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Sure You’re Not a Caregiver Now, But …
Posted By Patti Shea On November 12, 2012 @ 1:35 pm In Caregiving | Comments Disabled
I’ve worked on caregiving issues for AARP for five years now. I started as an erstwhile online producer for AARP.org  wanting to bring great family content  to the website. (Read: wanted to boost sex  and pets  content since they get the most clicks, right?)
A few months into my tenure here, I was asked to help overhaul the online Caregiving Resource Center . At the time, being a late thirty-something singleton living in Washington, D.C., I really didn’t know a lot about caregiving … or so I thought.
Sure my parents were aging and had their share of health issues. But it wasn’t until dad had the first heart attack , then the second, that I sat up and paid attention to what was REALLY happening: I hadn’t a clue of what to do. Neither did my siblings. Why would we? I was busy with my life and they with theirs.
Then the boom. Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease . What just happened?
Thirty-somethings and forty-somethings, I’m here to tell you: it will happen, it will surprise you, you will be upset. No matter how much you think you’re ready, you’re not. Don’t kid yourself that you are. I’m not trying to be Debby Downer. Be assured there are things you (or you and your sibs) can do now:
And finally for you: Buy a long-term care insurance  policy NOW. My parents had no such option when they were our age as this insurance is relatively new. Any policy they could buy now wouldn’t be worth it due to their age and premium cost. Before I turned 41, I purchased a policy that’s $656 a year and covers me for $675,000 of care. DO IT!
I don’t want to scare you but I do. It’s reality. It happens. You won’t be 100 percent prepared but getting started with the tips above is a great start. You won’t regret it. (Another plug: We have a great document called Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families  that you should download for free.) Also, for you ladies, we have a great campaign called Decide.Create.Share . that helps you plan for your future financial and care needs.
Have I missed something? Let me know in the comments below.
Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/11/12/sure-youre-not-a-caregiver-now-but/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/dad-and-shea-kids.jpg
 AARP.org: http://blog.aarp.orgwww.aarp.org
 family content: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/
 sex: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/sex-intimacy/
 pets: http://search.aarp.org/browse?Ntt=pets
 Caregiving Resource Center: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/?cmp=SN-BLOG-PJS
 heart attack: http://search.aarp.org/browse?Ntt=heart%20attack
 Alzheimer’s disease: http://search.aarp.org/browse?Ntt=Alzheimer
 Talk to your parents: http://search.aarp.org/browse?Ntt=family%20conversations
 advance directive: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-03-2010/women_living_wills.html
 this very topic.: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-10-2012/live-online-caregiving-chat.html
 Can you telework: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/02/23/5-things-work-from-home-caregivers-must-d/
 insurance information: http://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/
 Social Security: http://www.aarp.org/work/social-security/
 medications: http://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/
 parents to sign a HIPAA waiver : http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/index.html
 employer’s rules for family leave: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/08/30/patti-shea-caregiver-discrimination/
 FMLA: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/#.UKEwFuOe-v0
 long-term care insurance: http://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-06-2012/understanding-long-term-care-insurance.html
 Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families: http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/foundation/aa66r2_care.pdf
 Decide.Create.Share: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/long-term-care/
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