In previous posts, we have discussed the dilemma of the unpaid family caregiver and the impact that the role has on a senior’s Long-Term Care plan. An article in The Atlantic emphasizes the plight of the family caregiver, often a middle-aged daughter who still works outside the home, who must care for a close family member, who typically is a parent stricken by illness. Not only is the financial picture negative for the elder parents who need unpaid caregiving services and those caring for them, but the financial future of the caregivers is often compromised, as well.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are millions of unpaid caregivers for the elderly in the United States today. Every day, 10,000 individuals reach the age of 65. The AARP estimates that by 2030, there will be between 5.7 and 6.6 million caregivers to support seniors. These caregivers are primarily women, who are often mid-career when the event occurs. When the need for caregiving arises, women often must move to a less demanding job, take substantial time off from work, or quit work altogether. This obviously results in a loss of income for the caregiver, as well as loss of benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and Social Security benefits. In fact, one study estimated that women lose about $324,044 in compensation over their careers as a direct result of caregiving responsibilities. As a practical matter, women over the age of 50 who are looking to return to the workforce are likely to find a dismal job market.
Perhaps the more difficult dilemma that this situation raises is about what happens when the caregivers become elderly and need Long-Term Care themselves. With the financial sacrifices made in order to care for aging parents, these women have forfeited a great deal of security for their own future. When the next generation ages, they may be looking at the same issues with Long-Term Care as their parents, or perhaps may face an even worse situation.
The Tri-Cities Long-Term Care lawyers of Elder Law Group PLLC pride themselves on developing comprehensive Long-Term Care plans that address all of their clients’ needs, whether the areas of major concern involve unpaid family caregivers, home health aides, or skilled nursing home care. The process of Long-Term Care planning can be complex, and each individual’s situation is quite different. As this post indicates, it is necessary to take into account not only the elderly person’s needs and desires, but also those of his or her family. Therefore, it is essential to tailor each Long-Term Care plan to a party’s particular situation. Our goal is to achieve all of your objectives by creating the Long-Term Care plan that is right for you and your family. Don’t hesitate to call the office of Elder Law Group PLLC today and learn how we can help.