Look for financial support for caregiving
Medicare doesn’t pay for home care or other nonmedical support. You’ll need to find other options.
- Benefits. Does your loved one have long-term care insurance? Did they serve in the armed forces? (If so, they may be eligible for veteran benefits.) BenefitsCheckup.org may uncover other sources.
- Local programs. Are there state or local programs that help pay for some caregiving time? Or pay for respite? Check for a housing subsidy. Or a government waiver to reduce the cost of care.
- Tax deductions. If you provide more than 50 percent of the financial support for your loved one, you may be eligible for some tax relief. Talk with a tax specialist.
- Family Medical Leave Act. While it does not provide for paid leave, this legislation can protect you from losing your job if you have to take time off work for family caregiving. Talk to the HR department at your place of employment.
Get paperwork in order
- Medical records. Keep a current list of doctors, medications, current diagnoses, and past medical history. Find out how to access medical providers online. Also, keep records/notes from the hospital, lab, and doctor visits.
- Financial overview. Learn about your relative’s income and expenses. Find all their accounts and account numbers. This will help you with eligibility requirements and deciding what services can be afforded.
- Powers of attorney. Whether due to coma, dementia, or some other condition, your loved one may not always be able to voice their wishes. Have your relative work with an attorney to choose a decision maker for finances and one for health care.
- A will and/or trust for disbursing assets. Likely your loved one has thoughts about what they want to have go to whom. Work with an attorney to draft the appropriate documents.