The emotions you may experience when a parent or other loved one’s health declines are difficult enough. The practicalities of the issue can be overwhelming, on top of that: your parent needs more of your time, attention, focus, and money than ever before.
Tending to your loved one can have a serious impact on your financial situation. Read on to learn about the negative effects many caretakers face, and how to best minimize your losses during this time.
Money Troubles Hit Hard
When your parent is facing a chronic health condition, it may seem crass to think about money. After all, your loved one’s difficulties come first, and love is more important than finances.
This is true, and no one is saying you should stop caring for your parent for money’s sake! But there are undeniable financial aspects to your situation, and you have to keep yourself afloat during your loved one’s illness. If you can’t support yourself and the rest of your family, you can’t support your parent, either.
The financial difficulties you face during a loved one’s illness can take many forms:
- You may have to take off work to care for your loved one, especially if other caretakers fall through. If you don’t have paid family leave, this can get pricey fast, and may put you in hot water with your boss.
- Depending on your parent’s financial situation and health care coverage, you may end up paying for some or all of their expenses on your own. These costs can add up over time, especially if your loved one’s condition worsens.
- Caring for a loved one can be extremely stressful. This stress can take a toll on your performance at work, which can cost you raises and promotions.
- While your loved one is ill, you may turn down promotions or new jobs, because of the extra time and stress involved. This, of course, can cost you some serious money.
As though that weren’t enough, perhaps the biggest potential loss of income is the loss of investment. All of the money you spend during these years, or miss the opportunity to earn, is money you can’t put into stocks, retirement funds, or other investments. Those investments could add up over time, creating a cushion of cash that could see you through your own illness down the road.
Minimizing the Loss
There’s no doubt a parent’s illness can be expensive. The good news is that, with a little care, you can minimize the losses you’ll face and continue supporting your parent:
- Notify your employer ASAP. Often, people tend to try to hide a parent’s illness, out of respect for their parent, or shame. While this is an understandable reaction, it’s best to notify your employer as soon as the situation arises, so they can take this into consideration when scheduling you or conducting performance reviews. This may also be a requirement to take paid family leave.
- Save and invest what you can, when you can — including when your parent is healthy. Remember: unless your parent’s illness is very sudden, you’ll have to see them through their aging process.
- Consider hiring an in home caregiver. There are costs associated with an in home caregiver service, but they’re often far less than the costs associated with assuming all of your loved one’s care on your own.
It’s expensive to care for a loved one, especially on your own. But by saving what you can, maintaining communication with your employer, and hiring a senior care provider, you’ll see a minimal loss of income — and you’ll save money that can carry you through your own golden years.
Angel Companions Senior Care serves all 27 Greater Atlanta counties and has the most experienced in home senior caregivers. If you have any questions please use our contact page form or call us today at 770-579-5000!