One of the things most people don’t realise about getting older is that there are a lot of hidden costs you may not consider until you find yourself confronted by them. This is a problem because when we aren’t aware of such financial issues, we fail to plan and respond to them accordingly.
This article intends to shed light on several costs people may not anticipate in their 50s and 60s related to the care of their elderly relatives and loved ones. We understand that finances aren’t always the most pleasant subject, especially when it’s in regard to something as important as this. However, we hope by highlighting these expenses, we can help prevent them from being a shock to you and your family members.
1. Home improvements
If an elderly relative or loved one move into your home, it’s very likely that there will be some cost related to making a suitable living environment for them. This, of course, depends on several factors, such as their mobility and specific needs related to their physical condition. For example, if they are unable to get up the stairs unaided, a stairlift can cost a few thousand pounds to install.
Even if the person you are caring for needs little in the way of automated mobility aids, making a comfortable room for them itself can be costly. That is especially the case if you don’t have all the things you need, such as furniture, available at your disposal. All these little things add up and should be taken into account beforehand.
2. Costs in missed hours
If you’re going to spend a lot of time caring for a person, that could very likely mean that you will have to reduce the hours you work. Although there is Carer’s Allowance to make up this difference, not everyone is entitled to these payments. This is clear from the fact that it doesn’t come close to covering the cost of unpaid work.
One vital thing to make sure of is that you can care for someone and remain financially stable while doing so. A big part of that is ensuring that you are able to receive these kinds of benefits. Don’t just assume you are entitled to them and hope for the best. Be thorough in calculating the difference to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.
3. Paying for home care help
Sometimes caring for someone full-time by yourself isn’t realistic, or you may need additional help because of a medical condition you’re not qualified to help with. However, you may still feel that the best place for the person you’re caring for is in your home.
If that’s the case, then you can pay for additional at home care services to relieve some of the stress. This, of course, is an extra cost but it may actually be worthwhile depending on how this affects your costs of missed working hours. Once again, careful planning is key.
4. Care home costs
How you and your loved one(s) pay for residential care does depend on a wide variety of factors, with things like property value and savings being taken into account. Often, loved ones are unable to look after their elderly relatives – for example, if work commitments make it impractical or a condition worsens, changing their ability to effectively care for them.
In these situations, they may find that they need assistance with paying for care services. This can be a financial shock and is something that should be considered and planned for to avoid being left in a difficult situation.
5. Funeral costs
Unfortunately, funeral costs are just a reality of life and they are worth thinking about long in advance because they can really add up. There are a lot of insurance options out there which can help pay for the costs, as the average funeral now costs over £4,000. Coming at what is an emotional time for you and your family, these additional financial burdens are deeply unwelcome, but are unavoidable.
To reduce this additional stress when you least need it, planning in advance can at least make this one less thing you need to worry about during incredibly difficult times.
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