There are more people in the U.S. who have taken in an elderly loved one than you might actually imagine.
In fact, caring.com says one out of four caregivers live with either an elderly or disabled relative.
And if you are in the position where you’ve decided to move an older parent or other family member into your home, there’s a few things that Freedom Home Care lists here that you may want to consider before taking the first step.
Financial Advantage or Drawback?
You may have to sit down with your family members and think through the costs associated with having an older loved one in the home.
While taking on this responsibility yourself may be cheaper than a nursing facility – which can average more than $200 a day – the expense of becoming a caregiver could possibly put a strain on your current financial situation.
If you feel you cannot afford to provide in-home care services for your elderly loved one, think about what the costs of a reduction in income could mean for you and your family.
According to aarp.com, almost half of the people who moved an elderly relative in experienced a reduction in pay due to time that was taken off work.
Some women who leave their jobs to take on caregiving could lose an estimated $140,000 – $320,000, while a male family member could lose about $280,000 in wages, social security benefits included.
Experts say it may be to your benefit to draw up a rental agreement where older parents pay fair market rent. While this decision might seem harsh and unnecessary, your loved one may end up receiving fewer SSI benefits due to free room and board.
You may also be eligible to receive cash payments or tax deductions for your elderly parent’s expenses such as transportation, hearing aids, and walkers.
Claiming your parent as a dependent is another way to possibly receive a tax break.
Determine the Level of Care That Will Be Needed
Does your parent have a chronic illness? What is the quality of their mental and physical condition?
If your loved one can still function with very little help from you, they may require very little attention. But if they are suffering from a progressive disease like Alzheimer’s, it’s possible they need help doing things like bathing, dressing and eating.
If this is the case, it might be feasible to consider personalized elder care if it means sparing more time and energy from busy family members.
Utilize Help and Resources
Many people go into caregiving without taking advantage of the resources that are available to them, and end up feeling overwhelmed by the demand of meeting the needs of an elderly relative.
On the days when caregiving seems most difficult, it’s best to remember that you’re not alone. There are millions of other people who have taken on a similar role.
Online communities, expert advice and family support become invaluable tools in helping provide the best possible care for your loved one.