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Hidden Costs for Family Caregivers of Terminally Ill Patients

While continuing to live at home can be comforting to a terminally ill patient, there may come a point at which they are no longer safely able to care for themselves. Because professional in-home caregivers can be costly, many families choose to care for their terminally ill loved ones themselves as the “family caregiver.” While a family caregiver can seem like the most cost-effective solution at first, there are many often-overlooked factors to consider when making the choice between hired and family-provided care.

Hidden Costs for Family Caregivers

Make sure you consider these often overlooked personal costs before deciding on family-provided home care.

Emotional Costs

Caring for a sick person, especially a loved one, can be stressful and emotionally draining. Adding this layer of daily dependence to your relationship can potentially supplant your previously joyful interactions with mostly transactional ones.

Physical Tolls

Consider whether your bodily strength and energy levels are sufficient for the task, especially if your loved one requires a great deal of assistance with mobility. If not, you can end up incurring additional costs addressing your resulting aches and ailments.

Loss of Insurance

Reducing your work hours, or leaving your job altogether, doesn’t just mean taking a pay cut. It may also mean losing out on related benefits like employer-sponsored health insurance. Make sure to research the cost of paying for insurance coverage independently before committing to taking care of your loved one full time.

Loss of Retirement Benefits

In addition to losing insurance benefits, those leaving their job or transitioning to part time status may sacrifice their retirement benefits. If your company offers a pension plan or 401k matching, think about how the loss of these benefits may impact your financial future.

Reduction in Future Employability

Despite the magnanimous reasons behind you leaving the professional world, companies may see the gap in employment as a liability when you are ready to head back to work. This is especially true if your caretaking responsibilities leave you little time to keep up with developments in your industry.

Cost of End-Of-Life Care for Terminally Ill Patients

Because no care option comes without cost, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons for all home care options. Many families decide that the benefits of a professional caregiver outweigh the financial costs of hiring one, especially given the personal costs of becoming a family caregiver. While home care can be expensive (Medicare, for example, notoriously not paying for non-medical home care), there are numerous options for financing the care that your loved one needs such as home care loans or Fifth Season’s Funds for Living Program.

The Funds For Living Program allows those with a terminal illness to access their life insurance policies for usable funds today while preserving funds for their beneficiaries in the future. To learn more about using your life insurance policy for hired in-home care and other medical costs, contact Fifth Season today or call 866-459-1271 for more information.

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