by Shannah Huber, Ripple Life Care Planning
Ask any entrepreneur how many hours they put into their business a week. The answer does not surprise those here at the DEC. Working more hours than the typical work week including late nights, weekends and even waking in the middle of the night to realize there was one more thing they forgot to do, is not uncommon for those working at the DEC. I have heard many stories. At the network event, Dublin Area Network Group, lead by Chris Borja at the DEC, a new entrepreneur said “if you are making less money, but working a lot more hours, you must be an entrepreneur like me!”. Laughs in the entire room erupted.
Now imagine the scenario where a business owner putting in 80 hours a week suddenly has to become a caregiver for an aging parent, or for a disabled child, or a loved one becomes ill and is in and out of the hospital. The countless hours in caregiving duties on top of the hours starting a business can be devastating.
“Time is the most expensive commodity I provide, but it has no price tag”
In a study by Evercare (Family Caregivers-What They Spend, What They Sacrifice, 2007) it was reported the average time caregivers spend caring for a loved one is 35.4 hours a week. Half (52%) of the respondents had been providing care for three or more years and 32% had been providing care for more than 5 years. Nearly half of the respondents reported the person they were helping lived with them. One in ten reported they lived more than an hour away from the person they were helping (Evercare, 2007). Not only is it the time spent that hurts caregivers it also takes a toll on finances, which are always stretched thin with a new entrepreneur! One respondent wrote “Time is the most expensive commodity I provide, but it has no price tag”. Individuals reported that, although many were experiencing a heavy financial burden, it was the time that was the most valuable contribution to the care recipient (Evercare, 2007).
Advice for the entrepreneur:
- Find out if your parent or loved one has long term care insurance. This can help immensely financially. (Find quotes for yourself from DEC Tenant, Matt Byrne at MyHealthQuoter.com) This can make a huge difference!
- Is your parent a veteran? Look into Veteran Aide and Attendance. If the veteran or surviving spouse has less than $80,000 in assets, not including the home, they may qualify for over $1,800 a month to help with caregiving expenses.
- Get help in determining if the confusion or decline could be from a medical condition or medication error. This can happen a lot!! Ask a life care planning company (I would be happy to help – Ripple Life Care Planning) for an assessment, or, a pharmacy reconciliation program which can be free of charge.
- If you have the means, hire a caregiver to relieve some pressure. Most individuals acting a caregivers do not properly take care of themselves. Most people want to be the sole caregiver, or do not want to spend the extra money saved for a rainy day. But, when its raining, pull out the umbrella! You and your family member need this so you can be refreshed and ready to take on another day!
- Do your due diligence when hiring a company. Ask for insurance. Ask if they are bonded. Do they do complete background checks on employees. Hiring a friend or someone less expensive from a website may sound like a cheaper alternative, but if that person is not insured, does not have workers comp insurance, or is not bonded and they steal, or get injured on the job, it will cost a lot more in the long run.
Life care planning can be overwhelming and will eventually take hours to research a plan of care that would take a professional who does this for a living minutes. I imagine if I tried to create my own website, I could do it…probably. Would it be effective? Probably not! And how many hours would I spend figuring out how to do this on my own? Countless hours and probably time spent away from more important things like running my business. This is why I hired Matt Adams from DTI Creative to do this for me. What I appreciate most is the support from other companies and the ability to stop by and ask any question from those experts at the DEC from various fields. If you have questions about a loved one, please feel free to stop by my office and ask a question or two, or we can meet out for lunch and I will let you pick my brain, or just be a listening ear. I am more than happy to help my fellow DEC mates!
Shanna Huber is the owner of Ripple Life Care Planning and is located inside the DEC. Her office cubicle is located on the 3rd floor across from the printer next to the window. Her company provides private and geriatric case management. Ripple Life Care Planning RN Case Managers will assess the client in his or her own environment to determine their current level of functioning and identify any areas of concern. The comprehensive assessment addresses: health care status, cognitive functioning, advance care planning, and entitlement programs. Ripple Life Care Planning assesses the situation, researches care options, puts a plan in place with goals for the individuals specific situation, collaborates with the care team and implements that plan in order to meet and exceed the goals of the individual and family.