Money is money, right? Or more specifically, if you’re spending money, it may appear that it’s always coming out of your own pocket in the same way. This is true in most cases, although there are different ways to spend money.
One of the obvious divergences in types of money and spending is pretax versus after-tax income, which most people are familiar with due to the common use of Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs. But just as with an HSA, one must realize that the benefits of spending pretax dollars are usually seen later, after the tax return is filed and the refund is received, up to a year after the original bill is paid. Donating to charities is just one way people can better utilize pretax income, especially if the person in question is already spending large amounts on assisted living costs for a loved one.
When your parent or loved one can’t afford their own care
Paying out-of-pocket for healthcare costs, particularly expenses for a loved one who doesn’t have their own income, can become extremely difficult. We’ve established in previous posts that the financial burden on caregivers and the home-bound are astronomical and growing, but even if costs of daily living aren’t covered by insurance or aid programs, is it possible to save money while you pay these expenses yourself?
Current legislation doesn’t immediately allow families a tax benefit from paying directly for a loved one’s care. Individuals may have access to certain tax benefits for paying for their own care, but these remain limited. The most common situation occurs when an individual is not capable of drawing an income outside of entitlements and the financial burden of their care (which often costs substantially more than a social security check can cover) falls to close family members such as a sibling or often an adult child.
How then, are family members supposed to cover the costs? Even if one could afford to pay these substantial expenses out-of-pocket each month, why wouldn’t one take advantage of the opportunity to pay these bills with pretax dollars? In truth, it’s because most people in this situation may not be aware of the potential opportunity for tax benefits. This is where a non-profit public charity like the Live Care Foundation comes in.
Making charitable donations to pay bills with pretax money
When you donate to a charity or non-profit organization, you may be able to then claim that donated money as an itemized deduction when you or your accountant files your taxes each year. Itemized deductions help to offset your annual tax burden or, better yet, generate tax refunds. Depending on your income tax bracket, credits or refunds can often be substantial. By donating to a charity like Live Care, you allow the charity to act as a third party that pays your loved one's bills with your donated funds, all the while giving you a tax break for money you were going to spend anyway. Here’s a specific example of how it might work, with the caveat that the following should not be taken as applicable tax advice, but is purely to illustrate the process. In all cases, please consult with your tax advisor. Live Care Foundation does not give tax advice.
An example of using pretax dollars for Grandma’s care
A typical expense for an in-home care service provider is between $25-$30 per hour. The receiver of that care requires anywhere between a handful of hours to 24/7 care. Some even live in memory care facilities that cost much more. So if the low-end of care costs are $25/hr, a single day of care involves 4 hours, say morning and evening assistance, then the daily cost is $100. The monthly cost is $3,000 for just a few hours of care each day. Someone with a $2,500 social security check is ill-equipped to deal with these type of expense.
Let’s say it costs John $1,500 (at just 2 hours per day) for a month to cover for his mother’s care. John pays this expense out-of-pocket from his previously taxed income. If John’s tax bracket is 25 percent, that means John had to earn $2,000 to yield the $1,500 he needs after tax to pay his mom's bill. The true cost to John isn’t just the $1,500 bill; it's the $2,000 of income he had to forfeit to get the bill covered. John now realizes he had to earn that much gross pay in order to net $1,500 to pay the bill. He now wants to know if there is a way to reduce such a financial burden.
Luckily, John can change a $1,500 post-tax expense to a pretax donation that Live Care Foundation will use to pay his mom's bill. John donates $18,000 over the course of a year and itemizes his deductions at tax time. As his tax bracket is 25%, he will earn a tax credit or refund of $4,500. That's a big benefit that will help offset the cost of his mom's care.
Live Care Foundation directly pays both in-home and facility-based care providers using your donations. This allows you to receive potential tax benefits from money you would spend anyway. It's important to distinguish between an individual needing care and a family member paying for that care. The IRS generally does not allow a donor to claim a tax deduction if the donor receives a benefit from making that donation. In the case of John's mom, if she were to use her own money to donate to the charity, she would not be entitled to a tax deduction because she's the individual receiving the care that the donation is funding. But if John makes the donation, he's not receiving the services himself; therefore, he's entitled to claim the deduction.
