The good news is that more people survive critical illness and injury today, than ever before. The challenging news it that many survivors need care, and caring for a loved one who is ill can be physically and emotionally demanding. We use the term “caregiver” to describe someone—a parent, partner, adult child or close friend—who provides physical and emotional care to someone at home who needs it, even though providing care is not their profession.
If you are a caregiver, you are not alone. In fact, odds are that even if you are not a caregiver now, at some point you will be. Here is a statistical snapshot from the Vanier Institute done in February 2017.¹
¹Statistical Snapshots: February 2017 The Vanier Institute of Family
Being a caregiver often involves taking on many new, important responsibilities—often on top of an already busy schedule. You may be involved with
- visits to the doctor
- reporting or managing side effects
- keeping family and friends informed
- coordinating care of your loved one
- giving medicines
- keeping track of medicines, test results and papers
- physical care of your loved one including feeding, dressing and bathing
- legal and financial issues.
Often, the support needed is time sensitive (like getting to an appointment) or time specific (like having a meal on the table), and that makes your own time management constrained.
Being a caregiver also includes giving emotional support, such as helping your loved one deal with their feelings and make difficult decisions.
Sometimes, all of this can be overwhelming and stressful, and it can take a toll on your own health.
The reality is that the responsibility of caregiving demands your best efforts almost all the time.
One important factor in keeping yourself healthy is to have regular physical examinations and dental checkups. And if you become ill or have an accident, it is vital that you can bounce back quickly.
Having health insurance in place can give you the confidence that you are protected from unexpected costs for routine or emergency healthcare.
Health insurance can help fund smart ways you can keep yourself healthy.
- Establish regular check-ups with your doctor, and have needed prescription medication costs and some vaccinations costs covered
- Get your dental checkups; neglected oral health may lead to pain and serious infection that can even result in hospitalization. Untreated problems are linked to other diseases like type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and pulmonary infections
- Have an eye examination, updating your lens prescription when you need to using vision care coverage
- Get support and aids if medically you need them, like cushions or back supports
- Have a massage or get chiropractic care or physiotherapy for aches and strains, using your paramedical coverage
- Seek out custom orthotics to ease foot pain to make your life easier
- Talk with a professional for emotional well-being, using psychology support services coverage
- Access online resources available through your insurance plan
When you put your health insurance in place, you can make a claim as soon as you receive your benefits ID card. There is no waiting period for most benefits! Your policy booklet will detail the specific waiting periods in your plan.
That’s good news, because time is of the essence when you are a caregiver.
And paying for healthcare is easier. You just present your benefits card at participating locations for most prescriptions and dental submissions. You’ll be covered for the approved amount right away, and you’ll be reimbursed for all other types of approved claims by cheque (or direct deposit if you sign up for online services).
Your coverage is for life, as long as your premiums are paid. So even if you are not a caregiver today you can be prepared to care for yourself with health insurance anytime in the future.
If you are thinking about getting health insurance, give us a call today. We can help make your choice easier and more convenient. We guarantee we’ll answer your phone calls with a live voice if you call us between the hours of 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. ET.