Talking about money can be tough, especially when it’s with your parents. It’s common for people, particularly the elderly, to consider their finances a highly private matter. Yet failing to discuss savings, net worth, debt and assets can be a huge detriment to planning for the future. The cost of senior care must be considered and a senior care strategy put in place. That way you, and your parents, can plan for the years when a personal aide or care home may become a necessity.
While many individuals opt for care that is provided by unpaid family and friends, many family caregivers find themselves unable to handle the entire burden of care alone.
The following tips will help you proactively plan for the financial aspects of senior caregiving:
- Be in the know: Learn whether your parents will be eligible for publicly subsidized care facilities based on their income. Visit your province’s Seniors website for more information on how much funding your parents can expect, for instance Québec’s or British Columbia’s.
- Plan ahead: Don’t wait until the discharge date to worry about recovery care. Begin researching your parent’s finances while they are still in the hospital, or before frailty sets in. If your parent is incapacitated, talk to a spouse or a friend. You may even have to go through their file cabinets.
- Research other funding sources: Is your father a Veteran? Does your mother have long term care insurance? Would a reverse mortgage be an option?
- Consult the pros: Spend a little to learn a lot. Elder law attorneys, financial planners, and geriatric care managers can be very helpful in sorting out options for care and funding.
- Consider indirect expenses: When analyzing the cost of senior care
, include the price of additional expenses such as: senior transportation services, missed work (yours), financial and legal assistance, and your travel.
- Explore benefits through your own workplace: Your company might be one of the many that has begun to support caregiving employees through resources such as expert consultation, backup care, provider referrals, and geriatric care management.
Whether your parents can age in place, or they require a nursing home in their later years, there is good news: there are many excellent options along the continuum of care. Learn how to plan for and pay for care. Prevent a crisis — start now and choose the best option for your loved one for when the time comes.
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