Longer term illness is hard on both the patient and their family and carers. Immediately we think of emotional and mental and physical suffering and cost – we rarely think of FINANCIAL though.
Financial loss may be one of the biggest stress-factors for many though as an illness progresses with no end in sight. It is therefore essential that some financial planning is put into place at an early stage (even before there is ANY illness!) to allow for life’s eventualities.
For example – there is a lifetime risk of 1 in 2 people contracting Cancer. 38% of cancers are also preventable… health care and planning STARTS NOW!
This means more people will need protracted care and even if the care is paid for by the NHS – most other things are not.
There can be a lot of loss associated with illness aside from feeling poorly. These can include:
- Having to give up driving / driving licence in some circumstances
- Having live in care or being transferred to a care home or having respite care
- Financial and time burden on others
- Time required to complete forms, grants, do errands, pay bills, manage their home etc
- Cost of getting to appointments – car parking, and other travel; refreshments; prescriptions
- Time is robbed off everyone –
- Waiting for results
- Time spent waiting for results / appointments
- Getting to and from the hospital
- Time fretting about the future – this one can be HUGE – sleepless nights the lot.
Live in care costs around £800 a week, and per-hour care can be over £1000 a month for only 14 hours of care a week. So for most families, caring for your loved one is the more affordable option, and while family members are generally happy to help, it can be the most stressful option.
For family needing to take care of their loved ones – they may need to give up their own employment, or reduce their hours significantly.
In the UK we do have a benefit system, and no matter how inefficient it is, at least it’s there.
People with disabilities can apply for personal independence payments (PIP), and their carers can apply for carers allowance. PIP can range from £23.20-£148.85 per week – think about that for a second. Could you live on this?
Carers could get £66.15 a week, but they have to be caring for at least 35 hours a week. That is basically full time!
If someone has a terminal illness, and are not expected to live beyond 6 months, they can apply for emergency benefits through a form known as a DS1500. This isn’t well known, but is definitely worth asking about. Your GP will know what this is and can help you.
You may need to give up your car licence – for instance if you have a seizure you have to stop driving for a minimum of 6 months and must inform DVLA immediately. If this is necessary to obtaining money and independence and freedom it has a huge cost as you need to get help for mundane things, let alone going to work.
Put life insurance in place if you have children, have a will drawn up, get that mortgage and other debt paid off as soon as you can. While I sincerely wish that you have a full, amazing life in front of you, NONE of us really know the truth of it.
So go to work, pay the bills, but don’t let that be all you ever do – there’s a big world out there that needs exploring!
Hopefully your illness will only be short term and you can start to expand your horizons again soon – but what if it isn’t?
Are you prepared?
Gayle Palmer helps you put systems in place and “tidy things up” in your life which mean there is
A Less burden on you
B Less burden on your loved ones
C Can reduce the strain and worry for all.
Get in touch today to find out how she can be of help to all the generations.
If you need more of a butt-kick (!) watch this video – you may find it fun, or sobering, but whatever…
SEIZE THE DAY! CARPE DIEM!
© Great Guidelines for Later Life