Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr Cynthia Speaks!

Caregiving and Finances: Preparation Prevents Challenges

Have you ever considered how costly the caregiving role can be? The financial portion of caregiving is assumed by those not directly involved in the role’s day-to-day duties. Understanding the cost of caregiving can be considered a ‘No Brainer’ but appearances can be deceiving when it comes to finances. It is a significant component in the caregiving field. Money matters, plus, it is needed to provide supplies, services, and equipment that a loved one may need. Money helps in making choices and if not discussed, it can create a friction between family members.

Discussing the financial resources for a loved one ahead of time is a proactive step in preparing for what may come. In my book, From The Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, I share my story of quitting my job to care from my mother. Placement in a nursing home was never an option, so my decision to leave a high-paying job took some short-term soul searching. I had to consider what it would look like going from a two-income family to a one-income family. Yes, I must admit, I loved my job. Nursing is my sacred profession. I was at the top of my game, as they say in corporate America. As a case manager of a cardiovascular unit, I had earned the respect from physicians in the Texas Medical Center and Texas Heart Institute. Many days I would have physicians at my office door asking my opinion. I was good at helping colleagues, patients, and their families navigate the challenges of heart disease and home life.

My decision to bring my nursing skills home required financial planning. Please do not delay discussing the financial management of care. It ought to be discussed with the care recipient (if possible), and those who may be involved in any aspect of caring for a loved one. Consider the financial aspects of your care village and allow others to align their resources with the care needs of your loved one. The role of caregiving is stressful enough. Proactive planning will provide you a sense of security and it will also allow you to plan for the resources that will help you attain holistic care for your loved one.

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is author and speaker. Her book: From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor shares caregiving tips.

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