Challenges: Adult Children Caring for Aging Parent

Adult children caring for aging parents often face the dual challenge of managing their own work and family responsibilities while ensuring their parents receive the care and support they need. This balancing act can lead to emotional and physical stress, underscoring the need for adequate planning and resources.

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Challenges: Adult Children Caring for Aging Parent
3 Min Read July 24th, 2015 Updated:February 19th, 2024

Many families face the crucial question of what to do when their aging parents can no longer care for themselves yet are not inclined or do not require the services of a nursing home. For numerous baby boomers, this situation often leads to moving their parents into their own homes.


Few middle-aged families prioritize planning for the potential caregiving needs of an older parent, typically focusing more on career advancement and familial responsibilities. However, with medical advancements contributing to increased longevity, the likelihood of requiring assistance with daily living activities or facing dementia also rises.


The desire for our parents to maintain independence throughout their retirement is universal. We envision them enjoying their later years with complete autonomy. Yet, the reality is that they, like anyone else, may eventually need support, potentially necessitating long-term care services. Without a preemptive strategy, this scenario can impose a significant physical, emotional, and financial strain not only on them but also on family members who may be thrust into the roles of caregivers or care managers.


Conversation Ahead of Time


The conversation around future retirement planning and long-term care needs is critical, especially for those mapping out their own retirements. For many elderly parents, the window for effective planning may have already closed due to their age or health conditions. However, for others, the focus should shift to proactive planning for their future. 


Obtaining Long-Term Care Insurance can offer a solution, providing access to quality care in the preferred setting and safeguarding retirement savings. Moreover, it relieves families from the burden of caregiving, allowing them to cherish their time together as a family. This approach secures financial stability and ensures peace of mind, knowing that the needs of both the care recipients and their caregivers are addressed.


LTC Insurance Helps Families with Quality Care


Many families who proactively secured Long-Term Care Insurance are now experiencing the benefits, as these policies provide essential funds for quality care. This foresight safeguards assets and significantly eases the caregiving burden on family members. Moreover, utilizing benefits from a Long-Term Care policy means many can bypass the need for nursing home care altogether.


In 2023, leading insurance companies distributed over $14.1 billion in Long-Term Care Insurance benefits, affirming the effectiveness of these policies in offering financial support for care in the preferred setting.


Take, for example, the case of 51-year-old Polly Pickering, who found herself in a challenging situation as her mother's health declined. Despite never envisioning her mother would move into her home, Polly told WFTS-TV in Tampa that she found solace in knowing her 79-year-old mother, diagnosed with early dementia, receives the best care possible while also spending precious time with her teenage son.


However, the role reversal has been challenging for Polly, who is now responsible for setting boundaries for her mother, echoing the parental guidance she once received. 


Role Reversal


What's toughest for Polly is the role reversal. She's the one setting the rules and limits for the woman who once did the same for her. And with full-time, in-home care, the single mother says her house feels a little crowded.


We're used to living alone. And now we have not only my mother but her caregivers here all the time, 24/7.


The presence of round-the-clock in-home care has made her household, accustomed to just Polly and her son, feel overcrowded, with care costs reaching $13,000 monthly. Thankfully, Long-Term Care Insurance policies purchased by her parents cover nearly half of these expenses, supplemented by a pension, making this level of care feasible.


We would not be able to do this at all if not for the fact that she and my father had the foresight to have Long-Term Care Insurance.


Despite the financial support, Polly has paused her career to dedicate herself to her mother's care, a testament to her commitment to ensuring her mother's well-being during this life stage.


I couldn't live with myself not doing as much as I could to make her life as good as good as it can possibly be at this stage of her life.


Quality Care is Costly


Caring for a loved one at home can vary in expense, with many families finding part-time assistance sufficient. However, for those like Polly, welcoming a parent into their home requires emotional support from friends and family and exploring all available resources, including government programs offering meal delivery and other services.


While not all long-term care, such as around-the-clock dementia support, carries a steep price tag, the overall cost of care services is climbing rapidly. This surge is attributed to a growing demand for care combined with inflationary pressures.


Costs vary depending on the type of services required and where you live - LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - Find Your Location.


Finding Quality Care for Loved Ones


For individuals in their 40s or 50s, it's crucial to plan for a parent requiring care. If you're facing this situation currently, resources like the Aging in Place guide can offer valuable advice.


