A long term care event in the family can cost you. And not only financially. While long term care events can be very expensive when help is needed for activities of daily living, the overall cost to individuals and families aren’t just limited to financial costs. The true cost of long term care involves several other aspects you may not realize.

It Can Cost You Your Health

Assuming a caregiving role for a loved one can be physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. Tasks may involve lifting a person out of a bed or a chair, bathing, dressing, feeding, medication management, and keeping watch over their safety.

Family caregivers often experience higher levels of depression, stress, and frustration. These stressors can lead to a sharp decline in personal health and wellness.

It Costs You Your Time

For a loved one, you may commit whatever time is needed to care them. But the true cost of your time might surprise you.

Family caregivers often need to reduce hours at work or eventually leave their job due to family caregiving needs. Diverting your time to caregiving can impact your career. A MetLife study indicated family caregiving results in an average of $143,000 in lost wages. When your time as a caregiver ends, employability can decline after an extended period of unemployment.

It Can Affect Your Family Relationships

Caregiving can take time away from your immediate family and keep you from attending events or being present. In addition, long term care events can lead to divisions between siblings and family members involved in the care of a parent.

If decisions aren’t made before a long term care event, family members may disagree on where care should be received and how much should be spent. This can lead to stressful family relationships.

It Can Result in Difficult, Last Minute Decisions

Deciding whether a loved one should receive care at home or facility, and who should pay for it, can be difficult decisions to make in the midst of a long term care event. If the person is incapacitated or has a cognitive impairment, and are unable to make decisions for themselves, difficult care decisions fall to the next of kin.

So, how can you avoid these costs and challenges? It starts with planning ahead and choosing what you want for your future and your family’s future. Create a long term care plan now to ensure you get the care you need in a setting that’s comfortable for you.

Long Term Care Insurance offers you more options and peace of mind for the whole family. Learn more about creating a plan for your future by speaking with a Long Term Care Specialist today.