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Tough love: Why coverage matters for caregivers

Jul 9, 2019 5 Minute Read

I always hoped my mom and I would be close, but I never thought that would involve her living with me.

If you spend your days juggling work, kids, and playing nurse to a parent or another loved one, you’re not alone. As the number of seniors in America hits record levels, more Americans are finding themselves in a new role: family caregiver.

While the role of caregiver may provide deep personal satisfaction, what it doesn’t provide is a paycheck. A recent study shows that 43 million Americans are currently acting as unpaid caregivers for a loved one, which can create big financial challenges for families. And with more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, the number of families in the caregiver boat is certain to grow.

One way to ease the financial and emotional strain is with life insurance. The payout on a policy can help cover caregiving costs if anything should happen to you, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your loved one will be taken care of. If you don’t already have life insurance, here’s how getting covered can help you do what you do best: care for the people you love.

Because you need to cover caregiving costs

Depending on your parent’s financial situation, you may find your own budget stretched with expenses for everything from prescriptions to wheelchairs and home modifications, not to mention the added expense of higher grocery and utility bills and countless personal care items. AARP estimates the out-of-pocket cost of caring for a loved one is nearly $7,000 a year. Another recent survey found that a third of family caregivers had to cut back on discretionary spending to provide for a loved one, another 20% had to dip into personal savings and 8% racked up credit card debt.

Beyond those expenses, the hours you put in as a caregiver add up, too. Without you there to help with bathing, meals, and everything in between, your family would probably need to hire a professional – a cost that can easily run into the thousands of dollars each month. That’s where life insurance comes in. Your policy can help ensure there’s money to take care of things.

Because it can impact your career

Juggling a job with caregiving responsibilities can leave you stretched thin financially and emotionally. Many people feel torn between doing the right thing and realizing it’s going to cost them down the road. According to a recent study, 40% of caregivers take an unpaid leave of absence from work to look after a family member. While many employers offer flexible leave to help families manage these responsibilities, at some point, your caregiving duties may exceed the patience of your employer. The same study showed that one in four people lost benefits, including health insurance and retirement plans, because they had to spend so much time away from work. Nearly a quarter had to stop work entirely, 18% lost their jobs and 13% opted for early retirement.

Again, the question is “What if?” If something happens to you, will it wind up putting a financial strain on your partner and children? Life insurance is an affordable way to make sure you have a nest egg to pass on to your kids, especially if caregiving is impacting your career. And unlike a group plan that you have through work, an independent life insurance policy lets you maintain coverage, even if you leave your job.

Because caring for loved ones should include you

As a caregiver, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in providing care for a loved one that your own health and well-being gets lost in the shuffle. A recent survey found that nearly a third of caregivers have gone without a routine physical or dental care, skipped or didn’t schedule a test or treatment, forgot to fill a prescription, or failed to see a doctor for their own illness or injury because they were too busy.

The truth is, caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. When your needs are taken care of, the person you care for benefits, too. Getting life insurance coverage can give you the peace of mind to sleep better and feel better, knowing that the ones you love will be protected for the future.

Because you want to protect their future

The role of caregiver can be incredibly rewarding. It can also be incredibly demanding, filled with tough challenges, worries, and responsibilities that can have a huge impact on other areas of your life. Find out how life insurance can help ease the burden here.


At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.