Reap the benefits of utilizing a charity to pay the cost of care
The truth is, those who donate to nonprofit charities qualify for tax breaks, tax credits, or refunds. Either way, families who have these assisted-living expenses will be better off by utilizing a nonprofit like Live Care to pay such expenses. If you’re already spending the money each month, consider doing it through a charitable organization dedicated to helping ease the burden of care on families. Tax time comes around every year whether we want it to or not, so find out how to make payments through Live Care Foundation to take advantage of tax benefits. Contact us today to learn more.
The COVID-19 coronavirus has now claimed over 175,000 lives and approximately 30 million jobs, according to an estimation from the U.S. jobs report from the Department of Labor released in July. In the resulting economic crisis, families and individuals are hurting financially. However, with revenue and job losses, corporate America is not unaffected, including the nonprofit sector.
Some reporting suggests that nonprofits and charities have seen a drastic reduction in donations and revenue, which means that they in turn are less able to provide help and aid to the most vulnerable during these difficult times. This isn’t even addressing the job losses the nonprofits have suffered themselves; 1.6 million nonprofit jobs were lost from March through May, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. With so many people and entities suffering financially, it’s a time to stop and reassess what’s really important.
Although nonprofits and charities are suffering financially, that isn’t to say that corporations or people in positions of power have failed to give of their plenty. Near the beginning of the pandemic’s effects in the U.S., Forbes published an article showing great donations and corporate giving from big names like Microsoft and Google. Special charitable funds have been established to deal with specific needs as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Individual philanthropists also did their part to meet needs and lend aid to nonprofits as well as donor-advised funds, according to a New York Times article published in June. But there’s still so much to do in the fight to provide basic human needs to those suffering.
While it’s apparent that many individuals, philanthropists, and even some corporations are doing their part to help during these unprecedented times, it’s also clear that there’s more to do. The time for giving is far from over—if anything, it’s just beginning. With larger corporations stepping up to the plate of giving, it’s also necessary for mid-level corporations and beyond to join in the effort. Only through the collective impact of multiple corporations, entities and individuals giving can we provide basic human necessities to those in need.
What are Basic Human Needs?
When you think of necessities, you might immediately jump to things like food and shelter. It’s true that these things are vital, but they aren’t the only types of aid that are essential. Think about healthcare, education, and elder care. Someone in a wheelchair who relies on home care aid to bathe, dress, eat and function can’t live without that type of help, even though it’s not directly related to food and shelter. Corporations large and small can do their part to contribute to meeting these basic human needs for so many.
Sometimes in order to make a big impact, you need to start small. Thousands of smaller nonprofits aren’t getting the funding they require to achieve their aims, which means that the people they serve won’t be helped. The Live Care Foundation is just one such organization that uses donated funds to create charitable grants for those with extended care costs. Visit their webpage to make a donation today. Every little bit helps, whether it’s on an individual or corporate scale.
It’s been a little over five months since the coronavirus made sweeping changes across the country, and although promising results are being seen in various vaccine clinical trials, Americans are far from out of the woods. Political unrest, social upheaval and natural disasters are also occurring on top of everything else, which means that many families around the nation are in desperate need of food and financial support, to name a few.
With so much going on at the moment, it’s difficult for many to know where to start in offering help. Countless causes are in need of support, but here are five that you should prioritize as they offer life-saving services to people that need them to live and function during these times of hardship.
1. Feeding America
With job losses and food shortages, it’s never been more important for food banks to receive donations than now. Although you could go through your pantry and donate old canned food to your local food bank, it’s much more effective to donate money. Choose to support your local food banks or you can donate to Feeding America, a nonprofit which has created a COVID-19 response fund specifically for food banks across America. Countless people are facing hunger due to school closures, job disruptions, lack of paid sick leave and the disproportionate coronavirus impact on elderly adults and low-income families. Anyone can help by donating on their website.
2. National Domestic Violence Hotline
Due to stay-at-home orders and increased isolation for everyone, domestic violence is on the rise and victims have even fewer options than normal. If you’re not sure how to help yourself or someone you know, consider directing them to thehotline.org; a place where anyone can receive support connected to domestic violence. According to their website, “The Hotline provides confidential, one-on-one support to each caller/chatter/texter, offering crisis intervention, options for next steps, and direct connection to sources for immediate safety. Our comprehensive database holds more than 5,000 agencies and resources in communities all across the country. Bilingual advocates are on hand to speak with callers, and our Language Line offers translations in 170 different languages.” Anyone can also donate via their website.
