MetLife’s Aging in Place Workbook. Check out the 2011 Genworth Cost of Care study to discover the costs of in-home and institutional care.
7. Above all, consider hiring professional help before you decide to quit your job. Your parent’s care may be challenging, and it is better to consider enlisting the services of a geriatric-care manager to assist. The professional has the expertise to come up with a care plan that meets your parent’s extensive care needs. You can check with the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers to find a suitable caregiver to hire as you also learn the standards and services to expect.