We are so used to having our parents around to help and support us, that it can surprise and even shock us when we realize that, at some point, the tables have turned and that we are the ones who have to help and support them now. When you notice that they aren’t able to take care of themselves anymore, you need to return all the time and patience they invested in you while they were raising you and preparing you for life. However, love and devotion aside, taking care of aging parents can be challenging and time-consuming, but also financially exhausting. It’s exactly for this reason that you should be prepared for this situation and plan everything well in advance. Here is some finance-related advice for taking care of your elderly parents.
Dealing with legal issues
Usually, when people think about the help their elderly parents may need, they consider things like personal hygiene, company, doctor appointments and meal preparation. However, as your parents age and become less capable of taking care of themselves, they also come across difficulties with some of their other tasks and obligations. They will also need help to manage their finances and make some important decisions. If this is the case with your parents, a good idea would be to talk to them and have them give you power of attorney. This would mean that you can make those crucial financial and health-related decisions on their behalf, but also that you can use their financial resources to pay for any medical bills or medication for them.
Look into specialized facilities
If you have a job and a family, then you have to take into consideration more than just finances. Managing work, children and elderly parents at the same time can turn out to be more than one person can handle. If you’re in this kind of situation, you need to find information about specialized facilities you could rely on for accommodation and any other kind of support your parents may need. The main problem here could be that your parents don’t want to leave their home and move somewhere else. That’s why you should include them in the process of choosing the best possible aged care within a community that encourages their individuality, allows them to maintain their preferred lifestyle and choose for themselves when to wake up, the meals they eat and what activities to participate in. The place should also have round-the-clock nurses available and provide them with the opportunity to socialize with people similar to them. Once you decide on a facility and have all the information, it will be less complicated to make financial plans.
Making your own plan
Most of us have thought about what it will be like when we grow old and retire, and we’ve made some financial plans to be covered in case we need to be taken care of. When it comes to setting money aside for supporting our parents, though, things are usually different. It’s crucial to talk to your parents and find out if they have a retirement plan and how well they are covered financially, so that you know what they have at their disposal and exactly how much you’ll have to chip in. This could be an unpleasant conversation, but still one that is necessary. If your parents have some resources saved for retirement, you need to know if those will be enough to cover all their expenses. If not, the sooner you start making plans and saving money, the easier it will be once they actually need you to step in and add some funds for their care.
It can be difficult and expensive to take care of your elderly parents. And if you aren’t prepared, the bills could pile up and throw you into debt before you realize what’s happening. So, make sure you make all the necessary financial plans so that your parents can get the best assistance there is.