3. National Alliance on Mental Illness
Parents and caregivers are experiencing increased work demands while also being at home with their children. Working from home is no picnic, and many people are experiencing increased mental illness and mental health crises. Just as it’s important to support one’s physical health at this time, supporting mental health is also vital. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness provide support and resources to all individuals on a personal level with a national backing and network.
4. Live Care Foundation
It’s no secret that the already marginalized and vulnerable are those suffering the most during this pandemic. The disabled community is no exception to this reality. Those who are elderly and/or disabled and receive home health services have never needed more help than now to cover the costs of simply living. Pre-pandemic, affording services like nursing homes, care centers or home health services was difficult, and many of these services are considered “extra” when really they are essential for so many people. Live Care Foundation offers assisted-care charitable grants to families and individuals in need. By contributing to the Live Care Foundation, you can help individuals receive the care they need to eat, live and function despite the pandemic. Make a donation today.
5. The American Red Cross
In addition to a desperate need for blood donations, the American Red Cross is also asking for money donations to support their mission and services they are providing in the wake of the pandemic. According to their website, the Red Cross has offered comfort, support and refuge during and after disasters such as home fires, tornadoes and hurricanes during the pandemic. By delivering relief where it’s most needed such as quarantine shelters, food distribution, and health and mental health services to those in need, the Red Cross is doing great things for so many people.
As the coronavirus crisis continues deep into 2020, things are looking dire for many organizations and individuals. On a corporate level, revenue losses are mounting and companies are making huge personnel and spending cuts to stay afloat. Even government workers aren’t protected from pandemic fallout, as the Washington Post shows in their data on state and local governments which are scrambling to redo their budgets in an attempt to maintain services and jobs, although unemployment is mounting across the board. Most of all, individuals are struggling to make ends meet, especially for those who have lost jobs or been furloughed. With the $2.2 Trillion CARES Act losing funding July 31 and no extension in sight, tens of millions of american families will lose this extra but vital portion of unemployment aid.
Aiding Families supporting disabled loved ones
Even those who still have jobs have dealt with increased responsibilities at work while dealing with pay cuts due to deficits and layoffs. It’s no surprise that people are suffering during these tumultuous times, financially and otherwise. But as hard as it is to pay one’s own way right now, it’s even more difficult for those supporting loved ones and family members who make no income at all. Those acting as caregivers or at least financially supporting a homebound loved one have to worry about affording their own necessities along with the services and types of care that make everyday living possible for their loved ones.
Funding essential services
For the disabled and homebound, groceries and a roof over their head aren’t the only necessities that matter. Multiple professionals may be involved in helping a disabled person function day-to-day. Certified Nurses Assistants (CNAs), medical assistants, Home Health Assistants (HHA) and non-certified aids are all vital to helping people function and thrive when they’re confined to their bed or home. But being able to afford specialized home and personal care from any type of professional isn’t optional; it’s the only way countless Americans are able to get out of bed, get dressed, eat, and live their lives every day. On top of their own costs of living, families with disabled loved ones must find a way to pay for home care for their loved ones. These services aren’t inexpensive, and many receivers of such care and their loved ones are struggling to keep up financially, especially considering the current climate.
Helping nonprofits continue their missions
Even as individuals, families and communities are calling on nonprofits for assistance now more than ever, the foundations providing help are themselves dangerously low on funds. Betsy Morris of the Wall Street Journal highlights this fact in her article, speaking about one particular nonprofit that has “been forced to cancel two of its three fundraising events: a spring luncheon and a 15-year anniversary celebration in May. Its Blue Jean gala in October is up in the air. Together the three events would have funded between a third and half the charity’s $600,000 annual operating budget; some of its donors are hurting, too.” Corporate donors are another large source of revenue for nonprofit organizations, but corporations are having to consider laying off employees, so nonprofit giving is often the first thing to go when cutting spending.
