3 Ways to Save Money While Caring for a Loved One from Afar

3 Ways to Save Money While Caring for a Loved One from Afar

by: Claire Wentz


According to Today’s Caregiver, average out-of-pocket spending among long-distance family caregivers sits at about $8,728 a year — accounting for things like household expenses, medical needs, personal care supplies, and professional care services. 

However, there are a few things long-distance caregivers can do to save money while caring for a loved one from afar — and we’ll discuss them in the sections below. 



1. Senior Cell Phone Plans 

When you’re a long-distance caregiver, reliable phone coverage is crucial for staying connected to your loved one — and several affordable cellular plans are available to seniors. Per NerdWallet, a few great options include the following:

      Pay-as-you-go plans through T-Mobile and AT&T

      Build-your-own plans through Ting and US Mobile

      GreatCall prepaid phone plans (for emergencies only)

      Unlimited plans through Boost Mobile and T-Mobile


To save on a cell phone plan for your loved one, make sure you're only paying for the features and services your senior will use. If your loved one will only use the cell phone in the event of an emergency, a basic plan should suffice.


2. Adult Day Care Services

Long-term care isn’t cheap, but help from an organization like Northeast Adult Day Care is worth considering if your loved one could benefit from one or more days of caring daytime assistance each week. Since you’ll only pay for the services your loved one wants or needs, this is an affordable alternative to in-home care, assisted living services, or nursing home care. Even during the COVID19 epidemic, adult day care centers are still providing much needed services, such as:

      Telehealth phone calls 

      Meal delivery services 

      Medication administration

      Socially distanced activities

      Access to community resources 


While adult day care services vary depending on how many days and hours of care are needed each week, your loved one’s Medicaid plan, long-term care insurance coverage, or VA benefits may help to reduce these costs.


3. Affordable Medical Alert Devices

When you live more than an hour away from your loved one, a medical alert system can provide you with the peace of mind that your loved one is safe, healthy, and comfortable at home — even when you can’t stop by to check in on him or her. Plus, medical alert systems are available to fit nearly any budget — and you could even qualify for a discount through your loved one’s health insurance plan or AARP member discount. If you or your loved one holds an AARP membership, for instance, you can receive discounts on any of the following medical alert systems:

      Bay Alarm Medical


      Medical Alert



      Life Alert


In addition to medical alert devices, an AARP membership can help you to save on other things like meal delivery services, prescription medications, in-home care, cell phone plans, and much more.


A Final Word

Before purchasing a new cell phone, medical alert device, or anything else your long-distance loved one may want or need, be sure to visit an online deal site like Rakuten to search for promo codes, coupons, and cashback offers at participating retailers. If you shop at stores with free shipping — such as eBay, HSN, Glasses.com, or U.S. Cellular — you’ll save even more money on your purchases. 

Long-distance caregiving can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly, but these tips will help you save money on the different services and technologies your loved one may need to live safely and comfortably from afar. These options will help you reduce some of the burdens of long-distance caregiving, without spending more money than you can afford.