Get creative when it comes to financing caregiving costs.
The cost of caregiving is significant, and providing care for an aging loved one can be time-consuming and costly. Navigating working a paying job and caregiving often seems like an uphill battle. According to Caring.com, nearly four in 10 respondents (38%) spend more than 30 hours per week on caregiving, making it comparable to a full-time job. Numerous caregivers manage their employment right alongside caregiving, with more than a third (33%) working full- or part-time. Among them, 68 percent of caregivers who work report that their caregiving has a negative impact on their job. Leaving the workforce to be a full-time caregiver is not often financially viable for many.
So, what are ways to bear the growing burden of caregiving? The most common expenses are food and clothing, transportation, medications and other medical costs, traveling to care for loved ones and legal services. We’ve curated a few cost-saving ideas:
Touch Base With Your Boss
Some employers offer sick leave when caregiving responsibilities arise. Others offer flexible hours that allow employees to arrive later or duck out early for appointments. There are also dependent care assistant programs (DCAP) that allow employees to pay for caregiving expenses on a pretax basis.
Cut Your Taxes
If you do the bulk of the caregiving for your aging parent or if you assist them financially, you might be able to claim your parent as a dependent to lower your tax liability. Consult your tax planner or the IRS website for more information.
Cut Prescription Costs
A quick search on GoodRX.com can save hundreds of dollars each month by finding what pharmacies in your area charge for prescriptions, a great way to save on those recurring monthly fees.
Use your bank’s mobile app, for easy check depositing and money transferring with minimal effort. Forget to turn down the air-conditioning when you left? Apps like The Nest (as long as you have the thermostat already installed) can fix that in a jiffy. Or use it to turn the heat off when you’re gone and then warm it up on your way back home. Download your local grocery store’s app to add weekly specials to your food list and stockpile discounted items. Read more about apps that can help you with caregiving.
Make Home Modifications
Depending on where you live, some states and non-profits offer grants, loans and even construction assistance to low income, elderly individuals to make home modifications to create accessible, safer homes. Sometimes alterations to stairs, bedrooms and baths can delay or diminish the need for home care assistance, making less help go a longer way.