Please Donate today
It’s clear that very few if any are going through the current situation unaffected. But how can you or your company help in a meaningful and effective way? It’s hard to know who to help these days since so many people are in need, but you can certainly do your part by donating to a vetted nonprofit that has the tools and operations in place to really aid those who need it. If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to help right now, do what you can by donating to the Live Care Foundation today. We’ll ensure that every penny goes towards helping disabled persons afford the essential services they need.
How to Help Elderly Loved Ones During the Pandemic
Across the board, it’s been a difficult time for everyone. Most people have someone in their lives who may be older and/or more vulnerable during this pandemic. So whether you have elderly parents you want to help or a family member who lives on their own and may need some assistance, here are some simple ways to offer support, help and protection without adding to their risk of exposure. It’s at times like these where we must find ways to work together to create positive outcomes for everyone. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Meeting basic needs
Depending on your loved one’s situation, they may or may not be able to take care of their activities of daily living (ADL) and the related care to help them achieve it. ADL include:
With your loved one getting the continued help they need, it will be easier for them to focus on staying healthy and happy, despite the recent hardships. So while healthcare should continue to be a priority, you can go forward with caution and security.
Bolstering mental health
Aside from unemployment and a high hospitalization rate, one of the hardest things hitting the country right now is a toll on mental health. Social interaction is hard to come by, especially if one is elderly and confined to their home for their own physical safety. However, social distancing measures don’t necessarily mean that no social interaction can occur. Brainstorm how to utilize today’s modern technology to help your loved one feel connected and supported during a time of intense physical isolation.
Host a virtual family game night and do the work to troubleshoot your loved one’s technological questions and needs. Set them up with a reliable video chatting service to host book clubs, family meet-ups and more. Call them frequently to check in or just to chat and see how their day is going. Kill two birds with one stone by occupying your children with letter-writing to an elderly friend or family member. This consistent communication will help them feel like someone cares about them, even if they can’t see people in person.
If you’ve been strictly isolating, you may also find occasional, well-planned in-person visits to be helpful. Do what you can to keep their spirits up. According to Verywellmind.com, going as far as to limit the time they spend watching the news could even be helpful in more ways than one.
Harnessing community resources
Although many community services have been suspended or postponed during the pandemic, several helpful programs still are functioning. Volunteers can do many helpful things from running errands to providing help with any instrumental activities of daily living, such as dropping off groceries, helping to manage finances, or ensuring your loved one is taking their medication properly.
Meals on Wheels and other programs are still dedicated to providing nourishment to seniors and the homebound, even during this complicated time. For a more complete list of resources for the elderly living alone, check out this list at AgingInPlace.com.
Ensuring proper monitoring
Although many people feel like this would be the worst time to be in a doctor’s office, it’s actually vital to stay on top of chronic health conditions. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other issues don’t just stop causing problems because there’s a pandemic. Encourage your loved ones to see their doctor for such conditions, at the urging of experts like Hopkinsmedicine.org. Like any medical facility, it will be disinfected and spaced out to ensure patient safety.
If you’re struggling to cover the costs of home care or added expenses of caring for your loved ones during the pandemic, see if you qualify for a grant from Live Care, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people shoulder the financial burden of extended care. Learn more today at livecaregrants.org.
For many americans, it’s becoming harder and harder to break even financially, let alone having savings to put away for a rainy day. With job losses mounting due to the pandemic, making end’s meet is on the mind of countless unemployed persons. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a slight decrease in unemployment for May as some people returned to work, it’s unclear whether Americans will be able to weather the economic storm with coronavirus cases on the rise in most states across the nation, according to the New York Times Latest Map and Case Count. Of course, the number of cases doesn’t directly cause the number of jobs lost, but the two factors definitely have an interactive relationship. More cases mean more restrictions businesses must implement, along with tightening their own budgets as a result of revenue loss. Job losses are just one result of these business budget cuts.
People learn how to ‘tighten their belts,’ during a time of need, but there are certain places in a budget that you just can’t afford to cut back on. Groceries, utilities and the like are all considered needs, but one budget necessity many often overlook is that of medical/residential care, particularly when it comes to that of disabled family members.
Pandemics affect everyone
Before the pandemic hit, there was already a sizable population of people in financial need due to the expense of caring for aging and/or disabled family members. Lower and middle class members of society with disabled family members were struggling to pay their bills.
