You never saw this coming… Your loved one has just been given a diagnosis and now you’re dealing with doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. Your whole world has been turned upside down.
As the population ages, more and more of us will find ourselves taking care of an aging family member or friend. According to the AARP, more than 53 million people were providing unpaid care in the U.S. in 2020. Caretakers of individuals diagnosed with serious illness or chronic disease may find themselves dealing with significant financial pressures since these situations can be hard to plan for and can oftentimes be complicated.
Sometimes life is unpredictable and serious illness can come out of nowhere. Other times, you can anticipate the need for caretaking as your loved ones age. To prepare for these situations, begin conversations before your parents start struggling mentally or physically and can no longer handle their finances. This will help you avoid entering panic mode.
The diagnosis can be scary enough without having to worry about how to afford to take care of an illness. It may seem overwhelming paying for living expenses, caregiving, medical treatments, home renovations, and special equipment needed.
The financial pressures of informal caregiving can be significant, so it is important to be aware of all the opportunities for financial support and use all programs that are available to you like private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other governmental and private programs.
CaringInfo is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that provides free resources to educate and empower patients and caregivers about serious illness and end-of-life care and services. Visit their website if you are interested in learning more about the resources available.
Sometimes a diagnosis demands a long-term financial strategy, and, in these situations, it is best to have a team of experts to assist you. Keep in mind that some financial planners are tied to specific companies and are incentivized to sell you specific products and services. At Thielen & Associates, Inc. we are product agnostic and work with you to identify your goals and find the best solution to fit your unique needs.
If you find yourself in a situation in need of financial advice, let us know how we can assist you. Caretaking involves a lot of giving of oneself so don’t forget to care for yourself.