Care for An Aging Parent - Their Home or Yours?

The consequences of aging are real, and the impact affects the entire family. If your parent's health is declining and you are now responsible, how will you care for them if they had no plan? Should they live with you, or do you care for them in their home? Have you planned any differently than they have?

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Care for An Aging Parent - Their Home or Yours?
3 Min Read February 5th, 2017 Updated:March 13th, 2022

It is heartbreaking for many people to see their older parent's health decline. It can be terrifying for some people to watch their parents age and become dependent on you and other family members. Sometimes they can be pretty young - in their late 50s or 60s - when you start to see signs of significant aging. Other times it doesn't happen until years later.

There can be several reasons for avoiding the subject; usually, it comes down to denial on their part. Many adults don't do much planning, including planning for their declining health and aging and the financial costs and burdens of long-term health care. Many of us don't think we will ever become dependent on others - or think long-term care is only about nursing homes. 

Aging Happens After 40

Look around; aging happens. We all start to experience declining health after 40, some faster than others. Our health and bodies decline, and once we get past 60, our risk of dementia increases. We start to need help with daily living activities, and this often leads to needing long-term health care either at home or in some type of facility like assisted living.

If they have not planned for long-term care or purchased Long-Term Care Insurance, the family becomes responsible. It usually leads to a family crisis. When your parent starts needing help with daily activities, or it isn't safe for them living alone, you're faced with a complex decision if they had failed to plan: should you move them in with you? 

Hopefully, they had the vision to purchase Long-Term Care Insurance because it would make everything much easier. Don't think you can purchase coverage for them when "you need it." LTC Insurance is medically underwritten, so you must have reasonably good health to obtain coverage. Most people, in fact, purchase coverage in their 50s. 

Who Will Be Responsible?

If your parents had not purchased Long-Term Care Insurance, their care needs, the costs, and the responsibilities fall into your lap. Which sibling gets the responsibility? Then, how do you proceed? Do you bring your parent (or parents) to your home - or do you provide them care in their home?

Your relationship may be one of the first considerations. If you have not been that close with them, it can complicate providing them care, no matter where you provide the care.

Then consider your family situation (spouse, children, career, and other responsibilities) that can make caregiving and living arrangements difficult. Your parent's financial situation – or the benefits under a Long-Term Care policy may make this easier. 

Your Place or Their Place?

Living arrangements and care settings can make a big difference for the care recipient, the caregiver, and their family. If you have become responsible, will your parent or parents live with you - or will you provide care in their home?

discussion with your parents is essential. They may have avoided the subject in the past but bringing them in now to find the best solutions is critical. It will be much harder if they resist help.

 Learn Your Lessons

People often don't learn the lessons from the past to improve the future. What have you done differently than your parents have in planning for longevity, aging, and declining health?

Generally, the default caregiver (absence of a plan like LTC insurance) falls on a daughter or daughter-in-law. Could your children balance a career, a family, and be a caregiver? 

Would you really want them to in the first place? Wouldn't you rather have your adult children have the time to be family instead of the stress and burdens of providing long-term health care for you in the future?

Real Consequences  - Real Life

The consequences of aging and declining health care are real. These consequences affect families and finances in many ways. With long-term health costs increasing rapidly due to higher demand for services, labor shortages, and rising labor costs, the financial impact is significant.

Health insurance won't pay for long-term care, neither will Medicare or supplements other than a handful of days of skilled services. Medicaid will pay for long-term health care but only if you have little or no income and assets - plus, you can't just give away money to qualify for Medicaid. 

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide guaranteed tax-free resources and services to help everyone in this tough situation that we all will face sometime in our lifetime. These benefits include money for quality caregivers, case management (to help find, arrange and manage caregiving), and peace of mind so the family can be family.

Avoid Crisis Management

Crisis management is the worst type of management. A future successful retirement includes a plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging. Before you retire, make sure your family doesn't go through the tremendous physical, emotional, and financial burdens that eldercare places on loved ones. Also, keep in mind many Long-Term Care situations happen well before you get old.

Dealing with your parents getting older is emotionally tough and physically challenging. Think about your family and start planning before you retire.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

How old were you when you first realized you were getting older? Age 30 is a big one for many people; others think of themselves as getting older at age 40 or 50. No matter how you feel, you are getting older. With aging comes the consequences of getting older, physical, emotional, and financial.

Being prepared for future declining health and aging is vital to your retirement planning. People need long-term health care due to illnesses, accidents, or the consequences of aging. The costs of long-term health care services are rising at an alarming rate due to increasing demand and high labor costs.

Part of the problem is health insurance and Medicare, including supplements, will not pay for most of these long-term care costs. While Medicaid will pay for long-term health care, you must have little or no income and assets to qualify for those benefits.

There are only a few solutions. You could depend on family caregivers (often a daughter or daughter-in-law), spend your income and savings on professional care, or add an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy to your retirement plan.

LTC Insurance gives you guaranteed tax-free benefits that give you access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care. Plus, most policies include professional case management to help your family develop a plan of care and find quality care providers.

Long-term care costs are expensive, and family caregivers face physical and emotional burdens. LTC Insurance is an easy and affordable solution but don't delay since policies are medically underwritten. Most people obtain coverage in their 50s.

Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad

Start by reading our guides -  

If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation. 

You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS 

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive to LTC NEWS and not just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

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Use LTC NEWS to drive traffic to your website and help you attract people interested in your products and services. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your products and services.

There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

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LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

You can also affordably purchase a dofollow link to your website or blog on LTC NEWS. Just contact the advertising department.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS 

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com  

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