Miscellaneous expenses, such as food, clothing and medicine, cost an average of $12,000 a year.

“Do not be a martyr,” Hounsell warned. “Ask for financial help from brothers and sisters.”

Women tend to not make their own finances a priority, she said. Financial advisors need to discuss the possibility of caring for a loved one with their clients and include a ‘cost of caring’ component in the financial plan. When someone is caring for a loved one, a budget should be created for the person the client is helping. All costs should be recorded to prevent future family disputes.

Resources available for caregivers include the Family Caregiver Alliance (www.caregiver.org), the National Alliance for Caregiving (www.caregiving.org), and AARP Caregiving (www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/).

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