I spoke at an event sponsored by the law firm of Marshall, Parker & Weber in Williamsport, PA yesterday morning, and I learned some things that I want to share with you.

Did you know if you are working outside of the home (full or part time) and you take a parent or a spouse to adult day care or hire a caregiver to come into your home to be with them while you’re at work, you can receive a Dependent Care Tax Credit of up to $3,000 a year? If you are caring for both parents, you can receive up to $6,000 in tax credits.

Vicky Trimmer, an attorney who is an expert in elder law and estate planning talked about a variety of ways she helps clients find resources and save money. She said, “It might not sound like a lot, but I figure if I can help someone save even a few hundred dollars, it might pay for a month’s worth of their prescriptions.”

Vicky also said if you are paying for more than one-half of your care receiver’s expenses, you can claim that person as a dependent on your taxes, which would then allow you to deduct travel expenses to and from doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals, including mileage, meals and overnight lodging.

As I sat in the audience and listened to Attorneys Matt Parker and Vicky Trimmer, I couldn’t help but think of how much difference it would have made if I’d had this kind of help and expertise during the years I was a long-distance caregiver for my parents.

The law firm of Marshall, Parker & Weber is a member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association. This is a relatively small group of elder law attorneys who employ geriatric care managers on their staff to help families locate available resources and preserve their financial resources. You can visit their national website and click on the tab at the top right-hand side of the page to see if there is a LCPLFA member close to you.

Nothing will ever make the job of caregiving easy or stress free, but having access to this kind of expertise and support can make a big difference. It costs a little money to hire professionals, but I’d be willing to bet that in the long run, you could end up saving more than you pay when you utilize their services and follow their advice. This is a link to the national website: https://www.lcplfa.org/

The woman who is laughing in the photo below is Attorney Tammy Weber. I was impersonating my mother and telling the story about how my dad asked Mom to arrange a sex date for him with the girl he’d taken to his high school prom in 1937. (Stroke-related dementia had taken a toll on Dad’s ability to think rationally about a few segments of his life.)