The financial burden faced by caregivers is one of the major downsides of caregiving, according to newly released findings from C-TAC (the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care) and CIGNA. This project’s rather stark finding is that:
“We are creating a whole generation of caregivers who sacrifice their jobs and personal relationships, have little financial security, and are left with little after their loved one passes away.”
Economically, almost all caregivers (94%) say that their financial health has deteriorated as a result of their caregiving. A third say they must put less priority on working, and almost half are prevented from working at all because of their caregiving responsibilities. The latter group also reports a direct hit to their disposable income.
These findings may help you to demonstrate yet another way in which appropriate estate planning and financial planning can be so important. (And also, why keeping these plans up-to-date is vital to meeting changing medical needs and financial circumstances.) Additional useful data from the report, including troubling findings about the negative effects on caregivers’ mental health, can be found here.
Most likely, this caregiving “state of the nation” bears out what you have already witnessed from clients in your own practice: that caregiving is a tough job, it often takes an emotional toll, and it can extract a high economic penalty from caregivers.
With the release of these findings, C-TAC has also just announced a new Campaign to Transform Advanced Care, to accelerate the existing advanced care movement with one goal in mind: to “provide people living with advanced illness and their families with more person-centered care.” Part of the campaign will focus directly on improving the experience of caregiving, which will become more pervasive in the coming decades because of the rapid aging of our population. In fact, the number of older Americans will double by 2060. And while the vast majority will face serious illness at some time in their lives, our healthcare system, according to C-TAC and others, is not prepared to meet these growing needs.
This national Campaign for Advanced Illness Care is a multifocal initiative, which will engage the many industry sectors that are positioned to influence the experiences of seriously ill people and their families, along with local coalitions and community-based leaders. For more information on this campaign, visit www.thectac.org/campaign.
Randi J. Siegel, MBA, is the President of DocuBank® (docubank.com), which ensures that the emergency information and healthcare directives of its 250,000+ enrollees are available 24/7/365 through the largest advance directives registry in the U.S., as well as access to an online safe for storage of digital assets and other vital documents. Working with estate planning professionals since 1997, Randi frequently speaks at national estate planning conferences and has appeared on radio and television as an authority on registries. A member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, the International Society of Advance Care Planning and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, Randi is active in health education and public engagement related to advance care planning/advance directives. She serves as Pennsylvania liaison to the National Healthcare Decisions Day initiative and as a board member of the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly. Randi is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
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