Your parents did so much for you while you were growing up…
And now, the roles are reversed.
You need to take care of them. But where do you start?
As with so many situations in life, putting your efforts into research and planning now will make the process smoother for all involved.
4 WAYS TO CARE FOR YOUR AGING PARENTS
Though it’s never easy to see your parents grow old, there are several ways to help them age gracefully.
Here are four ideas to consider.
#1. Independent Living
If your parents are healthy seniors who can look after themselves, they might be interested in a continuing-care retirement community which offers a tiered approach to the aging process.
There, they could buy or rent an apartment now, with the option of assisted living or skilled nursing care if it’s medically necessary down the road.
These communities give seniors the option to live in one location for the duration of their lives which can greatly reduce any anxiety about future living arrangements.
#2. Staying With Family
The most traditional option, of course, is to move an aging parent into your own home.
If you can (peacefully!) coexist with them, this is a wonderful option. You’ll be able to spend precious time with your parent — which you’ll undoubtedly cherish later on — and will save money on the costs of housing them elsewhere.
If your parent has dementia or other serious health issues, you can consider enrolling them in an adult daycare program while you’re at work. Not only will your parent receive constant care, it’ll also give them an opportunity to socialize with other adults.
#3. Living Alone
When living together isn’t a workable plan, helping your parent stay in their own home can be an appealing alternative.
There are, however, several expenses you may incur while making their home safe and accessible for the future. These could include a first-floor bathroom, grab bars in hallways and bathrooms, and a personal emergency response system.
If your parent is in need of daily assistance with meals, they could apply for Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals for those over age 60. If your parent needs more personal assistance, you could consider hiring an in-home aide at a skill level appropriate for the degree of help they need.
#4. Nursing Home
Do you anticipate you’ll have to eventually send your parent to a nursing home? Then it’s imperative you do your research.
Start now: At respected facilities, waiting lists are often long — which means you should make reservations at least a year before your parent would need to move in.
For further information on care options, check out resources like:
- Administration on Aging: Print and online materials for elders, their families, and professionals regarding housing, medical, caregiving, and services for seniors
- SeniorLiving.org: Resources for the elderly and their caregivers on financial matters, health care, living arrangements, and social, mental, and legal issues
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING
You can never be too early when it comes to organizing plans for for the potential care of your parents. Don’t wait until the last minute — start planning now to ensure you can help your parents enjoy their golden years.
If you would like to discuss this, or any other topic affecting your financial life, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Laryssa Freeman, CFP® is a member of the Fee-Only Network. She offers two options for new clients depending upon their needs:
1) Project-Based Financial Planning Service on a flat fee basis. The implementation of the plan is done by the client. The scope of work for the Project-Based Financial Planning Service may include the following topics based on the client’s needs: Retirement Planning, Estate Planning, Development of Financial Goals, Investment Analysis, Risk Management, College Planning and Tax Planning Strategies.
2) Comprehensive Financial Planning which includes all of the services above plus investment management and financial plan implementation by Meritage Wealth Management.