Jul 10, 2010

Burnt-Out Caregivers: Finding and Funding Long-Term Care for Your Loved One

Caregiving for an ill spouse can be one of the most meaningful experiences you'll ever have. It can also make you sick: Researchers have demonstrated that the stress of long-term caregiving releases the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn impacts the cardiovascular and immune systems. Our elder law attorneys counsel many people who are personally caring for a disabled spouse. Clients point to their vow to care for the spouse "in sickness and in health." Sometimes they cannot countenance spending assets on having anyone else care for their loved one. But by the time a caregiver walks into our office, he may be sick himself from years of stress. He's starting to think they maybe he can't do this forever, and he may be right:  We have many cases were the "healthy" spouse has predeceased the partner he was caring for. We listen carefully to clients as they wrestle with the delicate balance of  caring for themselves and caring for their spouses. If they decide to get some help in the home, or proceed with assisted living or nursing home placement for their loved one, we have another challenge: figuring out how to pay for it without going broke. Fortunately, in many cases, several techniques can be used to help caregivers tap into Medicaid benefits or Veterans benefits before they lose their nest egg. We can often assist even if a loved one is already living in a nursing home. But needless to say, the sooner planning starts, the more of your assets you are likely to preserve.

For a short video from MarketWatch on the various types of long-term care alternatives that are available, click here. For a "Stress Checklist" you can complete and which will then provide you with caregiver resources,  click here.  (The checklist is directed at Alzheimer's caregivers but is applicable to anyone caring for a disabled person.)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...