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What to Do with All of the Time in the New Year?

Old couple in classic car"January 1 brought the gift of 8,760 fresh hours. Protect them, even when juggling caregiver duties."

We're already into the second month of 2016.

On the first of January, we each received the gift of 8,760 hours—plus we get a bonus of 1,440 minutes because it's a leap year with an extra day, February 29. By the time you read this, more than 696 hours will have passed this year, and we can't get them back. They're gone. Forever.

Where have you spent your time so far? This is a pivotal question posed in the article "Caregivers: Spend Your Time Wisely This Year" from the January 15 issue of US News & World Report. And how will you spend your time for the rest of the year?

You have about a half a million minutes left, so think of yourself as the sole heir to a half-million dollars. When you look at it like that, each dollar representing a minute will disappear quickly unless you watch your inheritance and control how you spend it. By getting roped into spending your time (money) on things that aren't beneficial, you're left with less time to do what you want.

Are you stuck at home as a caregiver? Do you feel trapped sometimes because you don't have any time for yourself? Many times, primary caregivers feel constrained by too little time (and money) to take better care of themselves.

Leverage your time and energy with periodic breaks from your duties and take advantage of adult-day services, in-home care, or residential care. An experienced elder law attorney can sort out many of the issues that face caregivers. He or she will have information about adult-day services, caregiver support groups, in-home care, assisted living, and skilled-nursing care.

Take it one step at a time and follow the advice of your elder law attorney. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Reference: US News & World Report (January 15, 2016) "Caregivers: Spend Your Time Wisely This Year"

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