Caring for Elderly Relatives at Home Can Work for Your Family If You Plan Carefully
Caring for family members is hard work. In the 1980s, television episodes and standup comedy routines sometimes used to include jokes about how much money a woman would earn if she got paid a fair wage for all her work cooking, cleaning, and otherwise caring for her husband and children. More recently, the public discussion has started to take the economic aspects of acting as an unpaid caregiver seriously. Many people who are the primary source of daily care for elderly relatives would not dream of doing anything else, even if they also have a paid job on which their family depends. Being a caregiver for an elderly person can be exhausting, though, and the burnout is real; it is arguably even harder than being a full-time caregiver for young children, because children outgrow the stage of needing around-the-clock care relatively quickly. On your worst day, you can look at the toddler who just made a huge mess in every room of the house and now refuses to put on his shoes, and say, “Only three more years until he goes to kindergarten,” but what do you say about the cantankerous grandmother who makes it known that she needs your help but resents you because of it? Discussing your elder care plans with a Florida elder law attorney can make your situation less stressful, even if you decide that having all the generations together in the family home as your parents age is your priority.
The Cost of Free Elder Care
The Tampa Bay Times recently published a report on the financial and emotional stress that caregiving responsibilities are placing on Florida families and on the policies that some organizations have recently instituted to reduce this stress. Here are some highlights from the report:
- In 2017, 2.9 million Floridians spent at least 900 hours each throughout the year taking care of elderly family members; if they had been paid for this work, they would have earned more than $10,000 each
- Every day, at least 400 people aged 60 or older move to Florida
- Florida Blue Insurance has started a new initiative to connect people involved in family caregiving to social workers
An Elder Law Attorney Can Help
Even if you are against the idea of moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility and are determined to spend the rest of your life living with or near your close relatives, you should make detailed plans about your care now, while you are still healthy. Think about the relatives who will likely care for you. Will you be able to make up for the income they will miss out on by spending less time at work and more time taking care of you. No one can stand to be on duty all day every day, so how will you divide your caregiving responsibilities among family members? Under which circumstances would you hire a home health aide? These are all questions to discuss with an elder law attorney, long before you have to implement the decisions.
Contact Us Today for Help
Having to depend on your children for care is stressful, and so is caring for elderly parents, but planning is your best defense. Contact Clearwater elder law attorney William Rambaum to discuss your questions.