Why caring for elderly family members should be a priority

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Ageing is inevitable for everyone and affects all families. As adults, it would be difficult for us to imagine how ageing can affect our parents. Only time will prove how ageing can affect them or how it may affect the family. Caring for family means to consider their emotional, physical and mental well-being.

The family caring for family, especially the elderly, needs to be a priority. If the elderly in the family have mobility issues or any other health issues, increased care and attention would be required. If the elderly in your family can do the essential activities like cleaning, cooking, shopping, paying bills, then the need for a caregiver is less.

Isolation, boredom and loneliness can be common issues faced by the elderly in the family. Caring for family should be given priority even if you are busy with your career or with kids and other responsibilities. Even when a caregiver can take care of the elderly in the family, caring for family should be as important as any other task. The elderly may lack satisfaction, excitement, or fun with appointed caregivers rather than their own family.

When a spouse or a family member quit their job to take care of the elderly or their aged partner, financial stability gets affected in the family. In such cases, caring for family without an income would be a burden on the adult as financial help won’t be available for necessities. Here are five ways to get paid to take care of family members in need.

  1. Medicaid programs like CDPAP: Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is a Medicaid funded program which allows an individual to pick any caregiver of their preference, including a family member. However, the spouse is an exception.
  2. Caregiver contracts: It is a formal agreement, usually among family members that the person caring for the loved one would be compensated, especially if they had to let go of the job to care for the elderly.
  3. Veteran Benefits or Cash and Counseling (VD-HCBS): The VA offers eligible veterans a variety of support and financial programs. The program allows the veterans to choose care providers instead of receiving care at facilities.
  4. Long-term care insurance: If your loved one had purchased a long-term care insurance policy that pays for home care, then the caregiver may get paid, even if you are not family. Caring for family, however, should not depend on the insurance or payment.
  5. Indirect Payment via Tax credit: Other than taking care of your family member for medical expenses, you may also be spending for maintenance, transportation, food, assisting devices and more. The IRS credit for Caring Act provides eligible caregivers, especially family members with an opportunity to obtain the tax credit

Tips to care for your family

  • Maintain frequent contact
  • Make sure to visit your parents more often
  • Be it family or caring for family, encourage siblings to care for parents as well
  • Encourage your parents to visit community social gathering
  • Take your parents outside for shopping, movies or to spend some time where they like
  • Hire a caregiver if you are unable to spend more time with your parents
  • Teach your parents to be technology-friendly

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