The Makofsky Minute January 17, 2018 – Caregivers Pay the Price

January 25, 2018 5:45 pm

Caregivers Pay the Price

January 17, 2018

The holidays are now behind us and 2018 stretches out ahead. We have spent ample time with our families at the Thanksgiving table, under the Christmas tree or lighting the Menorah. Sometimes, when we haven’t seen our aging loved ones for a while, it is during these holiday periods that we suddenly recognize that changes are taking place.

We can see that Mom is losing the ability to care for herself in the same way she once did. This is the time family members realize they must step up and take a more significant role in Mom’s caretaking.

Often this additional caretaking for elderly relatives falls upon the shoulders of daughters or wives in the family. Statistics reveal about a quarter of women aged 45 to 65 are caring for an older relative. This figure is expected to increase because it is predicted that more than one in five Americans will be retirement age by 2030.

Not only are women more likely than their male counterparts to be caring for an elderly relative, they are more likely to lose out on work earnings and/or career opportunities. A 2010 MetLife Study of Working Caregivers showed that on average women lose $324,044 due to caregiving, while men lose a comparatively lower $283,716.

According to a 2009 study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, female caregivers are more likely than males to make accommodations for their caregiving responsibilities by taking a less demanding job (16% females vs. 6% males) or give up work entirely (12% females vs. 3% males). Even if a caregiver does not give up work completely, taking time off leads to lost wages and can even affect Social Security or pension payouts in the future.

Caring for a loved one can be expensive, but there are many steps that can be taken to assist with the costs without requiring the caretaker to lose wages or work opportunities. Applying for Medicaid home care services may provide Mom with the care she needs and provide you or a family member with peace of mind, without sacrificing earnings and/or employment prospects.

Give us a call and let us help you determine if a Medicaid application may be the next step.