Workshop series to address finances of caregiving

Five-session program will help families organize information and discuss legal issues

“Holidays are a valuable opportunity for family conversations, and some of those conversations can be intentionally geared toward planning for future needs of aging family members.” This suggestion comes from Barb Wollan, a Human Sciences Specialist in family finance from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Wollan adds “while there is no need to get into details over Thanksgiving dinner, having family members together may create an opportunity to introduce the idea of planning ahead and/or to gain family members’ agreement to begin talking about the future.” It can also be a good time to share information about an upcoming opportunity from ISU Extension which can pave the way for future discussions.

Hamilton County Extension will offer a workshop series beginning Jan. 24 called “Finances of Caregiving.” This five-session workshop helps families gather and organize financial and legal information, and introduces legal issues families may not have addressed.

Participants will also gain insight into the value of advance planning for future care needs, options for covering the costs of care, and effective communication strategies. “We also address the importance of protecting the financial security of the caregiver,” reports Wollan, “since caregivers who leave or reduce employment often face long-term financial risks.”

“A short conversation during a holiday gathering is only a first step,” notes Wollan, “but it can set the stage for a future family meeting or for other planning steps.” The “Finances of Caregiving” workshop is designed not only for people who are currently in a caregiving role, but also for individual or families who want to start developing plans for long term care in the future. Multiple family members are encouraged to attend together: the $35 registration fee covers up to 3 individuals from the same family.

Pre-registration is required for the workshop series, which will be held on Thursdays, 4:00-6:00 p.m., from January 24 – February 21, will open in December; look for details at www.extension.iastate.edu/hamilton or call Hamilton County Extension at 515-832-9597. Specific questions about content can be addressed to Barb Wollan, workshop presenter, at bwollan@iastate.edu or 832-9597.

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