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Financial Stress Makes a Tough Situation Worse

Financial stress is an important part of the end of life experience. How can we clear away that pain?

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The end of life experience can come with big financial costs. Some are direct: the cost for medical care not covered by insurance. Others are ripple effects: the loss of income from a spouse who can no longer work, loss of income from a caregiver who can't work or work as much, or new expenses for childcare or other support when one's time must be shifted to caregiving. Many people experience tremendous financial hardship as a part of the end of life experience. Many others escape the costs but experience the stress of worrying about and managing these financial threats.

The article End of Life Care: The Impact of Options and Costs gives a look at the cost for different support services, which gives a feeling for how big the direct costs can be. The article Out of Pocket Medical Costs Threaten Seniors gives a sense of how the burden can add up for families. There's also research that suggests health events play a big role in personal bankruptcy, though there are arguments for and against this conclusion. 

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How can we support the financial capacity and job security people need to experience the end of life in a loving and present way? What can we do to make the ideal end of life experience something that is independent of individual wealth?


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