Futterman, Lanza & Pasculli, LLP

Medicaid planning for nursing home and home health care expenses

Often, as individuals age, the responsibility for their care falls to family members. In fact, there are approximately 44 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S., and residents of New York are no exception to these statistics. The downside of this is that, without Medicaid planning for nursing home and home health care expenses, this often takes its toll on family members – usually adult children -- financially, career-wise or both.

A recent survey indicates that half of working caregivers (statistically likely to be women) feel that they are forced to choose between their jobs and their aging parents' needs. A separate joint study by MetLife and the National Alliance for Caregiving indicates that these women lose approximately $324,044 in wages from cutting work hours or taking jobs with less responsibility – to allow time for caregiving – or quitting completely. Those who try to do both – keep their jobs and make time for caregiving duties – often face penalization in the workplace.

This is especially upsetting because caregiving, even for a beloved parent, is often stressful at the best of times. The responsibility of helping an aging loved one through illnesses at the end of his or her life can be onerous and emotional. When these caregivers are then passed over for promotions or raises at their places of work because of the demands caregiving has placed upon them, that added financial and mental stress can be overwhelming.

Clearly, businesses and workplaces need to improve their policies on family leave and supporting family values to reduce stress on employees, instead of forcing workers to choose between their beloved elderly family members and their jobs. In the meantime, though, one helpful approach residents of New York with aging family members can utilize is Medicaid planning for nursing home and home health care expenses. An attorney with experience in elder care planning can offer guidance and solutions so that aging individuals can get the treatment and care they need without worrying about the stress it may place on family members.

Source: sctimes.com, "Caregiving or career? It's not a fair choice", Liz O'Donnell, July 25, 2017

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