Articles for Financial Advisors

Caregiver Tips

Caregiver Tips

Caregiver  Tips

By 2030, the elderly population is expected to be larger than young Americans. The pool for caregivers will be smaller. The most populous caregiver age group is 45-64; those most likely to need long-term care are those age 80+. According to AARP, the caregiver group is expected to fall to 4 (caregiver) to 1 (care needed) by 2030, compared to > 7 to 1 in 2010.


Institutional long-term care fell by 37% from 1984 to 2003, while the number of older people living on their own or in an assisted living facility who needed help with two or more daily living activities, rose by 66%. A study by Scan Foundation shows > 66% of those age 40+ expect to rely on their families to help meet their needs.


The typical informal caregiver is a woman, age 49, who works while also spending 20 hours a week providing unpaid care to her mother for nearly five years (source: AARP). Caregivers spend an average of $8,080 a year on out-of-pocket expenses. Half of all caregivers can afford to do this by cutting back on their own discretionary spending.


In order to avoid burnout, nonpaid caregivers should consider some of the strategies listed below.


[1] Take a break—a respite care program means an elderly person checks into a facility for 3+ days while the caregiver takes a break.


[2] Professional help—A social worker or registered nurse can help the caregiver arrange in-home or facility care. These workers can also referee conflicts among siblings who are considering options for their parents.


[3] Sell a life insurance policy—It may be a last resort, but a settlement firm may provide needed money. This may be an expensive option and should probably only be used when other options have been exhausted (i.e., reverse mortgage, home equity loan, etc.).


[4] Ask your employer—Your working clients may be able to tap their employer’s employee assistance program for free advice and referral sources.


[5] For veterans only—Anyone who has served at least 90 days of active military service may qualify for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ aid-and-attendance benefit.



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