LTC NEWS has several guides available to assist you when thinking about caring for a loved one. 



If your aging parents may not be eligible to purchase Long-Term Care Insurance since underwriting requirements require someone to have fairly good health when they apply for coverage. Most people get LTC Insurance before they retire.


However, your parents deserve quality care options. Family caregivers find the role of being a caregiver as hard, and balancing caregiving with work and family obligations is challenging and not advisable for anyone.


The LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory offers a convenient way to search for caregivers and long-term care facilities, featuring over 80,000 listings. This free and extensive directory simplifies the search for quality care, benefiting the whole family.


Long-Term Care Directory | Find Care Near You | LTC News


Retirement Plan Should Include LTC Plan


The costs and demands of 24-hour in-home care underscore the importance of early planning. As many baby boomers discover, accommodating an aging parent at home is a complex but often necessary solution to their care needs.


Are you prepared for the consequences of aging and future long-term care? You can prevent the burden from falling on those you love and the substantial financial cost of quality care services by incorporating a Long-Term Care Insurance policy into your retirement plan.


How To Apply For Long-Term Care Insurance


Premiums are affordable; however, remember that premiums vary dramatically among insurance companies for the same coverage.


Long-Term Care Insurance Cost: Factors, Considerations, and Price Ranges


Seek assistance from an experienced independent Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the numerous options and find affordable coverage.

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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

Being prepared for the consequences of aging and future long-term care needs will enhance your peace of mind and promote a better quality of life in the coming decades. 

A Long-Term Care policy serves as a safeguard for your hard-earned income, assets, and lifestyle. Without it, the escalating expenses associated with long-term care services, such as in-home care, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes, can quickly deplete your financial security.

·        Types Of Long-Term Care Insurance Policies - Which Is Best For You

As long-term care costs continue to rise, the burden of uncovered care expenses, not accounted for by health insurance or Medicare, can significantly impact your income and assets and place strain on your loved ones.

Health insurance and Medicare will pay for short-term skilled care. If you have little or no income and assets, Medicaid will pay for long-term care services. Otherwise, unless you have an LTC policy, you will pay for care from your income and assets, or your loved ones will become caregivers. 

Caregiving is hard on loved ones, and it changes their lives completely. There is a better way to plan.

LTC Insurance ensures you have the financial resources to access high-quality care without depleting your savings. This preserves your retirement lifestyle and legacy while relieving your family's emotional and financial stress.

The ideal time to add long-term care coverage is when you are in your 40s or 50s, but depending on your health, affordable options are available in your 60s and beyond. 

Shopping for an LTC Policy with an Expert

Many professionals can sell you a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, but very few comprehend all the details and benefits that a policy can bring. Nor do they understand the underwriting rules each insurance company has in force, which will impact your choice and the policy costs.

With premiums and underwriting varying dramatically between insurance companies, seeking help from an experienced independent Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will help you find the best coverage at the lowest cost.

Long-Term Care Insurance experts will ask about your health, family history, and financial situation, carefully evaluating your needs to identify the most appropriate solutions from a variety of insurance companies that provide long-term care solutions.

 A specialist will show you accurate quotes from all the top companies in long-term care so you can make an informed decision. Plus, a specialist will help you design an appropriate plan without spending too much money.


Discovering Quality Long-Term Care Providers Made Simple

Don't allow the daunting task of finding quality long-term care services for your loved one to overwhelm you.

With the LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory, assistance is at your fingertips, allowing you to access over 80,000 care providers. This comprehensive national database, provided at no cost, encompasses a wide range of long-term care services, streamlining the process of finding qualified caregivers or appropriate care facilities. 

You can conveniently search for providers in your or your loved one's area while gaining insight into their qualifications and the services they offer. Don't let the stress of finding high-quality long-term care services for a loved one make life difficult.

For those with an LTC policy, LTC NEWS can help process claims from any Long-Term Care Insurance policy. LTC NEWS, in partnership with Amada Senior Care, a nationally recognized in-home health care agency, ensures that you and your loved ones receive the benefits from an LTC policy so your loved one gets the quality care they deserve. This service comes at no cost or obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim.

These four LTC NEWS guides will assist you in trying to find appropriate long-term services for a loved one:

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