[b]Among the Hispanic population alone, over one-third of households report having at least one caretaker, according to 2008 research from Caregiving.org, and 84 percent of Hispanics who are providing care believe their role is an expectation within their upbringing.
The Easter Seals Many faces of Caregiving Study sponsored by MassMutual and conducted by Impulse Research Corp. shows the state of caregiving in the United States is changing. Today's caretakers are young, and 90 percent are unpaid, according to those surveyed. Seventy-six percent have concerns about becoming a caregiver, including financial impact and increased anxiety. They are not trained professionals; many live in multigenerational households. Over three-quarters provide care to a parent, child, spouse or grandparent.
"MassMutual is committed to providing caregivers essential resources to become confident in their financial futures," said Joanne Gruszkos, director of MassMutual's SpecialCareSM program. "Caregivers are responsible not only for their own future, but also for their dependent's financial future."
For the past ten years, MassMutual's SpecialCareSM Program has helped families develop life-care plans* for their loved ones with special needs. MassMutual's SpecialCare Planning Teams have built Community Resource Networks across the country to provide families with financial education and a network of care providers specializing in everything from educational seminars on life-care planning to horseback riding therapy. In May, MassMutual also received the Team Hoyt Award from Easter Seals for its efforts to empower individuals with disabilities.
MassMutual offers the following tips for new caregivers:
?À A team approach ÔÇô Seek trusted advisors who have the special needs experience and are willing to guide you through the important financial decisions that affect your entire family.
?À A caregiver and a letter of intent ÔÇô Identify the person who will care for your loved one and draft a letter of intent that will serve as a guide for that person to provide care, support and other assistance after you are gone.
?À Long-term expenses ÔÇô Plan ahead for expenses such as housing, education, work opportunities and daily transportation when determining your loved one's lifetime financial needs.
?À Availability of government benefits ÔÇô Research the benefits that are provided by the federal government for families affected by special needs. You may qualify for assistance.
?À A will in place ÔÇô Make sure you have beneficiary arrangements and a current will that align with your other planning strategies.