Tips for Caring for an Aging Parent without Overtaxing Your Budget

tips-for-caring-for-an-aging-parent-without-overtaxing-your-budgetIf you are an adult child caring for an elderly parent, then you know that the situation can be a strain to not only your mind and body, but also to your wallet. The estimated value of family caregiving is $375 billion a year. This includes medical expenses, groceries, transportation, and household goods. To deal with this a budget is a necessity, but below you will find some ways to reduce the financial burden of caring for an aging parent at home and make life easier for all of you.

Finding Home Care for Your Aging Parent

Medicaid can help cover the costs of home healthcare that Medicare does not cover. For seniors who are not eligible for Medicaid but are low income, they can check into a state non-Medicaid program. There are also veteran’s programs for seniors who have served in the military. Consider independent home caregivers like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care and see if they can work around your family’s specific needs. Also, check into respite care programs and virtual caregivers. There are many avenues to consider.

Reduce Prescription Costs

Most pharmaceutical companies have a Patient Assistance Program which can provide medication at a reduced cost or free of charge. Seniors using their Medicare coverage can contact the pharmaceutical company to receive coupons to reduce the cost of brand name drugs. Other ways to save are taking advantage of drug discount cards, buying generic instead of brand name, and receiving their meds through mail-order pharmacies instead of retail pharmacies.

Reduce Utility Expenses

There are public assistance programs called LIHEAPs that are available in almost all states. This can help reduce the cost of heating and cooling to low-income individuals. Weatherization programs are also available to make modifications to the home to improve the home’s ability to reduce heating and cooling loss.

Get a Tax Deduction for Caring for an Aging Loved One

Some states allow a caregiver to receive a tax credit for expenses incurred while taking care of a dependent older adult so the caregiver can continue to work. A caregiver can combine their medical expenses with their parent’s to receive a tax deduction. The total expenses must exceed 7.5% of the total gross household income in order to receive the credit.

While caring for an aging parent can be difficult, rest assured that there is help available for caregivers and their aging loved ones. There are state agencies, federal funding, and tax breaks to assist you in caring for your senior parent.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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