Here’s an example to put it in perspective: Maria works in a mid-level customer service position for a popular airline. Thanks to the government bailout, she’s been furloughed and not laid off, but there’s no telling how long that will last if the airlines continue to do poorly during this era of pandemics and travel restrictions. She pays his bills on time, and has some money saved and diversified with a few small investments, but it’s clear that these savings won’t support her aged mother in a skilled nursing facility for the next decade or more. Maria is going to have to figure out how to afford something that’s absolutely necessary: the care of her aging parent.
Consider another example: Stan worked 70+ hours a week with multiple jobs until he was laid off from his job at a sporting good’s store. Now he’s hoping to make up the extra by picking up shifts as a truck driver that he used to just do on the weekends, but he can’t do that without further training and cost. However, it’s not looking good since all of his disposable income is going into payments for a group home where his disabled brother lives. He’s not sure what he can do to cover the costs.
Giving to those less fortunate
Although far more people live paycheck to paycheck due to economic issues rather than a lack of spending savvy, the truth is that Americans from all walks of life are feeling the financial effects of the recent pandemic. People can apply for unemployment, but many employees have been furloughed indefinitely or forced to take pay cuts.
There’s no simple solution to issues such as these, but charitable giving can aid people in paying for the care of their loved ones. Whether it’s in-home care or a separate facility, these types of care are necessities and don’t come cheap. If you’re looking to help those in need at this difficult time, consider donating to the Live Care Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity dedicated to providing grants for extended care expenses to those in need.
It’s been a long six months of 2020, and the truth is that very few experts can say what the next six months will look like. The impact of COVID-19 is being seen everywhere, perhaps especially in elderly populations, as the most recent numbers provided by the CDC show. Whether you or a loved one lives at home or in a nursing home, it’s a stressful time filled with uncertainty. Keeping you and your loved ones safe is on most people’s minds right now, so let’s talk about the pros and cons of employing home health workers amid the current pandemic.
Convenient and essential care
Home health, what does it mean exactly? Aging.com emphasises that home health workers can offer any combination of the following services to the elderly or otherwise homebound:
Benefits outweigh the risks
Of course there are risks in continuing to have a home health worker come and go from your home, but that doesn’t mean you should not get the help you need. Just as getting groceries or even ordering them online has slight risks, the benefits (having the food your body needs) outweigh the potential risks. Pandemics cause worries over exposure to germs and the coronavirus, but home health workers are some of the best people to interact with because they are already trained in minimizing risk for the people they care for.
Hand washing, routine cleaning of equipment and the patient’s home, and reducing the risk of transmitting pathogens are all things that come as second nature to home health workers. They also know to socially distance themselves in other aspects of their lives to prioritize patient safety, as shown in the CDC guidelines to protect elderly patients.
If you have concerns about being exposed due to having someone from the outside world come into your home, discuss your concerns with your home health worker and the agency that employs them. By voicing your concerns, you can get the answers you seek and push for improvements in safety procedures, when necessary.
Home health workers implementing added precautions
Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News writes that despite concerns, home health workers are ensuring that every precaution is taken. “Hospice and home health nurses, home care aides and temporary nurses are stepping up protective measures. These include calling patients at home before they visit to see if they or anyone in the household have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. They’re also washing hands in front of patients and wearing masks and other protective gear to reduce infections and to make patients more comfortable about their precautions.” If anything, home health workers are often at more risk than the patients themselves, as they’re dealing with increased risk of exposure as well as the potential of losing their jobs due to patient fears.
Such hazards for health workers are piling up, including pathogen exposure, long working hours, psychological distress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stigma, and physical and psychological violence from their patients or even the general public, says a document published by the World Health Organization on healthcare workers rights and responsibilities.
Despite the fears both rational and irrational, it’s vital that people continue receiving their routine care. Health cannot be maintained if your basic needs aren’t met, so do what you can to protect your health by continuing to receive care. In the meantime, home health workers will continue to do what they do best: taking care of those who need it.
If you’re struggling to obtain or maintain home health care due to financial strain, visit livecaregrants.org to see if you qualify for aid.
