Elder Care: How to Plan Financially to Take Care of Your Aging Parent
Your parents worked hard enough to bring you up and help you find your own path in life. Now, they’re getting old and will soon be unable to take care of themselves as they used to. Now, it’s time for you to return the favor and take care of your parents. As much as you may love your parents and you’re willing to do everything you can for them, taking care of an aging parent could be a full-time commitment.
However, you also have your own life and, perhaps, your own family to think about as well. That’s why it’s important to be well prepared in advance and have a well-developed plan for taking care of your aging parents. That being said, the most important factor you must take into consideration is finances. Here’s how to plan financially to take care of your aging parents.
Create your own plan
Unfortunately, elder care is not cheap. So much, in fact, that those expenses can easily throw you off balance and perhaps even throw you into dept. That’s why it’s important to develop a financial plan of your own, in order to prepare for taking care of your parents. It’s important to talk to your parents about their financial status, in order to determine what kind of budget you have available.
This topic is often tricky, especially when discussing it with your folks, but be patient and consistent. Determine if your parents have a savings account, such as individual retirement funds (IRA and Roth IRA) or a 401(k) plan. This will help you determine how much funds your parents have saved for retirement. Also, you’ll know if it will be enough to cover most expenses or will you have to find an additional source of funding for your parents’ care.
Take care of legal documentation
The older your parents get, the less capable they’ll be to take care of themselves and take care of important tasks, such as managing finances. In such cases, it’s important that you’re legally allowed to make important decisions in their stead regarding their health and finances. If not, you may run into unexpected difficulties in providing adequate care for your parents.
It’s a good idea to talk to your parents and convince them to create a document, such as power of attorney, which will give you the authorization to act on your parents’ behalf. That way, if your parents’ health gets worse unexpectedly, you can act immediately without any hindrances or inconveniences. You’ll also have the legal right to use resources your parents have to cover the expenses of any medical bills and medication they might need.
Check out specialized facilities
As mentioned before, taking care of your aging parents can quickly become a full-time commitment. If you have a job and a family of your own to take care of, it may become too difficult to manage your parents as well. That’s why it’s important to research specialized facilities that can accommodate and take care of your parents once they’re no longer able to take care of themselves. However, it may be difficult for your parents to decide to leave their family home.
That’s why it’s important to gently introduce them to the idea and explain things as smoothly as possible. You can take your parents on a tour, so that they can see various places for themselves. For instance, specialized elderly resorts, such as Mark Moran Little Bay may be particularly to their liking. Allow them to check out places and meet staff members, so that they can get familiarized with the concept.
Communicate with your parents
Communicating with your folks is very important. There’s oftentimes rumors that elderly people can become quite stubborn and won’t easily play along. If that’s the case, it’s important not to rush them into making any decisions and be patient at all times. Talk to your parents about the overall situation.
Even though many aging parents realize that they’re getting old and that they won’t be able to do things as they used to before, it’s still important to go easy on them and allow them to adjust accordingly. Make sure you communicate at all times. Encourage your parents to tell you if they missed any bill payments or if there’s any outstanding debt you need to take care of. The better your communication, the better financial plan you’ll be able to create.
Taking care of your aging parents is not simple or easy. It requires a lot of effort and dedication. What’s more, elderly care is expensive and additional costs can easily pile up. That’s why it’s important to prepare financially, in order to provide the best support for your aging parents.
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Writer: Tracey Clayton
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