In addition to the physical and emotional demands of caregiving, providing for the present future medical and living expenses of a loved one can be financially challenging and requires planning.
Before you can plan for future living and medical expenses, locating—or in some cases creating—documentation on the following is important.
All accounts (as well as pertinent account details) including:
All investment assets (along with all relevant account information), such as:
All retirement benefit information (along with all relevant account details), including:
All types of insurance (and pertinent account information), including:
All legal documents, including:
Locate all relevant personal property documents, such as deeds/mortgages/liens for all property including:
Any arrangements and prepayments made
Any debts, including:
Once you’ve gained a better understanding of the current financial situation, the next step is to estimate any future expenses that may result from changes in your loved one’s health or living situation.
Some of these estimates can be obtained from the agencies that provide the products and services, while others may be covered partially or wholly by insurance providers.
It is just as important to safeguard your own financial situation while you care for your loved one.
Through government agencies, you can find financial protection and support programs including:
You may be able to claim your loved one as a dependent to receive expense deductions on your federal taxes. The website provides information on reducing your federal taxes while caring for a spouse or dependent.
Tax assistance is available through a collaboration between AARP and the IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. Assistance is available online or you can find an AARP Tax-Aide site near you.
Professionals that provide assistance in planning for immediate and long-term financial needs include:
Many banks offer services that will help manage your accounts.
Before hiring any professional for assistance, be sure to ask if the professional is familiar with elder care or terminal illness issues, and also verify his or her:
Not a lot of time seems to pass before we hear about another scam on the news that has left a person or family victimized and in distress. One of the latest scams revolved around scammers claiming to be a government agency investigating a supposed ‘fine’ that could be repaid in gift cards. Anyone could feel pressured to reveal personal information that could put them at risk.
However, the website Marketplace wanted to look closer at whether "the aging brain may become more susceptible to financial scams." The subject was featured on a recent podcast that is a part of their larger project 'Brains and Losses: The Bottom Line on Aging and Financial Vulnerability.' You can find the podcast here.
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW)
Phone: 717-787-1870 (Helpline)
Social Security Administration
U.S. Veterans Administration, Department of Veteran Affairs
We are here to help with your billing questions and concerns. Please call UPMC Patient Financial Services Center or UPMC Customer Service or visit our Paying My Bill site to learn more about the services we offer, such as payment plans, price estimates, and Financial Assistance.