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Senior Care: Will I have to quit my job to be my parent's caregiver?

A big decision about caregiving for a loved one is "do I do it myself or should I hire someone?" One consideration is "what's the difference in cost between paying someone versus my take home pay?" Close to 10 million adult children over the age of 50 are caring for their senior parents. In a study produced by MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving here are some things to consider before quitting your job.

Quitting work can undermine the mission of planning and saving for your own retirement. You need to not only consider the lost wages but the lost pension, health care benefits, as well as loss in social security. Dropping out of the work force may impact your final social security payout.

The largest majority of family caregivers are over fifty. For some the decision may be "I'll quit my job for a few years and then go back," however this may not be realistic. For many it is hard to get back into the workforce at this age and especially during our current economic climate.

Many companies are becoming more aware of the growing demand on family caregiving. A large number of companies now have Work and Life Balance programs available but for some reason senior care is not as widely communicated as child care. Find out what your company offers and if there is work shift flexibility.

Consider what's best for yourself; you don't want to be in the same situation as your parents are in 20 years from now. You may want to make the decision to invest in Lone-Term Care insurance, it is more affordable to purchase when you are younger. Long-Term Care is not covered by Medicare. Without insurance you would need to spend down all of your assets as well as meet other qualifications to be covered by Medicaid.

Learn your options and check into resources that can help you manage your expense and time. Start by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging. Every part of the country is covered by one of these agencies that are funded by the federal government. The agency offers a hotline staffed by eldercare advisors and they maintain a comprehensive list of community resources.

If you think "I simply can't afford to hire a Home Care caregiver service," Home Care is more affordable than you realize especially when you consider all of the other financial areas of your life that are affected by leaving your job. Even if you have a strong family support, be open to the idea of having other help. Caregiving can be physically and emotionally exhausting, especially if it is primarily on one person. Your relationships will be healthier if you are open to the idea of getting assistance from an outside source. Having caregiver assistance whether it is full time, part-time, or just as needed, helps individuals and families live and perform at their best.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care assistance, Easy Living Services. We have supported Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994. Offering flexible care plans designed to assure, comfort, companionship and personal attention. Call to discuss our specific needs, 770-442-8664 or visit us at:

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