November is Family Caregivers Month
November is Family Caregivers Month and we take this time to celebrate those who dedicate their time and energy to providing a safe place for their loved ones. This month is to draw attention to the importance of thanking carers for all their efforts to inform families about what carers are doing, raise awareness of carers problems, and increase support.
All of us at Disability Planning Partners want to recognize that this month celebrates Family Caregivers nationally. National Family Caregivers Month begins on November 1, a day of celebration and recognition for those who give up their time and energy to support those who need help regularly.
Having been a caregiver for many years, the love and devotion of providing care to an aging or disabled family member is often met with tension. I have described this tension as competing interests for the caregiver. This is referred to as being “sandwiched.”
Sandwiched between personal obligations of caring for one’s own children and aging parents. Sandwiched between professional obligations requiring dedication to a career against needing time away from work to provide care. And, of course, all of this is wrought with different financial burdens as well.
As an elder law attorney, every caregiver and recipient should know that elder law attorneys have a strong skill set in developing “Care Plans” for multiple generations of a family, which aim to soften the tensions mentioned above.
We have legal tools for financial restructuring which can lead to accessing professional caregivers to support the family caregivers. We can provide caregiving contracts which can be incredibly useful in a variety of ways. One of which is documenting the arrangement for care. This can be vital years later if long term care supports are needed.
Additionally, we can onboard respite assistance if a family member becomes unavailable. And we can supplement the caregiving strategies by preparing incapacity documents and an asset preservation plan so private resources are not whittled away paying for care for the elder or disabled individuals.
There are an estimated 90 million carers in our country, so it is no surprise that interest in this annual celebration of carers is high across the country. The theme is “24 / 7 care,” and considering that family caregivers spend 20 to 40 hours a week helping with daily activities, this is a great time to honor family members and friends who spend countless hours caring for a loved one through their selfless acts of love and kindness.
So, as we appreciate all the hardworking and dedicated family caregivers, please remember that early planning can be vital for the care recipients. Early planning provides needed structure and security for multi-generations of a family.