Finances of Caregiving

PRIMGHAR—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach invites family caregivers to participate in the five-session Finances of Caregiving course beginning Sept. 5 in Primghar.

The course focuses on helping caregivers to make decisions and plan ahead.

Caregivers often are adult children caring for their parents, grandparents or another relative, but they also may be parents caring for their young or adult child with special health or behavior needs.

Life expectancy for Americans continues to increase which means that most adults will care for a parent or relative at some point in their life, according to Jan Monahan, Extension human sciences specialist in family finance who will be leading the program.

“Care does not necessarily have to mean that the person lives in your home,” Monahan said. “It may mean that you provide transportation, household assistance or other help to a person who still lives in their own home.”

Most American family caregivers require flexible work schedules and personal leave time. Sometimes the caregiver is even required to take leave without pay or permanently give up his or her job.

“Being a family caregiver comes with many responsibilities,” Monahan said. “Families are challenged to determine what is best for the person needing care and the impact it has on the caregiver and his or her family.”

She stresses that caregivers need to consider and plan ahead to protect their assets and prepare for their own retirement while providing care to another person or people.

“When caring for a loved one and making the decision whether or not to leave work or reduce your hours, you have several areas to consider,” Monahan said. “How will it affect your current spending plan? How will it affect your family? How will it affect your retirement? Losing a couple years of contributions when you are near retirement may not make a big difference in the account balance, but the longer you have until you plan to retire, the greater the impact on your retirement savings.”

The Finances of Caregiving program provides materials and expertise to assist caregivers in making financial decisions for the care recipient, as well as for themselves.

The five-week program will meet 4:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 5, 12, 19, 23 and Oct. 3 at the O’Brien County office located at 340 Second St. SE in Primghar.

Cost for the five-session training is $35 per person or $40 per couple.

Financial assistance also is available; view and complete the application for financial assistance at www.extension.iastate.edu/obrien/financial-assistance.

To register for the Finances of Caregiving program in Primghar, visit http://bit.ly/foc13548 or for help registering or more information, call 712-957-5045 or e-mail xobrien@iastate.edu.