Senior Care Advice for Families

It is becoming more common for children of aging adults to serve as full-time caregivers. A recent report from USA Today cites that “Forty-one percent of baby boomers who have a living parent are helping take care of them, with personal help, financial assistance or both.” Some families are able to turn to senior health service providers such as Avamere Family of Companies for the care of aging parents, while others rely on an in-home approach. Meaning, the parent moves in with the adult child and the home is altered to accommodate the parent’s needs.woman speaking to elderly man

There are many considerations to be made when deciding what is best for your parent. It is important to begin by assessing their current physical and mental condition by asking a few questions.

Caring for Aging Parents FAQ

Below is a convenient list of Frequently Asked Questions and some potential Answers. Remember, every person’s needs are unique, so use this as a guide and visit with us in person for a more comprehensive assessment of your parent’s needs.

  • Mobility, Can my aging parent move around easily and keep up with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom?
  • Nutrition, Can my aging parent prepare meals? How often do they shop for groceries or cook?
  • Hygiene, Can my aging parent take care of his/her personal needs including bathing, shaving, and dressing?
  • Housekeeping, Can my aging parent keep up with household chores, such as vacuuming, cleaning, laundry, and changing linens?
  • Toileting, Are my aging parents able to use the toilet without physical assistance on a regular basis?
  • Medications, Does my aging parent know when and how to take each medication?
  • Mental Status–Does my aging parent have the mental capacity to reason and organize daily events?
  • Behavioral Status, Can my aging parent cope with feelings of depression, anger, or fear? Are you sure their actions pose no physical danger to them or others?

senior couple looking at laptop screen Financial Planning for Senior Care

Caring for an aging parent can be both mentally and physically taxing on the child caregiver. It can also be a financial burden if proper planning has not been made. The earlier you and your parents start to save and make arrangements for their post-retirement care, then more time can be spent focusing on their comfort and the wonderful things that surround them.

After assessing the FAQs listed above, the next step is to have what can potentially be a difficult conversation with your parent. It is up to the child caregiver to assess how much financial planning their parent has done. We all like to assume that our parents have thought of everything; but as we all know, life can be busy and it is easy to get caught up in the present while putting off tough decisions that are 20 to 30 years in the future.

Author, Theresa Foy DiGeronimo, M.Ed., offers children with aging parents some helpful advice on broaching the subject of senior care for a parent:

  1. Start the dialogue by focusing on your own retirement planning, ask for your parent’s advice and what decisions they made.
  2. Don’t assume that you always know what’s best for your aging parent.
  3. Ask if your parent has made a will, and if so, has it been updated recently.
  4. Remember to share your ideas, but don’t dictate to them.
  5. Ask about if they have long-term care insurance, Roth IRA, 401(K), or other retirement and care savings.
  6. And finally, that you remember to honor the wishes of your aging parent unless they are not mentally competent.

When it comes specifically to health care costs, here are some startling statistics from The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:

  • $197,000 – At age 65, a typical married couple free of chronic disease can expect to spend $197,000 on remaining lifetime health care costs – excluding nursing home care. However, this couple faces a 5 percent probability that these costs will exceed $311,000.
  • $260,000- Including nursing home care, the mean cost is $260,000, with a 5 percent probability of costs exceeding $570,000.
  • 15% – Less than 15 percent of households approaching retirement have accumulated that much in total financial assets.

With those numbers in mind, click the link below to learn more about the type of financial assistance that is available to help cover the care of your aging parent.

The Avamere Family of Companies understands the challenges and uncertainties that can arise when caring for aging parents. We can help you preserve the independence of your aging parents. Contact us for more information on caring for aging parents.