Many adults are finding that their aging parents need health care assistance. Luckily, there are many options available.
Medicare offers only limited financial support for elder care, and Medicaid is available only to those with very limited resources. The government offers some tax breaks to caregivers, but there is little in the way of financial help for those families paying for nursing home care. As a result, financial planning has become even more crucial to the economic well-being of adult children responsible for the care of their elderly parents.
If your parents are healthy seniors, they generally are eligible to enter a continuing-care retirement community that allows them to buy or rent an apartment and ensures them lifetime nursing care when it is necessary. Another option for healthy seniors is private long-term care insurance, which can help cover nursing home costs or the cost of an in-home aide.
Living with family
If you can coexist peacefully with your parent, this may be a good idea because the arrangement frees you from worry about the upkeep of a second home. For parents with dementia or more serious health issues, adult day care is also an option and a good way to get your parent to socialize with other adults.
There are several fairly expensive things that may be required to make a home environment safe and suitable for an aging person. Various safety features may be necessary, including first-floor bathrooms, grab bars in hallways and bathrooms, and a personal emergency response system in case your parent needs assistance while alone. If your parent needs daily assistance, he or she can apply for several services, such as Meals on Wheels, which may be free. If your parent needs more personal assistance, you may want to investigate hiring an in-home aide at a skill level appropriate for the amount of help needed.
Reservations at the home selected should be made at least a year ahead of the time that you expect your parent will need it, as waiting lists are typically long. Keep in mind, too, that the government offers limited financial help for those families paying for nursing home care.
Financing Long-Term Care
With elder care costs continually on the rise, financial planning has become ever more crucial to the economic well-being of adult children responsible for the care of their elderly parents. Don't wait until the last minute -- start planning now to ensure the future care of your parents.
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