By: Brendan McLaughlin/WFTS-TV/Tampa
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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