Challenges: Adult Children Caring for Aging Parent

Many Baby-Boomers are now taking care of a parent as well as their own career and family responsibilities.

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Challenges: Adult Children Caring for Aging Parent
3 Min Read July 24th, 2015 Updated:October 20th, 2019

There are not too many middle-aged families that plan for being caregivers for an older parent. Usually, the focus is on career and family. However, as longevity continues to be a planning consideration as advances in medical science allow us to live longer, it also increases our risk of needing help with everyday living activities. It also increases our risk of suffering from some type of dementia.

We Want Our Parents to Enjoy Independence

We all want our parents to enjoy their retirement years. We hope they have full independence as they age. Unfortunately,  like all of us, they will likely need some type of assistance and require long-term care services. With no advance plan in place, this places a physical, emotional and financial burden not just on them, but on the rest of the family who, without an advance plan, become caregivers, care managers, or both.

Have You Focused on Your Future Retirement and Need for Long-Term Care?

It might be too late for your elderly parents to plan, depending on their age and their current health. However, the need for advance planning should be focused on those planning for their own future retirements. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide you with access to your choice of quality care in the setting you desire. It provides the tax-free resources to protect your retirement accounts as well as giving your own family the time to be family.

What Do You Do Now if Your Parents Need Care?

Yes, you should be planning now, especially if you are in your 40s or 50s. What happens if your parent or parents require care now? This guide from Aging in Place can be very helpful.

24-hour in-home care can be expensive and taxing

What do you do if your aging parent can no longer care for themselves, but they're not disabled enough to go into a nursing home? For countless baby boomers, the answer is having mom or dad move in with them.

It's a choice 51-year-old Polly Pickering made when her mother's health started going downhill.

"Neither one of us ever anticipated that she would be living in my house. It's been good for the majority of things." 

Polly Pickering, daughter

The upside is that Polly knows her 79-year-old mother, who has early dementia, is getting the best possible care. And Polly's teenage son sees more of his grandmother.

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."

Polly Pickering.

This family is fortunate to be able to afford those helpers. The cost of round the clock in-home care for Pickering's mother runs $13,000 dollars a month. Long-Term Care insurance purchased by both her parents covers nearly half of that at $6,000 dollars a month. A pension covers much of the rest.

"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."

Polly Pickering.

Even with that help, Polly has had to put her career on hold to care for her mother, a sacrifice she's more than willing to make.

"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."

Caring for an aging or ailing parent at home is not always this expensive.

Many families do well will part-time helpers. But if you decide to bring a parent into your home, be sure to enlist as much emotional support from family and friends as possible. Caregivers need a break.

Also, seek out any free or affordable government support like meal delivery or other services that you might qualify for.



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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 is the best way to plan for your own longevity. Retirement planning should happen well before you retire. Protecting what you save for your retirement should also happen prior to retirement. Long-Term Care Insurance, for many American families, provides the resources and services to provide you with control over your own life. You will have a choice on the type and location of your future long-term care needs.

Don't Be in Denial 

Understanding you have a risk is the first step. As you get older your risk of needing long-term care services also increases. The cost of paid care services drains savings and income. Care is not cheap. The cost of long-term care does vary depending on where you live. Your research should start by finding the current and future cost of care services. You will then determine how these costs will impact your savings, income, and lifestyle. The LTC NEWS cost of care calculator is a great resource. Click here and find your location.

Resources Available for Advance Planning

LTC NEWS provides many other resources to help you plan. However, you will need the assistance of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you design a plan and shop to find the best coverage at the best value. This is usually not a financial advisor or general insurance agent. It takes experience and expertise to understand and design Long-Term Care Insurance. These policies are custom designed but remember premiums can vary over 100% between companies for the exact same coverage. This is why you should seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Find a specialist by clicking here.

Make sure your specialist actually is a specialist. Ask them not only how many years of experience they have, but more importantly how many people have they helped? An actual specialist will have at least 250 living clients with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Often, the best specialists have thousands. This means they will understand underwriting and how it differs from each insurance company. They will also understand the federal/state partnership program which provides additional asset protection. This should mean they understand policy design and claims. Knowing how these policies actually get used at the time of claim is very helpful in designing an affordable plan.

Long-Term Care Specialist Will Ask Many Questions

Expect the specialist to ask you numerous questions about your health, family history, and retirement plans. Once they get this information they will be able to usually give you actual quotes right away. Unless you have unusual health, you shouldn't have to wait for their recommendations. The plans are custom designed, so give your input on the policy design. The next step is to apply and see if you can get approved. Most insurance companies use electronic applications so the process is quick and easy. Usually, you do not have to pay anything in advance. Once approved, you have time to make adjustments in coverage before you pay your first premium.

Long-Term Care Insurance is easy, affordable and rate stable income and asset protection. It will also give your family the time to be family.

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