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Family Care-giving for medically-impaired seniors is an unrecognized institution that benefits this country enormously. What consequences would be suffered by the country if family caregivers were to back away from the sacrifices that they must make to do this? How should the tax code be altered to be fairer to family caregivers?

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This is something I thought about before a time or two. I figure I save the estate, then the taxpayers, over $60K a year living here. Too bad I can't get some SS credit for the volunteer work. A wise caregiver would be paid from the estate if for no other reason than to get the SS credits, particularly a caregiver who is approaching retirement years. But then we get into family dynamics, which can be pretty ugly when it comes to money. (Often these dynamics come from the care receiver who thinks free care is owed to them.)

I think it is almost universal that mothers and other family caregivers are supposed to work for free. If women were big and mean it would probably be different. But if they were big and mean, they probably wouldn't be caregivers. :)
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This is a multi-dimentional topic. How do caregivers benefit the country? What is the cost of cargiving to the giver? What documents and record keeping is needed to settle estates when family members fill the cash-flow gap to support an elder? How do we eloquently state a case for special tax treatment of the Caregiver and the Elder receiving care? What studies have been conducted demonstrating the costs of caring for a medically-incapcitated senior? Are studies needed? Have at it in this discussion thread.
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