All around the world, the impacts of the recent pandemic, both immediate and repercussive, cannot be overstated. Deaths, economic downturns and job losses are just a few of the struggles that we as global citizens will have to grapple with in a post COVID-19 world. That being said, there are certain populations who are affected by the pandemic more than others.
The most vulnerable
It’s obvious that the elderly have been much more vulnerable to the physical effects of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean the only effects we should be concerned about are physical. As people all around the world are learning, being stuck at home can affect one’s mental, emotional and physical health as well. In addition, COVID-19 has also highlighted a glaring weakness in healthcare practices for the elderly, in that existing homecare was difficult to afford and obtain before the pandemic, but is even more complicated to obtain in the current climate.
New levels of isolation
As a population, the elderly and the pre-pandemic homebound were already isolated. For instance, an 85-year-old woman might rely on her adult daughter to obtain and bring her groceries, or to help her shower several times a week. In the fallout of COVID-19, someone like this woman will be exposed just by nature of her everyday life—that is, relying on a person outside their home to help them in basic tasks and survival.
But the concerns for the elderly should be more than just mortality rates. Many elderly people may not have access to social media, an important tool in combating loneliness and connecting with loved ones in this unprecedented time. Community events that drew seniors and the elderly out of their regular spheres are no longer happening, and these populations have less reasons than ever to leave the house and interact with others on a social level. Such isolation can exacerbate existing health problems while also increasing fear and emotional suffering, as explained in this United Nations report.
Although the CDC has outlined specific guidelines for those in long-term care facilities and other forms of shared housing for those over age 65, it’s still important to consider all the ways we can help keep the elderly safe—mentally as well as physically.
Difficulty maintaining at-home care
With job losses as high as 20 million in the past month, there are a lot of people that suddenly aren’t able to afford what they used to. One such casualty of a thinning budget could be Grandma’s part-time nurse or a disabled son’s in-home care. Services such as personal care and grooming, not to mention grocery shopping and light housekeeping can be expensive at the best of times, but particularly now.
Personal care assistants, nurses and medical assistants who fill these positions are putting themselves at risk, and so should be paid accordingly. As the costs mount for essential care for the elderly and homebound, it’s obvious that many will require financial assistance to maintain the same level of care they had before. As for those who couldn’t pay for such services before, there’s little hope for it now without some form of assistance. That’s why a nonprofit like the Live Care Foundation can help lift the financial burden for families, one donation at a time. Do what you can to help the most vulnerable by giving today.
Rachel Harris Ms. Harris is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys reading, triathlons, and baking.
It’s always fulfilling when you donate to a worthy cause, especially when you know the funds will be used properly. Helping people and organizations has never been easier due to advances in technology and globalization. But, just like any other transaction or charitable donation, participating in the world of nonprofits demands a finite amount of research and awareness. There’s also the matter of convenience to consider, particularly if you or your company are considering sizeable donations to various organizations. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to ensure that your donation is going to a reliable and vetted source. One of the best ways to do this is by using something called a donor-advised fund.
What is a Donor Advised Fund (or DAF for short)?
Donor-Advised Funds, sometimes called DAFs, are kind of like a designated checking account for money you allocate to charitable donations. Just like you want to have an accountant and a diverse portfolio for your normal savings, income and spending money, most people eventually realize that they want to be intentional about how they store and spend their charitable funds as well.
Once you’ve established a DAF through a third-party nonprofit, this 501(c)3 sponsoring organization manages the account and its investments. Such hosting nonprofits could include community foundations to financial service firms’ nonprofit arms like Vanguard Charitable or Schwab Charitable.
Why a DAF?
Donor-advised funds aren’t the only way to give to charity, but they are one of the most convenient and tax beneficial ways to give to specific institutions. It’s for this reason that DAFs have mushroomed in popularity, particularly within the past decade. The advent and growth of DAFs shows just how much philanthropists like to invest in organizations they believe in, which is always a good thing. In fact, Accounting Today cites the most recent 2019 DAF data report as showing the number of DAFs increasing by 300 percent since 2010, and grants coming out of them having tripled from $7.24 billion to $23.42 billion in the past ten years.
The National Philanthropic Trust emphasizes the three main benefits of DAFs for individuals and institutions, alike: first, donors receive an immediate tax deduction rather than after the tax year’s calculations are made; second, donors can recommend grants to their favorite charities whenever they like; and third, donors have ease of use by being able to donate and/or allocate funds at any time.
