Many adult children care for a parent in their golden years. Some are surprised by the costs of caring for an aging loved one. Family caregivers spend an annual average of $7,400 of their own money on caregiving expenses. In combination with a possible loss of income due to time away from work, it can sometimes be a financial strain for families.
Here are three steps you can take to reduce out-of-pocket caregiving expenses and recover some financial costs.
1. Create a budget and track expenses.
Caring for an elderly loved one includes many expenses that you may not think of. Keep track of these expenses. After a few months, you can better predict what your caregiving expenses will be and adjust your budget accordingly. If you have siblings or other loved ones who may share the caregiving costs with you, it is a useful tool to split costs evenly. If you haven’t already, consider asking your loved ones for help with these caregiving expenses.
|Possible Recurring Caregiving Expenses
|Possible One-time Caregiving Expenses
· Medical co-payments
· Travel to and from doctor’s appointments
· Incontinence supplies
· In-home professional care
|· Home modification (railings, shower seat, etc.)
· Medical alert system
· Vehicle modifications
2. Research tax implications of caregiving.
Understanding IRS guidelines for caregiver and senior filing can save you money and help you recoup some of your caregiving costs. If you meet these seven requirements outlined by the IRS, you may be able to claim an elderly parent as a dependent on your tax return. You may also be able to deduct medical expenses and home modification costs up to a certain amount. If you’re not sure about IRS rules and guidelines, talk to a tax professional to make sure you qualify for these benefits.
3. Consider professional support.
For caregivers who want to keep their loved one at home, participating in a local Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) can provide professional medical care and significantly reduce the costs of caring for an aging loved one.
PACE provides eligible seniors the following services, typically at no added cost:
- Preventive care and routine screenings
- Dental and vision care
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Medical supplies, home safety modifications, and much more
PACE participants have a team of health care professionals that work to develop a customized care plan for each individual.
To learn more about WelbeHealth’s PACE services, visit welbehealth.com.