Medicare Matters: Helping a Caregiver
By: Dan Mangus, as featured by the National Association of Health Underwriters
The path to someone becoming a caregiver is often with no training or preparation for the challenging aspects of caring for the health of someone they love. The physical, emotional, and financial costs can be extreme. Unfortunately, the problematic situations surrounding caregiving currently exist for one in five Americans.
I dealt with this situation last year when caring for my mother. After 38 years in this business, it was still difficult because of the emotions involved while caregiving for someone you love.
As an advisor, you have the opportunity to help by providing advice and direction to the tools and resources available to individuals, including those on Medicare. Statistics abound that can shock you, but your clients don’t need to hear just numbers. They need tools they can use and people that can help them care for their loved one. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- Medicare and Skilled Nursing Facility Benefits: Getting Started
- Medicare and Hospice Benefits: Getting Started
- Medicare’s Home Health Benefit: Getting Started
- MedlinePlus, has a section with links to a large number of resources specifically for caregivers
- U.S. Administration on Aging resource locator
The problematic situation surrounding caregiving currently exist for 1 in 5 Americans.
There are additional caregiver resources for those caring for veterans. The VA has two programs to provide support for caregivers: the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) and the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). Caregivers who enroll in PGCSS have access to education and training, including courses at local VA medical centers. In addition, caregivers can participate in support services and take advantage of VA home, and community, based care.
Th e PCAFC is a program of enhanced clinical support for caregivers of eligible veterans who are seriously injured. You can find info at www.caregiver.va.gov.
How can you start making a difference? Since such a large percentage of caregivers are in the workforce, a brief meeting with employees at a group you insure to share a few tips and resources can change lives. It will also introduce you to a whole new set of Medicare beneficiaries to provide the services and plans you offer.
Our industry has the opportunity to relieve the financial stress of some terrible situations. We can also open doors to information and access to care.