Page 27 - BusinessWest 2022 Senior Planning Guide
P. 27

Relieving the Burden
Caring for Family Caregivers Is More Important Than Ever
By Randi Berkowitz, M.D.
eing a family caregiver can be a genuinely rewarding experience. It is also a very complex responsibility that comes with a fair number of
During the pandemic, the stakes were raised, placing
an overwhelming strain on those who may have
In Massachusetts, more than 1 million residents provide frequent or daily care to a loved one.
The dedication and devotion of these individuals allows their family member or friend to maintain independence and assists their well-being. These numbers will increase into the foreseeable future as our population continues to age. Between 2015 and 2030, the state’s older adult population is projected to
increase to 21%. The events of the
past two and a half
years have made being
a family caregiver even more difficult. A study published in April 2021
in the Gerontologist featured some notable findings. It indicated that family caregivers reported higher anxiety, depression, fatigue, and other
adverse outcomes, such
as financial hardships, loneliness, and increased food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even without a pandemic, caregiving responsibilities exact a financial
and economic toll. Some 60% of family caregivers work outside the home. Most caregivers are female, and lost wages, Social Security benefits, and pensions as a
result of leaving the workforce early can equal as much as $324,000.
Family caregivers deserve more than just our empathy. They deserve our support. Here is what we can do:
• Pass the federal Credit for Caring Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, which would provide a measure of financial relief to those who take on added financial responsibilities as family caregivers supporting a loved one. The legislation would provide family caregivers with a credit of up
to $5,000 a year for certain out-of-pocket expenses related to their caregiving.
• Pass state legislation, called the Family Caregiving Tax Credit, to provide a similar credit of up to $1,500 a year to qualifying Massachusetts taxpayers.
• Raise awareness of the existing Dependent Care FSA, a federal tax deduction for certain out-of-pocket expenses related to the care of dependents. The
law saves caregivers, on average, 30% of the cost of dependent care services.
• Promote healthcare models that engage proactively and systematically with family caregivers, a process that can help them manage stress, plan for care, balance work with caregiving, and make better decisions for themselves and those to whom they are providing care.
Two of those healthcare models are the Program
of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which Fallon Health operates in Massachusetts as Summit ElderCare, and Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan
  “In Massachusetts, more than
1 million residents provide frequent or daily care to a loved one. The dedication and devotion of these individuals allows
their family member or friend to maintain independence and assists their well-being.”
 already been feeling burnt out. Many family caregivers struggled in silence. COVID-19 taught us many lessons — in particular, that it’s important to take care of those who take care of others.
 Our Rehab Therapists stand behind you every step of the way.
 We offer an intensive rehabilitation program that renews your strength following a hospital stay: • Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy
• Offered 7 days a week as needed
Two expansive rehab gyms with specialized equipment. Coordination of post discharge care & services.
Rehab wing featuring spacious private and semi-private rooms with private bathrooms.
Rehabilitation Specialties include:
• Orthopedic Rehab
• CHF/COPD treatment
• Stroke recovery
• Pain management
• Cardiac care
• Complex medical conditions • Wound Care
  Center for extended Care & rehab
150 University Drive, Amherst, MA 01002
For more information call: 413-256-8185, fax 256-0138
    24/7 Home Care Services
24-hour care
Personal care Incontinence Care Medication reminders Respite Care Recovery Care
Live-In Care Hospice Care
Meal Preparation
Light Housekeeping
VA Community Care Provider
Personalized care plan developed by our Nurse and tailored to meet your individual needs
 24/7 Staffing Services
24/7 staffing Long-term Short-term Assisted Living Skilled Nursing
We can help with staffing on a temporary, permanent or emergency 24/7 basis
Place your care in our hands.
Springfield | Northampton Greenfield | Connecticut Boston
@homecarehands HomeCareHands
Our agency is fully insured and bonded.

   25   26   27   28   29