Caregiving and Planning for the Future with Genworth


Genworth caregiving preparing for the future

Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial.  All opinions are my own.

As we approach the holidays, I  have been thinking about all the things that I am thankful for.  I am blessed with a healthy, happy family.  But things were not always easy.  I lost the most important person in my life almost 10 years ago.

I was raised by my grandmother, and when I graduated college, I was her caregiver.  She had fallen and needed a lot of rehabilitation.  I didn’t have many resources and I didn’t know anyone who had gone through, or was going through, the same thing.  Most of my friends were in college and without much responsibility.

When I was younger, my grandmother had actually been a caregiver for her mother, my great-grandmother who was in her 90’s.  However, I really had no idea how much actually goes into being a caregiver.  I am in awe that someone in their late 60’s was able to be such a dedicated caregiver for her 93 year old mother.  I was lucky to have a great grandmother (that’s us in the photo above!), but I do remember how it was upsetting to have the family scrambling to get her situated after she broke her hip.

Now that I am older and have a family, I am increasingly seeing friends go through the caregiving experience with their parents or even their grandparents.  They often come to me because they know I can relate.  I won’t lie – caregiving is difficult in many ways.

I recently read an article entitled “Women Are Caregivers, But Who Cares for Them?”.  I can entirely relate to the article, and even though I was in a good position to be a caregiver, I still made sacrifices to take on this responsibility full time.  According to this article, there are 40 million people caring for an older relative, mostly consisting of women, and usually it is a full time, unpaid responsibility.

In a way, I was lucky that I had just finished college and did not have a permanent job or other responsibilities to interfere with being a full-time caregiver and to be there for my grandmother through her rehabilitation.  It was fortunate that I was in a position to drop everything to do this full time, but most people are not going to be in that position.  I realize if something like that happened now, I don’t know how we could make it work.  I live 4 hours from where my grandmothers house was, and I am a stay at home mom.  Who would watch the kids?  How would we afford the expenses?  Genworth Financial has many resources to help address and answer those kinds of questions.

Now that I have friends starting to go through the same scenarios, I can see the importance of planning ahead.  You can’t ever anticipate when something is going to happen.  But you can put measures into place so that it is easier to handle when something does happen.  A good friend of mine has been helping take care of her grandparents, both of whom have a variety of health issues.  Both she and her parents help to take care of them when they can.  Although she is not a full-time caregiver, I see how she is already stressed out.  Sometimes she goes straight from a long day at work to take care of her grandparents, getting home late, and then repeating it all again the next day.  I would urge her and anyone else to try to utilize as many resources as possible, and to put into place plans, should something happen.  There are many services for the elderly or those who need things such as home health care, whether it is a free meal service or hiring a visiting nurse.

If you have parents, grandparents, or other relatives that you are concerned about, or that it has crossed your mind that they may need help now or in the future, you may want to think about planning ahead.  It really makes a world of difference to have things in place for when something happens.  Because I have gone through this, I know how the whole family is affected, from the caregiver(s) to the person in need of assistance.  It can help to make preparations for the future, from financials to living situations.

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  1. 1

    I need to sit down with my parents and talk about long term care. Thank you for the great reminder.

  2. 2

    This is a great program. I need to sit down with my Grandmother and see what she wants done if she is ever in a position where somebody needs to take care of her.

  3. 3

    We know my mom will come live with me when she is ready but beyond that we ahve not worked out the details. It really is time to,

  4. 4

    I don’t know if I will ever be fully prepared to face these decisions with my parents. I know it’s something that I need to plan for though. Maybe a conversation is in order sometime after Christmas.

  5. 5

    I’m sorry you lost your grand mother as they add such a wealth to one’s life. Planning for care when older is an important step to make.

  6. 6

    So sorry you lost your grandmother…it’s still a little early for me but we can always start planning

  7. 7

    It is so important to plan ahead of time. Now that I have aging parents, I need to consider the future.

  8. 8

    Definitely a lot to think about it! My parents are still quite young, but doesn’t seem to early so start thinking about options.

  9. 9

    This is something I need to get on top of. We don’t have enough

  10. 10

    I’m in denial about my parents getting older, it’s a tough subject for me. Thank you for keeping me tuned in, it’s really time to think about this!

  11. 11

    That is such great information. Someone has to stay with my Grandma on a daily basis. This is definitely something worth looking into.

  12. 12

    My Gram is 85 and after the passing of my Grandfather a few years ago, lives alone. Fortunately she’s still fairly spry and my parents only live about 5 minutes away. It’s definitely a lot of work, though, that falls on both my Mom and my Aunt’s shoulders. Having a plan in place for my parents’ own long term care is something on my list in the next few years.

  13. 13

    What great information! Planning for the future is so important!

  14. 14

    When I was first married we loved at my parents, where my Grandma also lived. We all helped take care of her when she got old and needed help caring for herself. I actually worry about what will happen with my son after I’m gone far more then anyone else, sometimes it and the worry just consumes me.

  15. 15

    I have heard great things about this program – good to know for the future!

  16. 16

    I have been spending a lot of time thinking about future plans. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve read a little about Genworth and I plan to learn more. I think making better plans is in order for me in the 1st quarter of this new year.

  17. 17

    These are very important conversations to have–planning and talking about what to do while there is no emergency is key

  18. 18

    It’s really a commitment and requires so much selflessness. Planning for the days when these things need to be considered is very wise.

  19. 19

    There is so much that goes into being a caregiver. i watched my parents do it for both my Grandma and Grandpa for as long as they could when they were both diagnosed with Alzheimers. It’s hard and it’s always important to find resources to help you.

  20. 20

    my parents talked with us about care decisions a long time ago. which was some serious foresight on their part. it wasn’t easy to talk about then but when the time came to make and support their wishes, we were SO happy we knew their wishes

  21. 21

    My dad passed away in June and after everything was done. My mom decided to make some of her arrangements. I am an only child and she didn’t want it to all fall on me again.
    Now we live a few blocks from my father in law and are seeing that we will soon be making arrangements for his care. Thanks for the info

  22. 22

    My dad is taken car of but I still need to sit down and discuss this with my mom.

  23. 23

    My husband and I just had this discussion because he is an only child. We needed to talk about how to care for his mom. Everyone need to have this conversation because as long as you celebrate a birthday every year you will get older.

  24. 24

    My grandfather’s noggin is intact, but he needs the assistance of a nursing home. It’s hard to make the decisions now that he needs it.

  25. 25

    This can be such a hard conversation to have but it’s so crucial for the well being of your family to have it early.

  26. 26

    I have coverage for myself, but unfortunately it’s too late for my parents to qualify. I love this video about a caregiver and her husband who had several strokes:

  27. 27
    Debbie Welchert says:

    We have been caregiving for my parents for many years now. At first it was my father who had many health problems and has since passed away. Now my mother is starting to go through a lot of things that she cannot handle herself. If it hadn’t been for my daughter with all of her help I don’t know how we would have gotten through any of it.

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