Caregivers Can Be Helped By Reverse Mortgages

A study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP showed that nearly one third of the US population are caregivers, defined as providing unpaid care to an adult or a child with special needs. These caregivers spend an average of 20 hours a week providing unpaid care, a phenomenon Elinor Ginzler of the AARP called a “half time job.”

While the study included several different types of caregiving, a significant portion of those in the study was taking care of parents—36%. The average caregiver was female (66%), 48 years old, and 34% of caregivers were taking care of two or more people. 51% were caring for adults aged 75 or older.

One of the major points of the study was that caregiving can place significant stresses on adult caregivers. Many had left jobs, passed up promotions, and cut back on hours to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities. A significant number (53%) reported loneliness and isolation, cutting back on time with friends and family.

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Although 66% of those caring for the elderly said it was easy to set up their care, a reverse mortgage can help increase this further.  Using a reverse mortgage can help pay for health care and other caregiving responsibilities, keeping parents out of assisted living and nursing homes, while reducing the stress on caregivers.

Write to Reva Minkoff

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  • I know it's obvious, but this is a no-brainer, these people need all the help they can get. RMs should be on the radar screens of social workers and any one in contact with these people.

  • Unfortunately many of the seniors live in the homes of the caregiver. We used SLN leads for two years but the worst, the very worst category of leads other than friends and relatives other than spouses were caregivers. Unless the caregiver needs the reverse mortgage, they are rarely a great lead or source for reverse mortgages.

  • I recently found a new non insurance service contract that goes a long way to provide in home care for seniors. It a good fit for senior who do not have LTC insurance or cant qualify but want to stay at home for as long as possible. They can buy 300 hours a month up to 800 hours per month depending on the situation with an average cost of less then eight bucks an hour. It also have other features like “Call a MD 24 hours a day” and drug card to cover the doughnut hole.

  • When using a reverse mortgage to pay for in-home care, it is important to determine whether the patient realistically can be expected to remain in the home for a reasonable length of time, given the high up-front cost as well as the occupancy requirement. If the patient is in the later stages of a chronic disease or soon may have to transition to a nursing facility, the effect of the reverse mortgage on the proceeds from the eventual sale of the home (which may be used to finance nursing home care) must be considered.

    That said, many seniors thrive and even enjoy a longer, better quality remaining life in their own homes. If the patient requires 24/7 care, it will cost considerably more in the home than in a skilled nursing facility.

    Thus, the decision whether to use a reverse mortgage to pay for in-home care must be made in consultation with the family, physician and a social worker, as well as financial and legal advisers.

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