Episode: Bringing an Aging Parent into Your Home
Many Baby-Boomers are now taking care of a parent as well as their own career and family responsibilities. This story shows how one such Boomer cared for her mom with help of Long Term Care Insurance and lots of love and effort.
Brendan M.: Tonight, taking action for your parents. 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? Well, for countless baby boomers, the answer is having mom or dad move in with them. I spoke with a New Tampa woman who shows us the challenges and the rewards of caring for your parents at home.
It's just so wonderful that she does this.
Brendan M.: Polly Pickering's mother gets emotional talking about her daughter, a 51 year old baby boomer who's become her primary caregiver.
Polly: Neither one of us ever anticipated that she would be living in my house.
Brendan M.: How's that working out?
Polly: Yeah, it's been good for, for the majority of things.
Brendan M.: The upside is at Polly knows her 79 year old mother, who has early dementia, is getting the best possible care. 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 wants did the same for her. And with full time in home care, the single mother says her house feels a little crowded.
Polly: We're used to living alone and now we have not only my mother, but her caregivers here all the time, 24/7.
Brendan M.: But Polly knows she's lucky to be able to afford those helpers, and she's been able to outfit her home with furniture and accessories that make it easier for her mother to get around. The cost of round the clock in home care for her mother runs $13,000 a month. Long-term care insurance purchased by both her parents, covers nearly half of that at $6,000, with a generous pension covering much of the rest.
Polly: 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 longterm care insurance.
Brendan M.: Even with that help, Polly has had to put her career on hold to care for her mother. It's a sacrifice. She's more than willing to make.
Polly: I couldn't live with myself not doing as much as I could to make her life as good as it can possibly be at this stage in her life.
Brendan M.: Of course, part time help in the home is often adequate and much less expensive than the $13,000 a month Polly's family is paying. One more important point for you caregivers, be sure to enlist as much emotional support from family and friends as you possibly can. You need a break from time to time. Also, remember to seek out any free or affordable support like meal delivery or other services that you might qualify for.