To ease the burden family caregivers experience, Oklahoma passed the Caring for Caregivers Act last month, becoming the first state to adopt an expansive caregiver tax credit initiative. Oklahoma State Representative, Tammy West, explains that the purpose of the law is to “allow tax credits for people who are caring for older loved ones in their homes.”
West is hoping that this tax credit helps thousands of Oklahoma residents and acknowledges the hardship families can go through when caring for their loved ones. The Caring for Caregivers Act will help caregivers with expenses that are not covered by Medicaid such as adult diapers and home modifications (e.g., ramps, handlebars).
"It is very difficult for caregivers, on average, a family that's taken care of older loved ones at home, it costs about $7,200 a year, just meeting those needs," West said, "So this is a way to kind of take a little bit of that pressure off."
The Caring for Caregivers Act will allow a tax credit of up to 50% of eligible caregiver costs. However, there are limits. For example:
Although Oklahoma is the only tax break state with such a program currently, there are other resources out there to help seniors remain independent or help take the burden off caregivers. For example, there are community-based programs that can provide healthy meal deliveries. Meal delivery services generally cost between $8-$13 per meal but are often covered under Medicaid and Medicare Advantage.
Verywell Health rated the best meal delivery companies for older adults:
Having healthy prepared meals delivered saves caregivers time and energy while also ensuring that their loved one is still eating a nutritiously dense diet. Having a well-balanced diet is important for overall health.
If you have any questions about home care for your loved ones, you can contact us. You can also check out the rest of our blog posts on our website.
Written by Madison Chalmers
Image by Freepik