Attorney With The Hale Law Firm Discusses How To Assess Cost of Caring For An Elderly Parent
Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 4, 2013 - It is important to take stock of the cost of caring for an aging loved one.
Caring for an elderly parent sometimes becomes a necessity, but to be able to provide the best care and balance competing responsibilities, one should assess the cost of care. This includes economic cost and potential impact on the caregiver's own health, according to a prominent elder law attorney.
“People are aware of the high cost of care from a home health aide or at a nursing facility, so they often decide to provide care to an aging loved one themselves,” said elder law attorney John Hale, of The Hale Law Firm. “However, providing care directly can take a financial toll as well, and it can also affect the health of the caregiver.”
Many people are caring for a loved one with a significant health issue, and the number is rising. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 40 percent of Americans are caregivers, a rise from 30 percent in 2010. Studies have shown that caregivers are more likely to have health issues of their own, and providing care for another may affect their own financial future.
“It is unfortunate that people providing care for an older family member often do not focus enough on their own health,” said Hale.
People who leave the work force, whether temporarily or permanently, in order to care for a family member, may create problems for their own retirement plans. While many employees' jobs are protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires some employers to grant time off for family and medical reasons, the leave is unpaid. In addition to the reduced income in the present, someone who takes time off from work is also not paying as much into the Social Security system, which may result in lower retirement benefits.
According to Hale, it is important for caregivers to ensure that their own health and well-being are protected, or it will not be possible to care for someone else.
“Caring for a loved one is one of the most important ways that family members show their love for each other,” said Hale. “But we have to take care of ourselves as well.”
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165
The Hale Law Firm
4925 Greenville Avenue #200
Dallas, TX 75206
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