Of course, DAFs aren’t the only way to give, and they may not be right for everyone. The main types of givers who will enjoy a DAF are those who can give regularly, choose specific causes where they’d like their money to grow, and anyone who would enjoy a convenient user experience akin to online banking.
Where does the money go?
Contributors to DAFs can recommend where certain grants will go, but for the most part, donation decisions are made by the financial professionals managing them (those working for the sponsoring organization or 501(c)3 nonprofit. However, contributors may not always immediately know which organization they want to receive a grant, so doing some research about nonprofits you’d like to support always helps.
Live Care Foundation is one such nonprofit that uses donated funds to help those who are in need. People living with disabilities or the elderly who require home care services and/or additional financial support for medical or life planning expenses all receive help from the Live Care Foundation. As healthcare costs rise and the population of the elderly and homebound grows, Live Care Foundation is dedicated to helping to lift the burden for as many Americans as possible. Find out more at livecaregrants.org today.
Rachel HarrisMs. Harris is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys reading, triathlons, and baking.
It’s a difficult time for the world. COVID-19 has risen in numbers and fatalities, and the effects of this pandemic are being felt far and wide. Despite these hard times, people are going about doing good. One such proof of this is families finding ways to visit their elderly loved ones while maintaining social distancing, such as this Irish local meeting his grandson through a window for the first time ever. More than just family members are responding in positive ways, including members of communities like these Sikhs in Australia, who are working to reach out to the homebound and others who are most vulnerable to the virus. Obviously, people are doing their best to support one another in this unprecedented challenge. If you or a loved one fall into the group of people that are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, here are some ways to make it through this period of isolation.
Social distancing is real, and it’s never been more important for those over the age of 65 to be vigilant about staying physically isolated from the world, especially since even loved ones can carry the virus without showing symptoms. Instead of having your family over for dinner, consider doing a virtual game night with loved ones or friends. If you currently reside in a care center, try getting to a window or courtyard so you see visitors from a safe distance. As always, video chatting on apps such as FaceTime and Duo can do the trick for some quick socialization, or you can download an increasingly popular video chatting application called Marco Polo. Phone calls work, too. Just do your best to reach out and stay connected with your support system.
As any normally homebound person knows, it’s important to keep moving and to enjoy regular time outside to break the monotony. As science shows us, the benefits of being outside are both physical and mental. Lowering your blood pressure, increasing blood flow, improved memory and help in fighting depression—something we all could probably use right now—are all benefits of spending time outdoors. If you don’t have access to a way to get outside on your own, do what you can to keep moving whether that be a hallway walk or a dance party with yourself. Just keep moving and avoid a sedentary state when possible.
Be gentle with yourself
Even though you may not be encountering direct struggles such as infection or job loss—or even if you are—it’s important to let your feelings be felt. Much of the actual processing of feelings comes in the form of acknowledging them first. In addition to feeling anxious, overwhelmed and tired, many Americans may be experiencing grief, says David Kessler of the Harvard Business Review. What’s important is that we as a nation are able to realize that nothing will be the same, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of happiness or humanity, for that matter.
Speaking of how things will end, remember that this won’t last forever. There is an end in sight, and how we get there depends largely on how we take each day at a time.
Know that this won’t last forever
Of course it’s important to stay informed, but don’t get too wrapped up in watching the news. Instead, turn to trusted sources like the CDC and the WHO to help you determine how to stay safe as the pandemic continues to develop and guidelines change. Most importantly, be willing to take a step back and enjoy life’s smallest joys and victories. While you’re taking a step back, try to see the big picture. This pandemic had a beginning, and it will have an end. And, just as Ed Yong of the Atlantic reminds us, the endgame and the aftermath will both largely depend on our presence of mind and willingness to follow social isolation guidelines, even long after they’ve gone out of style.
If you’re looking for a way to spread good in the world from the comfort of your own couch, consider donating to a charitable organization such as Live Care Foundation. As a place of financial support for the homebound and elderly, Live Care Foundation supports these populations and their deserving caregivers across the United States. Donate today.
Rachel HarrisMs. Harris is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys reading, triathlons, and baking.